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McKenna

I have recently graduated with dual degrees in education and in dance. I am passionate about learning and am excited to share that passion with students of all ages and abilities.

Undergraduate Degree:

Ohio University-Main Campus - Bachelors, Middle Childhood Education (Grades 4-9)

ACT Composite: 29

ACT English: 30

ACT Math: 26

ACT Reading: 32

ACT Science: 28

Dance, Reading, Movies, Writing

American Literature

College Application Essays

College English

College Geography

College Level American History

College Level American Literature

College World History

Elementary School

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing

GED Social Studies

High School English

High School Geography

High School Level American History

High School Level American Literature

High School World History

High School Writing

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing

Other

Spelling Bee

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

What is your teaching philosophy?

I think that it is most important to teach students to think for themselves rather than let others dictate their beliefs and opinions. I also strongly believe in individualized education and catering to each student's needs on a case-by-case basis. People don't just learn from being given information; there are an infinite amount of paths to learning and interacting with information.

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

Typically, I like to get to know the student. We will discuss concerns and difficulties in the subject or in school, but also hobbies and things that the student does for enjoyment. This gives both of us a better idea of whom we are working with and gives me a better idea of how to make our sessions enjoyable and productive.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I think the best way to help a student to become an independent learner is to guide them in discovering their personal learning preferences. I find that students who are able to identify their learning needs and speak openly about them are much more successful in setting goals and meeting those goals, eventually without supervision.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I do everything I possibly can to make my lessons fun. I've used online CSI games to teach DNA testing and forensics. I take students outside of the typical "learning environment," and use subject matter, analogies, or explanations that are relevant and interesting to them. I don't think learning should be "work."

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

I would change my approach. Sometimes that means setting the skill or concept aside and giving myself and the student time to digest the information. Every time a student interacts with material, I am receiving information about what works and what doesn't work for that student. If a student is having difficulty consistently, then I would take a step back and ask myself what is working and what isn't working and revisit it at the next session with a fresh perspective.

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

I think the first step is to identify why the student is struggling with reading comprehension. Are they reading too fast? Stumbling over vocabulary? Once we are able to diagnose the challenges associated with reading comprehension, I will be better prepared to increase the student's fluency. I think it is also important to model reading comprehension and fluency for the student. Sometimes it can make a big difference for a student to see and hear the way a fluent reader interacts with a text, rather than being told how to interact with it.

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

When I start to work with a student, I try to begin building a mutual relationship with him/her. I try to find common ground and express that we are both working toward the same goal: academic success. I want our sessions to be beneficial for both of us together.

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

Besides making it fun and entertaining, I think it is vital to make learning relevant. The most obscure and abstract topics will always have some relevant or meaningful application, and finding that application makes a huge difference. I was also the student to ask "why do we have to learn this" and "when will we ever use this?" I hated receiving answers such as "because I said." Material should be made relevant to the student and to the world around them.

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

Assessments are always key, but not assessments in the traditional sense. Assessing student learning can be as simple as having them write or communicate a reflection of their learning or answering a series of questions. Assessments can also be created by the student as if they were going to be administering a series of questions to me. This gives students more ownership of their learning. I like to assess students before and after a session to monitor learning.

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

Positive reinforcement. I never ask students to complete tasks that they will not be capable of completing and when they do complete the tasks, I always offer positive feedback. A student who is really struggling may need more scaffolding to reach the desired end product, but seeing a series of smaller successes over the course of the session can do a lot for a student's confidence, not only in the subject, but in their ability to be successful.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I always want to be open with a student about their learning needs. I think students are much more informed about what works and doesn't work for them than I am, so I always give them the opportunity to communicate those needs to me. I also constantly reflect on my lessons and sessions and ask myself what could be done better for each particular student.

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

I will use anything and everything I deem necessary to engage the particular student with whom I am working. This could mean colored paper and markers, laptops, books, basketballs, flashcards, blocks, etc. Depending on the age of the student, the subject, and the student's interests, I use every material I can get my hands on to optimize learning.

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

I assess and evaluate student needs and interests before, during, and after each session and ask myself what could be done better. Where did the student feel successful and where did they face challenges? Were the challenges too difficult? Questions like these help me change my approach and make every session engaging and productive.