Hello! My name is Elizabeth. I am in the Post-Baccalaureate Education program at Pima Community College getting my Secondary Teaching Certificate in mathematics . My goal is to be a middle or high school math teacher. I graduated from the University of California at Davis with a Bachlors of Arts degree in economics. I am mother to four wonderful children (three boys ages 16, 14, & 7, one girl age 9). My experience teaching includes computer software training, tutoring mathematics (pre-algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry) and economics, a few years spent home schooling my children, as well as substitute teaching. I look forward to working with you!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of California at Davis - Bachelors, Economics
running, gardening, cooking, skiing
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to get to know my student's interests, hobbies, and goals, and then tailor my teaching lessons to show students how understanding mathematics will benefit their life.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Before meeting in person or online with a student, I like to call and introduce myself. During this first phone call, I can find out what material the student uses in class, what they are struggling with, and what we need to accomplish during our first tutoring session. When possible, I try to get a copy of the student's textbook, assignments, and tests. This allows me to go through exactly what the student is learning so I can best help him or her during the tutoring session. After reviewing the material, we meet in person or online for our tutoring session. I have a reference sheet with definitions of the concepts and terms we will use in the session. We briefly review these terms. I have many homework and/or test question worked out with step by step instructions. I go over this with the student, watching to see if they are comprehending the concept. Should we run out of time, I leave the solutions for the student to reference while they finish studying. I also ask them to text or email me if they have questions in between tutoring sessions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I use a scaffolding technique with student, which begins with step-by-step instructions on how to solve a problem. After reviewing this, I remove the step-by-step instructions, and to see if the students is able to correctly solve the problem. If they struggle, I ask questions to guide them in the right direction to solve the next step. After correctly solving a problem, I have them solve another similar problem on their own, while explaining to me each step as they complete it. I believe once a student is able to teach a concept, that shows they have mastered it.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I find the area where the gap in understanding begins, and back up the learning to master that concept BEFORE moving on. Students feel lost in math because a previous concept was missed or incorrect. It is important in math to go back and fill in learning gaps, since success in math depends upon mastering each concept in order.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
To help with reading comprehension, I encourage students to markup paragraphs as they read. Teaching proper annotation skills is especially important for students who struggle in reading comprehension. I have them highlight important dates, facts, and ideas. Asking for, or helping them create, a summary questions at the end of each paragraph/page keeps their focus on the story. When tutoring math, I have students underline information that is given, and circle what they need to find. When they come across terms they forgot or are new, I have them jot down the term and a definition in their notebooks, margin, or on a sheet of paper, for quick reference.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Asking questions about the student's hobbies and interests is a strategy that has been successful for me when tutoring or teaching. Getting to know the student shows the student that I care about them. It also allows me to reference their hobbies when teaching by creating example questions that the student can relate to.