My name is Gabriel and I am interested tutoring your scholar. As a graduate of New York University, a teacher experienced with high-needs students, and an educator committed to social justice and educational equity, I believe my education, experiences, and interests would make me an excellent teacher for your program.
I was the ELA teacher at LoveWorks Academy for the 6-8 students during the 2015/2016 school year. The position was an extremely fulfilling one, and it gave me the opportunity to refine my ability to develop and implement rigorous curriculum. I began the year with educational goals connected to Minnesota's ELA standards, academic goals designed to develop my students as scholars, social-emotional learning goals aimed at empowering the students to see themselves as agents for change, and social justice goals designed to enhance the students' awareness of the problems facing their communities. The goals have guided my curriculum design and my students have done a number of projects covering everything from debating current issues after haven researched various positions to interpreting and writing poetry meant to capture and convey their experiences.
I was also an Academic Assistant at P.U.S.H. Academy in Denver during the 2014-2015 school year. PUSH is an alternative high school serving students who are over-age and under credit. As an Academic Assistant, I jumped in wherever I was needed. I helped teach Algebra I and II, ELA, Biology, U.S. History, and ELD. I also served as a Dance Teacher and a Dance Coach and helped facilitate, organize, and choreograph a number of dance performances and plays.
The year before, I was a tutor with the extremely successful Brooklyn educational company, Eye Level. I worked with children in grades 5-8 in the Community Partnership Charter School in Brooklyn. The tutoring time was structured so that no more than five students were assigned to each tutor, allowing time for each student to get personal attention and assistance.
I would greatly appreciate the chance to work with you and your scholar.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: New York University - Bachelors, Philosophy
Dance, Martial Arts, Online Classes, Writing.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to help students discover what they know, and to help them build on it in order to grasp new concepts. Further, developing a deep relationship with academic concepts helps my students apply those concepts to new situations, and helps them become flexible and adaptable students.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
A first session would be used to assess what my student knows and where they need to grow.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
As stated in my teaching philosophy, the key to independent learning is to explore and connect to new concepts from the ones students already understand. Teaching them to approach learning in this way helps them tackle new subjects.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I am a big fan of gamification, meaning using game techniques such as trackers and achievements to help students keep track of their own progress, and to further motivate them.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would go back to simpler concepts, and start building towards the new concept in order to find out what gap in their knowledge is causing confusion.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
The first step is increasing a student's fluency. I have a number of leveled reading texts suitable for 1-minute fluency drills. The drills also come with questions to help increase comprehension. Once a student begins gaining confidence with fluency, I work with them on comprehension by teaching the 5W's strategy for breaking down texts. Once students can summarize texts efficiently, I move to helping them analyze texts using questions about the writer's purpose and bias.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Starting with short games or drills to get to know the student and to introduce the topic.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would find what excites me about that subject and share that excitement. Further, I would put myself in their shoes and figure out what about the subject would be interesting to me.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
The best way to assess a student is to have them explain the concept to me or to another student. I prefer verbal explanations, but it can often be useful to have students submit written explanations. Lastly, giving them short assignments where they can test the skill will help determine if they have mastered the skill.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I build a student's confidence by breaking up the concept and helping them complete assignments related to each step. I would also help them track their progress so that they can visualize what they're doing.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Baseline assessments like fluency tests in reading and math help determine where a student is at. For older students, such as adults, sample questions are often a good place to start, as well as conversations about how they arrived at their answers.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
All of teaching is adapting lessons to students' needs. I figure out what they know, what they need to know, and how to help them move between the two.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Preferably the student's own course materials to start. If I determine they need other materials such as drills, I will bring them with me. I am also a fan of graphic organizers to help students organize information and break down larger tasks into smaller steps.