I am a music educator, and a special education classroom teacher of five years. My classroom experience has taught me the importance of differentiating lessons in order to reach individual students. I strive to use my knowledge and creativity to foster a positive, rigorous, and engaging because I believe that is what the educational experience should be.
Undergraduate Degree: Keene State College - Bachelors, Music Education
Graduate Degree: Johns Hopkins University - Current Grad Student, Special Education (Mild to Moderate Disabilities)
Music, String Instruments, Theatre, Boston Sports, Nutrition, Fitness, Video Games
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that every child and adult is capable of learning, but we all learn best in different ways. It is up to the educator to determine how best to teach their students in order to help them grasp, apply, and master the concepts that they cover together.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I need to first get to know the students. I want to know their feelings about a given topic, their strengths, needs, and interests. Then, I'll try a few different strategies to get an idea for what will work best for them.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I'm a big believer in scaffolding and thinking aloud. I share my thought process with my students, so that they can learn how to think through multi-step problem solving. Then I continue with I do, we do, you do. This way, my students gain independence a little at a time, until they can independently tackle a topic on their own. Of course, we always go back to review in order to be sure the student retains what they worked so hard to learn.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
All some students need to stay motivated is the knowledge that there is someone on their team, rooting for them, who will help them through any obstacles they come across. I believe in motivation through encouragement and visualization. For some of my younger students, I've used tangible earning systems for the extra push they need.
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, especially if we have worked on it one on one together, then it's definitely time for me to go back to the drawing board in order to determine if there is another way we can approach it from.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Listening and observing. I like to have my students first advocate for themselves so that they can tell me what they feel are their strengths and needs. Once I have an understanding for what they feel, I like to begin work with them so that I can observe and assess in order to move forward.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
If it is at all possible, I like to incorporate student interest in the topics we work on. I also like to relate what we are working on to real life. I think when students understand how they will use the material they are learning in their own lives, it makes it much more relatable, and gives them more of an incentive to learn.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I think taking small, manageable steps and scaffolding are very important when trying to build confidence. I start small, model, and work together with my student before having them try alone.