Growing up, books were a way to escape and live in another world or time. That love of reading, has carried on into my adult life.
I became a teacher after I was encouraged by my daughter's second grade teacher. The decision to choose Special Education was fostered from watching my sister and other children struggle with reading, writing, math, and other studies. I've been fortunate enough to watch my students learn, grow, become confident, self-advocate, and achieve in furthering their education or skills after high school. It is without a doubt the best feeling in the world to see a student years down the road, being a successful adult with families of their own.
I believe that children who are given the right tools, can easily achieve anything. Learning isn't just about getting the right answer - it's about finding the path to the answer.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Central Missouri - Bachelors, Special Education
Graduate Degree: University of Phoenix-Online Campus - Masters, Computer Education
ACT Composite: 23
Spending time with family & friends, reading, and quilting
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy of teaching is that it needs to be student-centered and students need to be equal partners in the process. My goal is to find the learning style of the student, whether it be visual, auditory, verbal, or tactile, and create lessons where the student can use that strength.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
While I've never liked the term test because it instantly causes anxiety for some students - I would give some type of assessment to make sure that the student understands the material we are working on and is able to complete this same material on their own.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
When a student begins learning a missing component of a subject, a way to interpret it differently, or an educational "trick" - this gives them the confidence they need to be successful.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
In order to evaluate a student's needs, there are many different types of assessment inventories. These give the tutor/teacher an insight into what the student is missing and the needs they have for a particular subject.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Adapting the tutoring to a specific student is based on the learning style of that student. It is the tutor/teacher's job to find how he/she learns best and adjust the process to be more tactile, visual, verbal, or auditory.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
If the student's textbook is available, that would be the perfect resource. However, if that was not available, I have many resources from my classroom, and also, I'm a member of many teaching websites that I can draw materials from.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During a first tutoring session, I feel it's important to establish rapport with the student, discuss with the parent and student what goal they would like to reach, and create a schedule of items that will be covered in future tutoring sessions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
In order for a child to become an independent learner, they need the basic skills to be able to solve whatever problem they are given. My job is to instruct a student on how to do self-questioning, self-checking, and rethinking skills to be able to move forward in a lesson on their own. Once a student feels confident in those skills, it's easier to become an independent learner.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
As an instructor, finding what motivates a student can be one of the most important goals. I would discuss with the student their likes/dislikes of motivators (extra play time, treats, computer time, etc.) and discuss with the parent what guidelines they would like me to follow.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
When a student is having difficulty in learning a skill or concept, it's essential to find another avenue. Each student learns differently, and there are many ways to solve a problem in whatever skill or concept you are working on. Many times, going back to the basics and beginning again is the key to understanding what may have been missed or misunderstood.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
This is an area that I feel very confident in, having worked with many students who struggle with reading comprehension. A student may be a very good reader, but not able to describe details of the story. We would work on techniques to self-question as they read. Learning what to look for while you read is the first step - you must know the who, what, when, where, why, and how of every story. With this knowledge, the student can then building up their reading comprehension.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
One of the most important strategies when beginning work with a student is building rapport. I feel it's very important for a student to know that we will work together to find a solution to what they are having difficulty with. I never want a student to feel that I'm there as a punishment; our tutoring sessions should be a time to relax and find new strategies to be successful.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
In my past experience, the way to get a student excited/engaged in a subject is to relate that to their own life. Students who can relate a specific subject to real life events or future goals can become more excited about learning.