Enthusiastic elementary school teacher effective at providing quality instruction while fostering a positive learning environment for students.
I have had 42 years of teaching experience. I have taught children from pre-school age to fifth grade. I have taught in private schools, public school, home school and in my own school. I love teaching children how to read, write and beginning math skills.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe teaching young children should be fun. If they are enjoying the lesson, their attention span is increased and they are more motivated to grasp the concept being taught.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would begin by giving the student an informal inventory of the area to be taught. In doing this, I can better understand the student's strengths and weaknesses. This would eliminate wasting time teaching details which have already been mastered.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
After teaching a concept I would give the student an assignment to complete, which would reflect his/her understanding of the material which was taught. Then I would give the student instructions on new material which they would look at and complete questions. I would be able to see from their answers whether they have understood what they have studied independently.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
To stay motivated, a student should not be frustrated by having to attempt to answer questions which are above his level of understanding. Also, the student should not be presented material which is below his level of understanding. He should be challenged but never frustrated or bored.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would reteach the concept very slowly and clearly, and then have the student pretend that I am the learner and explain to me how to carry out the skill or concept in his own words.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
After the student finishes reading a segment of the story, I would ask him/her to explain to me what just happened in the story using their own words.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found that it is helpful to ask the child what most interests them. Many times you can use that interest while teaching certain concepts, and the student will remain engaged for longer periods.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would use their own area of interest to teach the concept. Many times acting out various scenarios around the subject being taught will get the child excited about what is being taught. Getting up and moving around with the child while teaching will often make them more engaged in the learning process than sitting with paper and pencil.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I enjoy using the "You Teach" method to make sure a student really has a grasp on the material. First, I teach the material then I turn and say, "Now you teach me what I have just finished teaching you."
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I like to praise a child when I can see that they are putting out an effort to grasp a subject. Even if they have not been completely successful, I would continue to encourage the child along the way.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I observe the student as they are working and notice what causes them to reach a level of frustration and what they seem to do effortlessly. I also listen carefully to the questions they ask. In doing this, I can slow down and reteach the areas they are struggling in and move past those areas which have obviously been mastered.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
If a student is having trouble in a certain area, I look at different approaches to teaching the same concept. Some students are visual learners. In that case, I would use more visual examples of the concept. Some students are "hands on" learners. In that case, I would use more manipulatives to teach. Some students are auditory learners, in which case I might tell stories as examples in the concepts being taught.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use games which I often make myself that zero in on the area needing to be studied. If the student needs counting practice, I would use various items to stack in groups of ten. I have also used stories which reflect the concept being taught. Every session will usually also include paper, pencil and often a worksheet which highlights the subject.