Ever since college I have been working with students on a one on one basis. I worked in an after school program where I helped students daily with homework. After college, I began teaching at a small Christian school. I worked there for four years teaching every grade from 1st-6th. This was possible due to the small class sizes and multiple grade combination classes. I also began tutoring two years ago. I have really enjoyed being able towork with students one on one because I am able to focus on how to best help that individual child. My personal goal is to help children gain confidence in their academic abilities and make learning enjoyable again.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Golden State Baptist College - Bachelors, Elementary Education
Graduate Degree: Golden State Baptist College - Masters, Writing Children's Literature
Reading, Writing, Acting, Singing and Practicing Sign Language
College Level American History
Elementary School Math
High School English
High School Level American History
Q & A
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During my first session with a student I give them a simple test to find out their learning style. Then I play math fact games and read theater scripts with them to find out where they are struggling academically. Lastly, I ask the student what they find difficult in school so that I can bring in supplies the following week to work on those areas.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I believe that the basics we learn in elementary school are the stepping stones to solving harder problems in upper grades. Many times, students approach these new problems independently from the problems they saw when they were younger. When I have a student that is doing this, I remind them of the original steps and show them that they have the tools to solve these problems on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I give my students a sticker of their choice at the end of each session if they tried their best. I also ask to see their grades at the end of each quarter and give them rewards for improved areas.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to give my students the tools to be confident in their academic abilities and make learning enjoyable again.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a new skill I take the student back to the basics and show them how each step in the process is important to finding the answer. I use several examples including drawings, physical examples (like candy) and real life scenarios.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
When I have a student that is struggling with reading comprehension I use a puzzle solving storybook. At first I read the passages to the child and ask them to solve the problem. This teaches them to search for the answers in the text. Eventually, I ask the student to read a mystery book and predict the outcome. This practice trains the brain to comprehend the passages it is reading.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I often play games with my students that practice their math and reading facts. I have found that when they are comfortable with the basics, it is easy to help them with harder subjects.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
When a student is struggling with a subject, I find ways to make that subject fun. With math I often use card games or dominoes. With reading I introduce theater scripts and ask the students to read with me and use fun voices. And when I have a student that is having a hard time in history, I bring stuffed animals to act out the battles or scenarios they are learning about.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Many areas of math I did not understand until I faced them my first year of teaching. Because of this, I always ask my students to teach me the concepts at the end of the lesson to see if they really understand.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
One of the reasons why I enjoy using games with my students is because kids are very competitive. Because of this, I challenge my students to beat me in the games we play. I make it increasingly harder for them to beat me and I watch their confidence grow each time they win.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
The first day I meet a student, I ask them what they feel they need help in. After the session, I ask their parent what areas they seem to be struggling in. These two answers do not always match so it gives me a more complete picture of where they may need help. Finally, I ask to see their grades at the end of each quarter to see where they are improving and where they are still struggling.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
In college I learned that every person either learns by hearing (auditory), by seeing (visual), or by experiencing/touching (tactile). This is why some students can learn from a lecture, others by reading and others by doing a project. I look for each students learning style and focus on using that to help them learn.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I typically ask for students to bring their homework with them and then make worksheets for the following session to test their memory. I also bring math games and reader's theater scripts to make learning the basics fun.