I recently moved to Spokane, WA from Alaska where I taught for 16 years around the state in sixth grade and middle school. I am an elementary school teacher with a passion for language arts, math, and thinking outside of the box! I have worked with many students with different learning styles, needs, abilities, and personalities.
As a tutor, I will provide support and reinforcement of topics being taught in the classroom. I will help the student work through the problem and give them opportunities to figure out the answer on their own without feeding it to them. I want to give the students confidence in their abilities to transform them into better problem solvers and thinkers. I will provide feedback and challenge my students to dig deeper and make decisions on their own with guidance and support. As a tutor, it is important to provide a positive, safe, encouraging, and fun learning environment. I will help students gain an appreciation for school and learning. The end goal in mind, other than solving the problem correctly or finishing up the assignment, is to feel a sense of accomplishment and success, which will increase the student’s motivation for learning.
Outside of tutoring, I enjoy a plethora of activities. This includes traveling and experiencing cultures, reading, cooking, arts and crafts, DIY home projects, watching movies, playing in my garden, riding my pink cruiser bike, and embarking on adventures with my husband.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Alaska Anchorage - Bachelors, Elementary Education
Outside of teaching, I enjoy traveling, reading, cooking, arts and crafts including DIY projects, watching movies, riding my pink cruiser bike, and playing in my garden.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I recently moved to Spokane, WA, from Alaska, where I taught for 16 years around the state in sixth grade and middle school. I am an elementary school teacher with a passion for language arts, math, and thinking outside of the box! I have worked with many students with different learning styles, needs, abilities, and personalities.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Just like in a classroom, you get to know your students first before you delve into the curriculum. You find out their interests, strengths, weaknesses, and dreams. After you establish a connection, then you look at data and get a baseline where the student needs assistance.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
As a teacher, I give the student ample opportunities for practice before mastering a concept. We practice together, and then eventually they are working out the problem on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would use a variety of learning modalities to motivate a student by discovering their unique personality, identifying and developing their inner strengths, and balancing the curriculum so that it is not only applicable to the classroom, but also to their daily lives. I also use my sense of humor to connect and motivate my students.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Remaining patient is important when a student is struggling with a skill or concept. It is also my job, as a tutor, to find other ways to demonstrate or show the student how to learn the skill. If this fails, give them time to work through the frustration, and then come back to it when they are ready.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension is a skill that doesn't come easily to some students. I have found that taking smaller bites is easier than eating up the whole text. Asking inference questions while reading the text together is a great way to solidify understanding of the passage. Retelling at the end of the passage is another strategy when learning to comprehend text.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
When you first start to work with a student, I like to have a connection with them. I use humor to help break the ice and frustrations. Also, I have found that facilitating, rather than dictating, is a highly beneficial style of teaching. It is important to allow the student to explore while figuring out the process and answer. I allow my students to make mistakes and learn to problem solve with my support. When students are able to construct their own learning experiences they will not only retain information longer, but they will also become more confident in their abilities.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would bring other supporting resources to get them excited about the content. They would learn strategies to tackle the problem with practice in the areas they are struggling in. Adding games, background knowledge, videos, and stories are just a few ways to strive for success in struggling areas.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I use many techniques to see if a student is proficient in the material. Formative assessments are used constantly, whether I am just observing, using a thumbs up/down for understanding, extra practice, working one-on-one- I do--we do--you do strategy, demonstrating by doing or creating. These are effective ways to see if the student is grasping the concept.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Building confidence in subjects comes with a lot of work and practice. Review is important to see what has been retained. Positive reinforcements are important to remember when learning new content.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I am a data-based teacher. I look at the data given and also the student and see what needs to happen for success. I would contact the student's teacher and get more information if the student is comfortable with me attaining this information.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Each student is their own learner. I have never had an exact copy of a kid in my classroom. I look at the whole student and evaluate what learning style works best for the student. I also look at their strengths and use them to help build confidence in the student.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I will use materials that the student has been using, internet resources that connect to the standard they are learning, educational games for reinforcement, and my own strategies and tricks-of-the trade that keep my students motivated and excited to learn.