My name is Rica Mendoza and I am a credentialed teacher with a Masters degree in Education from UC Irvine. Currently, I am in my 7th year of teaching and am a 6th grade homeroom teacher and middle school Language Arts and Social Studies teacher.
Through my experience teaching, I have learned that teaching is life-giving, to both the teacher and the student. I have also learned that teaching is a community effort; it is a collaboration among students, parents, and teachers.
I am well prepared academically and by experience to contribute to the growth of your child. The education I have received through my credential program, as well as through my Masters in Education program has taught me the necessary skills needed to be an effective teacher. Continuing my education through professional development, especially in technology, has aided me in honing these skills to better reach my students. I have worked with students with diverse learning styles and have managed to successfully meet the needs of all of my students, whether they are on an IEP or are above grade level and are looking for a challenge.
I truly believe that education should be a journey of self-discovery; a journey where students find the courage to make mistakes, discover their own gifts and talents, and and use those gifts and talents to be life-giving themselves. I look forward to the opportunity to be a guiding force in ensuring your child's success.
Undergraduate Degree: University of California-Irvine - Bachelors, English
Graduate Degree: University of California-Irvine - Masters, Education
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that education should be life giving. Education, should open children's eyes to their worth and show them all the wonderful things they have to give. Education should be a journey of self-discovery; a journey where students find the courage to make mistakes, discover their gifts and talents, and use those gifts to be life-giving themselves. As teachers, we have a responsibility to walk daily with our students and to be their guide in helping them become the best versions of themselves.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session with a student, I will assess the student's needs, including their objectives, goals, and learning style.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty, I will find out what part of the skill or concept he/she finds most difficult. I will try to break down the skill into more manageable sections, and I will find visual resources to aid understanding.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I help students who are struggling with reading comprehension by finding reading material that interests them. I will teach skills that good readers use, like connecting, inferring, asking questions, predicting, visualizing, etc.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found that using visual aids or drawing pictures helps students better grasp abstract concepts. I have also learned that breaking tasks up into more manageable sections helps students to feel less overwhelmed and has helped them stay focused.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I feel that students are more engaged and get excited learning when they feel confident in their ability to understand the concepts. Therefore, I would first assess what in particular the student is having difficulty in and create lessons to aid in comprehension. I would also assess what the student's learning style is, which will guide what type of lessons/activities I plan.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would have students show their learning in a way that is most comfortable for them, whether it is a written response, oral response, or drawn picture.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I would build a student's confidence in a subject by breaking the subject into more manageable parts. When that is done, students can focus on one thing at a time, which increases their opportunity for success. The more they succeed in each of the parts, the more confident they will be overall.