As a tutor who enjoys working with all types of learners, I bring a personal, positive, and professional approach to my work, with some educational fun thrown in for good measure. I am both a teacher and tutor with my master's degree and have nearly twenty years of experience as a professional writer and editor. I use all of this background to help identify my students' learning needs and to craft ways to help them achieve greater academic success.
Undergraduate Degree: Eckerd College - Bachelors, Sociology
Graduate Degree: University of South Florida-St. Petersburg Campus - Masters, Exceptional Student Education
Reading, writing, swimming, enjoying nature, watching great films
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe all students can learn; it's just a matter of finding out how they learn. I specialize in identifying student's unique learning preferences, styles, and helping them find ways to succeed.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Getting to know my students and building rapport with them is key. So, I start a first session learning about my student and helping him or her to get to know me. Then I know that, together, we're ready to make progress. Additionally, I might try to review any past lessons, grades, testing reports, etc. that the parent and/or student wishes to share.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Guiding students to grow into independent learners is a primary goal of mine. Through positive feedback, self-monitoring strategies, and encouragement, I help students build confidence as well as knowledge they can perform better academically and learn to self-advocate for their educational needs.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
One of the best ways to keep a student motivated and engaged is to know what his or her learning style preference is and incorporate that learning style into tutoring sessions. This helps students understand how they learn best, and when they know they can be successful, they tend to stay motivated. Additionally, I would make sure to build a strong rapport with the student so that he or she has confidence in their work.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
There are different ways to learn, and students are unique in how they learn. So, if a student of mine struggles, I offer alternative ways for him or her to learn. I use strategies, tools, visuals, manipulatives, technology, etc. to find a way for the student to understand a skill or concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I use several approaches to help students struggling with reading comprehension including auditory and kinesthetic (listening and physical) strategies, chunking information into smaller bits, building understanding in root words, prefixes, suffixes, and developing context clue skills. I also work with students to help them grasp main ideas, story sequence, and point of view.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
One of the best techniques I have used when I start working with a student is playing a game or doing some sort of icebreaker to build rapport. I also let the student talk with me about how they feel about reading or writing and what their goals are.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Oftentimes, finding a topic that interests the student helps to engage them. So for example, if a student loves baseball or dance, working with those topics in reading or writing helps them maintain engagement. It also boosts confidence because the student can use information he or she already knows about the topic.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Little assessments all through a lesson help me to know whether or not the student understands the material. But these mini assessments don't have to be paper and pencil assessments. Often, I ask students to give me a thumb up, shaky thumb, or thumb down to let me gauge where their understanding of the material is.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Praise, encouragement, and a positive approach all help me boost students' confidence in a subject.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I use several methods of evaluating a student's needs. First, I let them tell me what they think their needs are. I frequently find that students know what they need. I also use easy, fun probes and short assessments to help determine a student's level and needs.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
As I grow in my understanding of the student's personality, learning needs, and learning style preferences, it allows me to adapt my lessons and approaches to best fit and engage the student. For example, a very creative student or a kinesthetic learner may need the opportunity to draw a picture of a vocabulary word in order to understand it and retain its meaning.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
In a typical tutoring session, I bring an electronic component (e.g. iPad or laptop) pens, pencils, and paper as well as other tools I deem helpful to the student's learning.