A photo of Mary, a tutor from James Madison University

Mary

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I have a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences from JMU and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Mary Baldwin College. I am certified to teach Pre-K through 6th grade.
I have worked with children of all ages and I've tutored students in all of the core subjects, mostly focusing on math and reading. I've also taught preschool and tested preschool children. I've taught English to refugees from several nations, mostly adults, although children were sometimes in the classes. I love working with students. I love to help them learn and I enjoy getting to know them.

My hobbies are reading, cross-stitch, knitting, and taking online classes. I love to learn!

Mary’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: James Madison University - Bachelors, Health Sciences

Graduate Degree: Mary Baldwin College - Masters, Elementary Education

Hobbies

Reading, cross-stitch, knitting, word and number puzzles.

Tutoring Subjects

ACCUPLACER ESL Prep

ACCUPLACER ESL - Reading Skills Prep

Adult ESL/ELL

College English

Elementary Math

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing

English

ESL/ELL

High School English

Homework Support

ISEE Prep

ISEE- Lower Level

Math

Other

PRAXIS Prep

Reading

Social studies

SSAT Prep

SSAT- Elementary Level

Summer

Test Prep

World Religions


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe in hands-on learning and the inquiry method. I think that children need to discover their own learning and that they all learn differently. I like to have things that they can do with their hands, like games or manipulatives. I ask lots and lots of questions, so they can discover the knowledge they have within them.

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

I would introduce myself and try to get to know the student. I might ask the student questions to find out interests and what the student wants from tutoring. I would probably give some kind of assessment so I could get a better idea of what the student needs.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I like to give them assignments that they can do independently, both when I'm with them, and something they can do at home. I try not to give them the answers, but reformulate questions until they discover the answer. I try to find things they are interested in so they will want to learn more.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I change what we're doing occasionally so the student won't get bored. I try to find interesting activities. I try to find activities, books or problems that might relate to the student's life in some way. I rarely give rewards, but I do give praise.

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

I would try teaching it a different way. I might find something easier, something at a level below the child's current level so that the child could build up to the difficult skill or concept.

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

The main thing is to read, read, read! I would have the child read passages and discuss them, answering questions about them. I would read to the child and discuss it as we go and afterwards. I would have the child read aloud silently and then explain the story to me. I might play games or have puzzles that help with certain concepts.

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

Being cheerful and patient is the best thing. I've found that having some routine is helpful, so the child knows some of what is going to happen, but I also like to change activities because that way I can engage all the ways that children learn. I try to let the child know that I believe in him/her. I think that the child will succeed.

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

I would try to find out the child's interests and make the subject relate somehow to those interests. I would try to include some fun activities.

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

Asking lots of questions. Checking the work that the student is doing. Giving occasional written assessments. Getting the student to tell me about the material.

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

I would tell the student how much he/she is improving, and that I know they will succeed. Even if the improvement is small, I will point it out and praise the student.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

By talking to the student and maybe by giving some sort of assessment.

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

If a student is very active and can't sit still, I usually try to alternate quiet activities with hands-on activities that require some action.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

It depends on what I'm tutoring, but I usually use books, paper, pencil, crayons, scissors, stapler, worksheets, index cards (for games),sometimes manipulatives. I've used LEGOs, poker chips, game pieces, playing cards, and dice.