Ever since I was in middle school, I wanted to be a teacher. I was inspired by my science teacher, who always had a way to make us laugh while teaching science. I got my bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from FIU. I have taught in private and public schools for 7 years. I won Rookie Teacher of the Year once. I have high recommendations from my previous principals from the different schools which I have worked in. I recently took a break from teaching in the public schools in order to spend more time with my kids, as they are heavily involved in sports and other school and church related activities. I also wanted time to pursue other personal goals in my life. Last school year, I started offering private tutoring at a public library. I love the flexibility from private tutoring. I have several students who I tutor during the week. I have experience tutoring kids of different ages. I myself have two children, one who is 8 and the other one who is 16 years old. I have taught grades K-6th. I love all subjects, but my favorites are reading, writing, and math.
I have my own resources, but if your child already has his or her own materials, I can work with that, too. I'm very flexible in my strategies and always give feedback to the parents after the tutoring sessions. My ideal parent-tutor-student relationship would be to work with a student for a minimum of 3 months, so that I may enjoy seeing the student's growth. I never like leave a tutoring session without a feeling of accomplishment. I consider myself an excellent teacher.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Florida International University - Bachelors, Elementary Education
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in being very thorough. I like to feel that the student leaves my tutoring session understanding completely what was taught that day. I believe that students learn in different ways. It takes me a few sessions to get to know the child, and then I am able to adjust to their way of learning. However, I do believe that students need to get used to reading all sorts of material, even if it's not interesting to them. Why? Well, because we still use standardized testing in our schools and in colleges. So, until other forms of testing a student's knowledge are available, students must be taught to prepare for them.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Typically, I try to get there a little earlier to talk with the parent about any specific concerns they may have. I try to assess what the student's struggles are by providing some educational material.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I do a lot of probing with each student. I ask a lot of higher order thinking questions in which a simple answer might not be easily accessible without thinking deeper. I don't like to just give away answers. I want the students to arrive at the correct answer with some shadowing on my part, but 90% their own critical thinking.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I think a student will feel motivated once he or she overcomes whatever barriers they feel are interfering with their success. Private tutoring helps the student identify those impediments and overcome them.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Every student is different; therefore, some students will have to continue working on that specific skill until they are able to grasp it. Practice does not make you perfect, but better. So, every time the skill is practiced again, the student is getting closer to learning the skill.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I use visualization methods with my students. I also chunk up long passages and check for understanding at certain intervals. Sometimes I may ask the student to summarize a paragraph for me in their own words. I let them know ahead of time that they must do so at the end of that paragraph. Vocabulary is very important in reading comprehension, so addressing unknown words and their definitions is a must for reading comprehension.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I find that exposing students to long written responses to reading comprehension questions help the student gain more confidence in reading.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
The student will get excited once they see some progress in their assessments. It's obvious that the student will not be jumping for joy during the first few sessions.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
To make sure the student understands the material, I do a lot of probing. I ask them to summarize it for me, as well as use relating the material to real-life situations. I may ask them to keep a journal with them and leave homework for them to complete on their own.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I build a student's confidence in a subject by making sure they practice, practice, practice. After, I usually give them an assessment, so they can see their progress. I'm constantly praising my students for their effort and progress.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate the student's need by exposing them to grade appropriate educational material.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I believe that if the student needs certain adaptations, I can do my best to adjust my teaching techniques to adapt to their needs. I am here to help the students learn to adapt to the educational standards that are in place in the current moment.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use books and workbooks. I may also bring in some manipulative and my laptop to show videos that will help the student gain some visual perspective on the topic.