I feel I am qualified for the position of a Varsity Tutor considering my experience as a certified teacher in secondary Math education. Additionally, I have a passion and love for teaching with a belief that all students can learn when Math is made relatable to their everyday lives. One of the main focuses on Math instruction for 21st Century learners is being able to apply Mathematics using reasoning, modeling, and critical thinking.
I'm currently teaching at a high school. I've had the pleasure of being an educator for over 10 years. I started out as a substitute teacher but used my math background to help classrooms that did not have certified teachers in them. In 2009, I became a certified Math teacher. I've taught Algebra 2 most of my teaching career. Also, I taught Algebra 1, Geometry, Pre-Calculus and Calculus (Only 1 year). Teaching Math to students can be quite challenging at times, but I've had great success over the years due to my ability to communicate with students in a way they can understand. I like to use things that are relevant and things they can relate to. I'm a very detailed teacher and love explaining how Math works. I teach Math through questioning and check for understanding. I believe that one skill should build on another and be applied.
Undergraduate Degree: Kean University - Bachelors, Mathematics
Graduate Degree: Concordia University-Portland - Masters, Educational Leadership
Tutoring, watching movies, and playing chess.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I teach based on what helps students understand. I like to mention objects, events or things that are relevant, which will help students understand. Checking for understanding throughout the lesson is a priority. By checking for understanding, it helps me to determine what my next steps are or if I need to make adjustments. Also, talking to students about things they can relate to helps them remember based on experience of themselves or others.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I may ask several questions related to the problems or issues they are having. Also, I will ask them to demonstrate how to approach the problem. Then I will point out where the errors are and ask why they think the errors are continuing to occur. After, I would model how to approach the problem and explain why. Once the student states that they understand, I would give them a few problems to demonstrate their understanding.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become independent by first encouraging them to believe in themselves. As I give them problems, I can have them check their own steps and work to see if the approach used is correct. In addition to having them check their own work, I can ask higher order or open ended questions that will help the thought process and deepen their understanding. Giving oral feedback helps as well. Also, I would have them set goals for themselves and reflect on their performance. This will allow them to take control of their own learning.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would help a student stay motivated by offering the student options or control of the assignment they are going to complete. Also, I can offer a reward for the effort they put into their work.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill, I would try to determine where they are having a difficult time by asking for the steps and approach used towards the problem. After determining the student's misunderstanding, I would review or take a different approach.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would try to help them make connections with things that are relevant to them. Then I would demonstrate how I make connections. Asking questions can help guide them to think or look for clues. Sometimes we may have to read together and make inferences.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The strategies that seem to be most successful when I start working with a student are (1) identifying the problem, (2) demonstrating how to approach the problem, (3) asking them questions to make sure they understand, (4) having them demonstrate and (5) checking for their understanding.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in by connecting what I am teaching to real world situations (relevance), give the student choices (they feel more in control), and show them different approaches to the problems.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
A technique I would use to be sure that the student understands the material is question them. When the student gives their answers, I would ask them to justify their work. The student would have to tell me why it works, how can it be used in the real world and explain their steps and reasoning.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
You can help build a student's confidence by acknowledging them in front of others. Try not to correct everything they do or mention an error. Keep a positive attitude, let the student know that you believe in them, and encourage them to do better.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I would use formative and summative assessments over a period of time. I will check their progress throughout and try to determine what methods or approaches are most effective. Also, I will try to identify what modifications are needed to help the student.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
If a student has a difficult time with auditory, I would provide visuals, study guides, worksheets or use flashcards. If a student has difficulty expressing themselves verbally, I would use graphs, charts or a table. Also, I would ask questions that only require short answers. If the student has difficulty reading, I would shorten the reading, find a text at their level and help the student visualize what is being read.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Types of materials I typically use during a tutoring session are homework, whiteboards, activity sheets, a laptop or a cell phone.