Nothing gives me greater joy than helping a struggling reader become a successful reader. I have taught reading in public schools for fifteen years with the last six years specializing in multi-sensory techniques to help dyslexic/special education students become successful readers and spellers. I am certified in Wilson Language and trained in Orton-Gillingham techniques. If you have a child you think would benefit from this kind of instruction, I would love the opportunity to be of assistance.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Texas Austin - Bachelors, Elementary Education/Reading/Minor in English
Graduate Degree: University of Texas Austin - Masters, Multicultural Special Education
Kayaking, camping, reading, gardening, traveling
Q & A
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, I would want to do some informal assessment to determine what the student already knows so that I can meet the student where they are and move forward from there.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
My student and I would practice together, and then I would ask the student to do it on their own. However, depending on the lesson, I might go through a discovery process where I ask them if they see a pattern and help guide them towards discovering the pattern. Then we would practice. If they are having difficulty, I would do immediate error correction and have them repeat the error correct several times using some kind of multi-sensory tool before moving onto something new.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
To help a student stay motivated, I would use lots of positive reinforcement by praising their hard work.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I would correct the error. Then I would have them practice and keep the skill or concept on a review list for future lessons until the student has demonstrated true mastery of the skill or concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would use questioning during reading. I would teach them to be self-monitoring for understanding during reading. If the student senses something doesn't make sense, I would encourage the use of graphic organizers to keep track of information. I would encourage them to use a dictionary for words they don't understand. I would ask them to retell what they read or answer questions about the reading after they finish reading.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found error correction, repeated practice, and multi-sensory teaching methods to be the most successful teaching strategies when working with struggling readers.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
To help a student get excited or engaged with a subject that they are struggling in, I would try to create a relationship with the student that is warm, caring, and supportive. I would keep the lesson moving along with enough variation to not overwhelm the student with any one particular skill or concept they might be struggling with. However, that skill or concept would remain part of the on-going lessons until the student demonstrated mastery. Even then, I would reintroduce it periodically just to solidify and maintain the student's knowledge.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would use repeated practice during the lesson, and then review the material in future lessons to be sure the student understands the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
To build a student's confidence in a subject, I would praise the student for their hard work and persistence. It is my experience that students become more confident in a subject as they become independently proficient in a skill or concept in any subject area.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
To determine a student's needs in reading, I would use informal assessments to evaluate a student's specific needs. This might entail an informal reading inventory, a pre-screener, or possibly have the student complete an assessment. Largely, my assessment choice would depend on what the student seems to be struggling with.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt my tutoring to a student's needs but start with an assessment to see what his or her specific needs are, monitoring their progress through a lesson, and planning each new lesson prescriptively to address the student's needs.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I have language materials, corrective reading materials, and other materials to address decoding issues during tutoring sessions. I also have materials available for addressing fluency issues during a tutoring session, and I have access to many different kinds of graphic organizers for addressing comprehension issues during a tutoring session.