In my personal quest to learn what are some of the most important values in life to have, I discovered "What good is it to learn and discover, if I don't share it with others. That's when I decided to become a teacher. Learning and Teaching are like two peas in a pod. I graduated from the University of Tampa, with a degree in Psychology and Women Studies. I went on to the University of Puerto Rico where I then completed my degree in Secondary Education. I was given the opportunity to work with CDC in Houston, Texas, because they desperately needed people who were bilingual, I speak Spanish. While working in Public Health I became passionate about learning how to live a “healthy” life. I completed my MPH, masters in Public Health with a concentration in education and community health. While In public health I was hired to be part of a special task force for HIV/AIDS. This group of people our job was to educated the city of Houston. This eventually led into writing grants and then actually directing one myself. My divorce led to me back into the classroom because I needed to have a work schedule compatible with my daughter’s… This became the best decision ever and will never regret having entered this field. I have been able to make a difference in the lives of so many students. They still haunt me in facebook...LOL… The subject I taught was an elective called Health Science Technology Education. I prepared students for the healthcare industry. I taught anatomy and physiology, medical terms, medical ethics, and much more.. I taught students how to live a “Healthy” life. The last ten years of teaching I worked part time with one of the health facilities my students rotated to… North Houston Birth Center; I became a doula, health coach, and childbirth educator. In those ten years at NHBC, I was privileged to be the doula for 9 of my students. Nutrition is number one on my list of learning how to live healthy. My advice to my students was “Question everything”... never be satisfied with a pat answer or hearsay… if they can’t substantiate their claim it isn’t worth discussing… No matter the apparent source.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of South Florida-Main Campus - Bachelors, Psycology
Graduate Degree: The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston - Masters, Community health and education
Nutrition, Natural childbirth, bicycle, sailing, volleyball, reading
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
To teach sincerely, honestly and admit your errors... There is always room to learn something new and/or to change beliefs and points of view.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
This is crucial to becoming a functional, contributing member of our society. It's learning to become a problem solver. Some solutions are to not give them the answer, do their homework for them, or bail them out right away. Challenges are very important because it builds experience and confidence. Without these, it is very difficult to have the stamina you need to overcome life's obstacles. Learning to stand on your own two feet is very, very important to your survival. And one more thing, it should teach you when to ask for help. :)
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Instead of reading the same passage over and over, I would assist the student to write down what they understand so far and use that as a springboard to continue with questions that would make the reading experience more personalized - i.e. to things they can related to in their life.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Like a puzzle, I start looking for the pieces that fit. It's about the learner and how they best learn. It's important to learn what their needs are... With that as a basis, you can then find the strategies that best fit the learner.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Look and find what you can make relevant to their lives and to the career they would like to pursue. Have them see how relevant it is to understanding how this world works.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Have them verbally discuss the topic, have them write a summary, have them answer questions, and have them teach it to someone in the family or to me.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I don't do the building as much as they do. As they improve and feel better about what they are learning, this will build their confidence.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I would test their comprehension, their writing skills, and their listening skills. Can they follow directions? Sometimes that's all it is. Learning how to follow directions, learning the importance of reading the small print, and following through.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I listen, observe and ask pertinent questions. Ask them what they perceive their needs are...talk to them.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Depending on the subject. In addition to books, there is a wealth of information for anything and everything online. We are in the informative era; materials abound, it's just a matter of learning to ask the right question to locate the right materials needed.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Definitely get to know the student by assessing his or her needs. Ask them about their interests; what do they want to be when they grow up?
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation is something that comes from within, but I can help them to want it if they can see how relevant learning whatever the subject may be is to making them the kind of person they wish to become as an adult.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Break it down, and step by step find where the obstacle is. By applying it to real life situations, or to their life experiences.