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Michael

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I am originally from Buffalo, New York and am a graduate of the State University of New York at Geneseo. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish with two minors: International Relations and Central and Eastern European Studies. I cemented my fluidity in Spanish by studying abroad in Cadiz, Spain and taking a wide variety of linguistics courses at the Universidad de Cadiz. I have been a bilingual teacher in Arlington ISD for the past three years and have been tutoring in various capacities since 2007, having tutored college students in all levels of Spanish and German, volunteered to teach Spanish-speaking migrant workers English, and tutored international students at my college's ESOL Center during my college experience. After graduating, I performed one-on-one, in-home tutoring for students in grades K-12 in Math and English Language Arts. I also worked as a tour guide in New York City for three years, teaching tourists from all around the world about the city's unique history, architecture and culture. I currently work as a bilingual sixth grade teacher, teaching English Language Arts and Social Studies. All of these experiences have definitely made my passion for working in education grow, and have shown me that I have an aptitude for helping people of all ages to understand the concepts that they need to reach their goals and improve their quality of life. I love what I do and hope to be able to use the knowledge and skills that I have accumulated to help my clients fulfill their dreams. In my spare time, I love to travel to new places and to learn more and more about other languages and cultures.

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Michael’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: SUNY at Geneseo - Bachelors, Spanish

Hobbies

Seeing the world, Trying new foods, Learning about different languages and cultures

Tutoring Subjects

AP Spanish Language & Culture

AP Spanish Literature and Culture

Conversational Spanish

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing

English

English Grammar and Syntax

ESL/ELL

Essay Editing

Languages

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing

SAT Subject Test in Spanish with Listening

SAT Subject Tests Prep

Spanish

Spanish 1

Spanish 2

Spanish 3

Spanish 4

STAAR Grades 3-8 Prep

Test Prep

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is that every student has the potential to learn, but each in his or her own unique way. Understanding each student's unique learning style as well as what motivates him or her to achieve new goals is essential in the teaching process.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

In a typical first session with a student, I would introduce myself, including discussing my background and teaching philosophy. I would also ask the student to introduce themselves, discussing their interests and the academic goals that he or she wants to achieve. We would discuss the regular schedule that we would want to establish as well, including where and when to meet on a weekly basis. We would also discuss what resources we would be using and get started on what the student is currently working on.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I can help a student become an independent learner by teaching him or her study skills to aid in processing and retaining content. I can also help the student to organize his or her materials and information in ways that help make studying more efficient, such as by using two- and three-column notes and graphic organizers.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I would first have the student complete some practice questions that involve the skill or concept with which he or she is having trouble. I would then review these problems with the student to hone in on which part of the skill or concept he or she does not understand. I would then focus on different ways to reteach the concept or skill, focusing on the component that is most hindering understanding.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

There are several key tenets of reading comprehension on which we would need to focus when working on this particular skill. Increasing vocabulary by honing both dictionary skills and context clue skills would be crucial. Working on key skills such as making inferences and interpreting figurative language would also be essential. A pre-assessment may be a good idea to determine which skills we need to work on the most, especially in preparing for a state assessment.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

When starting to work with a student, one strategy that I have found to be useful is performing a learning styles inventory to see what type of learner the student is (audio, visual, kinesthetic, etc.). Therefore, material can be presented to the learner in the way that it will be best retained. Getting to know what motivates and interests the student is also a good strategy in order to help students relate to the content and see why they need to learn it.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I would help a student get engaged with a subject that he or she is struggling in by using a variety of resources to present information, including visuals such as photos, charts, graphs and videos. I would also use every opportunity I had to relate the content to the student's everyday life, helping the student to see the pertinence of what he or she is learning.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

To be sure that a student understands the material, I would implement constant written and verbal checks for understanding. I would do this by asking key questions to ensure that the student understands every aspect of what is being studied.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

I would build a student's confidence in a subject by starting the student off with questions from the Remember and Understand levels of Bloom's Taxonomy before working our way up to questions at the level of Analyze, Evaluate and Create.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I would evaluate a student's needs by looking at past assignments and assessments given by his or her teacher, or by giving my own assessment, if necessary, to determine on which key areas we need to focus.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I adapt my tutoring to my students' needs by implementing constant checks for understanding. I look at the results of these checks for understanding to determine what concepts I may need to review with the student or reteach in different ways.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

During a tutoring session, I try to use the materials that the student already has, particularly if the student if supposed to use those specific materials to complete his or her assignments. Depending on the subject, I also bring in outside resources, such as standardized test preparation materials, worksheets and practice questions from key websites that I use as resources in my classroom.

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