I have been an elementary teacher for 7 years in several grade levels. I enjoy teaching all areas but especially love math and reading. These are passions of mine, and you can often find me reading my own books whenever I have time. I believe that a positive environment is the key to learning. When students are happy, safe, and enjoying their tasks, they acquire new information much more quickly and easily. It is my mission to always create this environment with my students and those I tutor. I have experience tutoring both elementary and middle school students in all subjects and have done this privately for many years. When I am not teaching you can find me reading, hiking, running, or playing with my son.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University California Davis - Bachelors, International Relations
Graduate Degree: San Francisco State University - Masters, Multiple Subject Teaching Credential
I enjoy reading, hiking, running, and playing with my son.
10th Grade Math
11th Grade Math
12th Grade Math
1st Grade Math
1st Grade Reading
1st Grade Writing
2nd Grade Math
2nd Grade Reading
2nd Grade Writing
3rd Grade Math
3rd Grade Reading
3rd Grade Science
3rd Grade Writing
4th Grade Math
4th Grade Reading
4th Grade Science
4th Grade Writing
5th Grade Math
5th Grade Reading
5th Grade Science
5th Grade Writing
6th Grade Math
6th Grade Reading
6th Grade Science
6th Grade Writing
7th Grade Math
7th Grade Reading
7th Grade Science
7th Grade Writing
8th Grade Math
8th Grade Reading
8th Grade Science
8th Grade Writing
9th Grade Math
9th Grade Reading
9th Grade Writing
College Level American History
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Science
Elementary School Writing
High School Chemistry
High School English
High School Level American History
High School Writing
Middle School Reading
Middle School Science
Middle School Writing
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that a positive classroom, one where students cooperate and help one another, is the key to learning. With morning meetings, open discussions, and peer-to-peer interactions students become comfortable in the classroom since they have built the environment where they are working and learning. Every morning we discuss our classroom and ourselves, share events in our lives and experiences we will have. We use the Tribes system of activities to create a classroom of positive learners. With clearly defined rules, class jobs, and a strong sense of community students take pride in their classroom, their space, and their peers. Students become used to helping one another in their groups answer questions, solve problems, and rely on each other. The students are focused through their sense of community in the class and doing what is right. There are clear expectations that have been established since the beginning of the year. The students have demonstrated right and wrong behaviors and understand the consequences of their actions. I use "attention getters" when needed to focus the classroom and to transition to new activities. The transitions themselves are short and orderly as these are commonplace and have been practiced. They know that in their community they have the support of their classmates and the freedom to make choices.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I work hard to find students books and reading materials that are at their level. I use many strategies to reach students. We read together, read separately, do picture walks, phonics review, comprehension questions, KWL charts, and many others. The key is often finding something the student can relate to or has interest in. Once that is reached, their horizons can be broadened.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
It is important to get to know who I am working with and for them to get to know me. Trust and respect need to be established for any in depth learning to happen. I find commonalities between myself and my student, and we share interests both within academics and outside.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I try to relate subjects to the student. How has it/will it affect them? What can they do with this knowledge? Why is what we are learning important? Once this happens, a student is more committed to learning.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
This depends on the subject and the student, but frequently I ask a student to prove to me how they know something. They need to explain their thinking.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
We start off slow. Easier problems at the beginning to boost confidence and to get the basics, and then we start working on more challenging problems. I always show the student that if they do something that is easy, they can also do it if it is hard as the steps are often similar.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
In order to evaluate the student's needs I speak with them and watch them work. I listen to their thinking on a problem and their explanation of an answer. I am always analyzing a student's work and looking for areas to help them improve.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
As an elementary teacher, I have experience teaching many students many different subjects. I am always changing my teaching methods. If a student learns better visually, I will offer more pictures. If a student learns better by reading, I will write instructions or steps down for them to look back at. However the student learns best, I am always adapting how I teach to their needs.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
This depends on the subjects. In math, I will have manipulatives, games, counters and many other tools to help the students. In reading, I use fiction and nonfiction books, phonics cards, and fluency phrases among others. It is all about finding the right tools to help the student.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During the first session I will get to know the student. I will ask what they are doing in school, their likes and dislikes, how they like to learn, what they do for fun, and anything else that will help me learn about who they are. We will work on some preliminary assignments as I begin to assess their abilities before we progress onto more challenging work.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
In order to become independent, a student first needs confidence. I work with students, slowly getting more difficult and slowly putting more and more of the responsibility on them.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation is a key factor to learning. I want to make sure that my students are always interested in what they are learning. This is done through relating the material to them and their lives, providing incentives, but most importantly, increasing the intrinsic value that learning has.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student is struggling, I first find the reason. After I have assessed them, I isolate their hardship and begin to work on that. I begin with easier work to ensure that they grasp the concepts, and then increase the difficulty. Once the concept is mastered, I rework the idea into the original skill.