Leading a child to discover their potential is a rewarding service. Each child has the capability to learn. Providing the right environment and conditions with proper amounts of scaffolding, a child can master necessary skills in education and in life. There is definite celebration in this. In remaining genuine to who I am, I can tell you that my gifts to share, in addition to my subject qualifications are patience, care, a discerning mind, persistency, and determination. All which help to encourage and inspire a struggling learner disenchanted with classwork and teacher demands. I approach the whole and break it into manageable and obtainable steps. I make a point to celebrate the successes along the way. I have the necessary "young" people skills and behavior modification techniques to inspire a child to identify and move toward achieving goals in their academic work, whether s(he) is middle school aged or a kindergartener. My prior experience as a teacher and specialist in the public and parochial education system is enough to qualify for being your child's tutor in reading, writing, mathematics and organizational/study skills. My personal goals are to retain a healthy lifestyle. In the midst of a career change, I have found it most important, but equally most challenging especially as busy as I am meeting peoples' schedules. I'm most myself when biking on the Katy Trail or hiking a newly discovered trail. My new hobbies are knitting and reading. As a K-6 Reading Specialist, I have spent 17 yrs with my nose in textbooks and analyzing students' reading. Now that I have more time for leisure, I have found joy reading historical fiction. Ideally, I would like clients to invest in my tutoring for a year and beyond. I remain open for shorter commitments especially if there is a catch up concern due to a slip. The urgency for tutoring at the last minute prior to testing or graduation is concerning. To avoid wasting your time and mine, I refrain from such practices. My time is as valuable as yours and your child's. I am a "big kid at heart" with a warm smile and present myself as easy-going, flexible and sociable. I bring this to my sessions in a balanced manner. I can be firm when necessary, consistent, thorough, and professional in voice and demeanor. I like to maintain a healthy relationship with my clients that would only result in mutual respect.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Missouri State University in Springfield - Bachelors, Elementary Education
Graduate Degree: University of Missouri St Louis - Masters, Elementary Education with Reading Emphasis
biking, Pilates, reading, knitting, photography
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
A child's physical and emotional needs must first be met for optimal learning to occur. Facilitating the child through new learning, making connections to known information, and having purposeful conversations on their discoveries, aid in meaningful and positive results
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Prior to an initial session, conversations with parents and the child are necessary for building rapport. Additionally, other pieces of information on the child's interests, strengths and hobbies would allow for me to tailor my instruction for the particular needs of that student I am about to tutor.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
As a facilitator, it would be my responsibility to provide just the right amounts of scaffolding initially; higher support with new learning, and adjusting the level of support as the student moves toward independent learning.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Keeping the child confident in all points of the session, whether it is learning new information in a favored topic area as well as in an area that is less favored. Keeping him or her motivated with continuous feedback is just as important.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
When there is difficulty, it is most likely due to a breakdown at some point in their learning years due to a subsequent skill or set of skills not mastered. Revisiting those skills and providing clarification would be my first move.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
If a child is struggling at comprehending text, I would first think about the text itself and assess where the difficulty lies: is it the language being used? Is it the text structure? Vocabulary? Finding a proper reading level for instruction would be a shift I would need to make for the child. Giving all necessary assessments to determine a proper reading level would determine then what level is appropriate for building their reading comprehension.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Cognitive strategies where the child thinks about their decisions and why they made them. To get a child to think about what moves they made and why they worked or didn't work, and then making a new plan for future learning.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would help a child through moments of difficulty by helping them reach their goal in a more manageable way. Sometimes unrealistic goals are set, thus making it too difficult to reach. Children need more moments of success. Avoiding disappointments by setting meaningful goals, would lead to greater chances of success.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Informal, formal and summative assessments, along with conversation the child has with me that communicates a full understanding would ensure mastery.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
To build a student's confidence in a subject requires rehearsal with known information (what I consider brain warm-ups) and slowly introducing new information in increments, being careful not to teach too much or demand too much when confidence is low.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
In order to evaluate a student's needs, I would inquire from the parents prior to the first tutoring session. As a Reading Specialist, with a background in teaching struggling readers, I would observe with a keen eye how the child responds throughout the early sessions and adjust accordingly as tutoring sessions continue. I'd communicate with the parents along the way as well.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Adaptations and modifications will be necessary when the child displays hardships in any part and at any point of the tutoring sessions. Adjusting my language level used as well as providing aids and tools for the learner would be considered.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Materials used depends on the child's needs. Typically, a session would include appropriate level texts, with proper tools and visual aids to enhance the learning.