I've been a teacher for the past 5 years and loved ever second of it, with experience ranging from Kinder through Fourth Grade. I've taught in two states: Oklahoma and Texas. I also have Gifted and Talented Certification and English as a Second Language Certification (meaning I can teach English Language Learners).
I graduated from High School in 2008 from Joshua High School located in Joshua, Texas.
I earned my degree (Bachelors of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Early Childhood through 6th Grade Education) from the University of Texas at Arlington where I attended 2008-2012.
Classroom teaching has always been my passion but now I'm looking for a different way to use my skills and still work with the students and children who light up my life!
Undergraduate Degree: The University of Texas at Arlington - Bachelors, Interdisciplinary Studies
Reading, Writing, Painting, Yoga, and Self-Improvement/Growth.
College Level American History
High School Level American History
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
It is my personal philosophy that each student learns in a very unique way. Every mind is different and processes information differently. Hence, the well-known studies of audio, visual, and kinesthetic learning types.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, I like to first get to know the student I'm working with, e.g. likes, dislikes, interests, and attitude toward academia in general. I also like giving students some similar information about myself, because if a student feels like they are being taught by a stranger, they are likely to be less engaged.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Scaffolding! It is a systematic and proven method to increase the independence of learners. It is simply providing students with enough support until they learn the concept, and then, little by little, support is removed. Some examples of support include doing show and tell, tapping into prior knowledge, giving time to talk, pre-teaching vocabulary that will be used, or using visual aids and manipulatives.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
It is my knowledge that there are two kinds of recognized motivations: intrinsic and extrinsic.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning or retaining a concept, I first model. I may model for one or two full tutoring sessions, providing scaffolding along the way. If the skill or concept still isn't being grasped, I supply different methods of delivery. This could range anywhere from games to YouTube videos (yes, I said YouTube videos). There are so many great untapped resources that can assist a student that is struggling.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Practice, practice, practice! Reading is just like a muscle. The more you use this skill, the stronger it gets. This is true for children as well as adults. If you don't use it, you lose it!
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
As I've said previously, it is my experience that modeling is the most successful strategy. It appeals to audio, visual, and kinesthetic learners. A student will hear me explain the process or skill (audio), see me perform the process or skill (visual), and have the chance to actually do it themselves, mirroring the way I delivered the process or skill (kinesthetic).
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Children/students LOVE stories. When I worked in the classroom, I would try to start every lesson with a story, either a story from the library or a personal story of my own experience involving the skill/concept/idea that was about to be introduced. This method is called a hook. When you hook a student in and catch their interest from the beginning, there is less likelihood of disengagement or boredom.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I prefer using pre- and post-assessments. After I have done a pre-assessment, I have my work cut out for me and know exactly what our time would be most valuably spent accomplishing. After we have successfully practiced multiple times and the student SEEMS to have grasped the concept, I supply a quick and small post-assessment as proof the student has a firm understanding. We then continue to practice or review the skill in following tutoring sessions to ensure retention.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Nothing is more personal than a compliment from a teacher or tutor. I make sure to verbally recognize every accomplishment or skill mastered by a student.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I use pre-assessments and an informal interview with the student and parent. I also like to have some sort of direction from the student's regular teacher as well. If it is my first few times meeting the student, I need to gather as much information as I possibly can. Who better to speak with than the student and the people who they spend a majority of their time with?
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt my tutoring style by finding each student's learning style. If they learn better through music, I find songs that cover the skill. If they respond better in a natural environment, we will sit outside and work together. Whatever way a student learns best, that's what I do my best to supply.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
The types of materials I use depend on the subject I'm teaching. For example, it is a lot easier to teach math and arithmetic with manipulatives. As for writing and reading, manipulatives probably aren't appropriate; therefore, I may rely more on dry-erase boards or storybooks.