A photo of Alisa, a tutor from St Josephs College Brooklyn Campus

Alisa

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I am an enthusiastic, patient and reflective middle/high school practitioner who believes that all students can reach their greatest potentials. I create a learning atmosphere that is accepting, structured and challenging to meet high expectations and the needs of each student. I studied English and Secondary Education at St. Joseph's College in Brooklyn, where I achieved a degree in English/Secondary Education. There I also started an English Literature Club and helped create the school's first ever literary magazine, serving as an assistant editor. Since then, I have attained a Master's Degree in the Teaching of Writing and Reading, and am a certified English and Reading teacher. I have presented at local and national conferences about my approaches to teaching writing in a high school setting. Additionally, I have taken numerous seminars on AP English Language and Composition and introduced the course for the first time in the school district that I work in, writing the syllabus for the course and teaching it with great success for over five years. I also have been tutoring privately for over ten years, working with students from fifth grade through college. I have helped students find great success on the the SAT, ACT, English Regents Exam, AP English Language and Composition Exam, and with writing, reading, and speaking in general. I also have helped many, many students with their college essays, seeing great results that helped students to share their sometimes very personal stories, while also impressing the institutions to which they sought admission. Overall, this career has never felt like a job for me. I love working with people and always have. I love helping people see the greatness that lies within them, and helping them to see that they absolutely can achieve the goals that they set for themselves. Nothing brings me greater joy than seeing a student, regardless of age, feel great about his or her achievements. I have always played a teaching role, helping co-workers learn computer skills in my teens and early twenties, teaching people of all ages to snowboard, which is a hobby and a side job that still keep up, and teaching English to students for the past ten years. It is a wonderful subject to teach that helps people learn to communicate in a way that brings them satisfaction and helps them to garner what they want in life. Studying English also helps people learn so much about other people, as well, gaining the ability to empathize, and gaining the lifelong skill of being able to read and learn whatever he or she wants through that skill.

Alisa’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: St Josephs College Brooklyn Campus - Bachelors, English/Secondary Education

Graduate Degree: Hofstra University - Masters, The Teaching of Reading and Writing

State Certified Teacher

Hobbies

Snowboarding, Paddle Boarding, Teaching and Learning


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I am an enthusiastic, patient, experienced, and reflective middle/high school practitioner, who believes that all students can reach their greatest potential. I create a learning atmosphere that is accepting, structured, and challenging to meet high expectations and the needs of each student.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

In a typical first session with a student, I would take the time to get to know the student -- find out his or her interests. I would also get to know the student's self perceptions about learning and their ability. Depending on the student's area of need, I would focus on assessing the student both formally and informally, so that I could craft lessons tailored to the student's needs for our future sessions.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

To help a student become an independent learner, I would try to show the student the value of what he or she is studying in the real world. After learning about the student's interests, I would create materials that help the student to see the real world application of what is being studied.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

To help a student stay motivated, I believe that a student must see that progress is being made. I create lessons that are effective, and then ask students to track their progress with me to see the progress that is being made. After learning about the student's personal goals, we can also keep these in mind while we are working together.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

If a student is having difficulty learning a skill or concept, I would evaluate my teaching strategies and seek out new ways to help the student achieve his or her goal.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

To help students with reading comprehension, I think it is important to have materials that are both interesting to the student and that the student is able to successfully work with. Additionally, I would create mini-lessons for the students on comprehension skills based on the areas where the student needs improvement.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

I find that a good relationship from the start can be one of the best motivators. I try to let my students know that I care about them and their goals. When students feel that the learning process is something we are in together, I've found that they are much more successful.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

To help a student get excited and engaged, I model excitement about the subject. Also, I utilize what I have learned about the student to tailor the learning experiences to highlight the real world value for the student.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

To be sure a student understands the material, I use both informal (conversations, quick writes, etc.) and formal assessments (practice exams), and then tailor future lessons based on what I find.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

To build a student's confidence in a subject, I feel that it is important for a student to see his or her success. To highlight this, I try to first create learning experiences where students can see their success. I also try to create lessons that the student can quickly apply and see their own learning taking place. Additionally, I use personal logs for self-reflection and to monitor personal progress.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I evaluate a student's needs through discussing the student's abilities with him or her, talking about the student's past experiences, and studying any materials that the student has shared with me from his or her work in the past. Also, through informal and formal assessments that I administer to the student.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

My teaching materials are ever-evolving. For each student I tutor, I seek out materials that cater to his or her needs or interests. I think of myself as creative, reflective, and someone who is always seeking new and different ways to help others achieve their goals.