I am currently working as a high school teacher, but I have experience working with all age groups and couldn't possibly choose a favorite age of student! I am licensed in language arts and special education. I love working on writing, reading and algebra assignments. My favorite thing about working with students is when I succeed in making assignments interesting and relevant for them. I think that working one-on-one is so positive because the student gets 100% of the teacher's attention.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities - Bachelors, English Literature and Italian Studies
Graduate Degree: Saint Mary's University of Minnesota - Masters, Education
Reading, biking, walks around the lake
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that all students can achieve above-average learning in any subject. Students just need a good road map to get there.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Ask some questions about their age/grade and favorite school subjects. Find out what they like outside of school. Ask which school classes are hardest for them.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Students need good study skills such as good note-taking skills, outline skills, and querying skills while reading. Students also need to learn that making connections between assignments and their life helps activate their motivation to learn.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would help a student stay motivated by helping them make a personal connection between the assignment and their life outside of school.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Review the basic steps, use a hands-on technique, make flashcards, notes or a graphic organizer as needed, practice daily, and finally have the student explain the concept to me as if he or she was the teacher.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I help students who are struggling with reading comprehension by reviewing basic skills like highlighting the main idea, supporting answers with evidence from the text, making inferences and connections, and summarizing while reading. I also think paraphrasing aloud or in writing after reading is crucial. Finally, I like to apply critical reading skills at the student's independent reading level, not just their grade level.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I like to begin by building rapport. I listen to learn about the student's interests and favorite subjects in school. I also like to outline with the student what they hope to accomplish for the tutoring session and the long term goal for the project, class or exam for which they are seeking tutoring.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would try and help the student make a connection between the subject and something in their life. I would also strive to locate materials in the subject which are interesting to the student's hobbies outside of school.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I always try and give the student a choice of how they like to demonstrate understanding. For example: written answer, multiple choice quiz, illustrated example, oral argument, etc.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I make sure the student has a firm grasp on the basics of the subject before moving to more complicated material. I also make sure the student has a "road map" of how to initiate and finish tasks in the subject.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's needs using very brief quizzes that assess their skills. This might be a pre-test for an entire subject area, or it might be as simple as having them read a short passage aloud.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt to the student's needs by using differentiated materials and assignments for a student's individual levels. Pre-testing students to find their approximate skills and building lessons using backward design are two ways to accomplish this.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use level reading tests, outlines, graphic organizers, flashcards, notes and even short worksheets. I also make use of technology, such as interactive reading websites.