I have twelve years experience working with both special education students and general education students as a substitute teacher in grades from kindergarten to middle school. In addition, I have worked for nine years as a tutor working one on one with students in their homes. I supported these students with reading skills and math skills. I am patient and modify my lessons as needed to meet the student's needs. Lessons are tailored to help students succeed and gain confidence.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Azusa Pacific University - Bachelors, Education
Graduate Degree: Azusa Pacific University - Masters, Special Education, Mild to Moderate
SAT Composite: 220
I was a fine arts major in college and presently I work with pencil and acrylic paints. Other interests I have are: catching up on my reading of the classics and reading about art history as well as gardening and cooking. In the past I enjoyed playing tennis, hiking, and some traveling.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that all students can learn and achieve to their highest potential. Learning can be a lifelong pursuit, both an enjoyable one and a rewarding one.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I introduce myself and explain to the student what we will be doing. We began with a short test so I can understand what areas they need support in. In talking with the student, I try to find out what concerns they have as well.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The strategies and techniques I teach are those that can be transferred to any subject matter. Skills in reading comprehension can be used in math word problems as well as in reading science text. Math skills are introduced with the understanding that the foundation that they have achieved can be used with more advanced math applications.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
With younger students, the lessons are short and mixed to stay within their attention span. Games can be used as well to make learning fun. Often with older students, I try to inject information that they may have an interest in. I try to judge when I can stay and develop a concept, or if I have to move on to something they might be more open to at the moment.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I can use a variety of manipulatives or visuals to help them see the concept in a different way. I often break the concept down into more basic steps, and repeat as needed. I can also research a better way of explaining the concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Students need to understand the vocabulary within the content material. Once they read a paragraph, I ask questions for understanding. They need to be able to summarize the main idea. Re-reading the material usual helps. Most students complain of losing concentration, and we work on that as well.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
First, reviewing the pretest that they were given helps me to prepare a lesson that will help them most. Listening carefully to how quickly or fully they respond to questions also gives me ideas in what areas we can work on as well. I try to make the student comfortable and assured that I am there to support them, and they can ask any questions to help further their understanding of the lesson.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
If the teacher is knowledgeable about a subject and enjoys it, the student might perceive there is something positive about it. They might be more willing to try again, especially if modifications are made to how the lesson is taught.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Students often explain to me how they derived an answer. Another method I use is to give informal assessments periodically and review old information just before we start new information.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
All students need feedback and assurance that they are on the right track or they have achieved the skill. For younger students, stickers or happy faces let them know they are doing well, as well a verbal praise. For older students, discussing with them their achievements or writing a short positive comment works well.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
The pre-assessment helps to identify areas where support is needed. How the student completes worksheets or responds to the lessons is another way. I always conduct short, informal assessments and ask students questions to be sure they understood me and relate back to me what they learned.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
If the student needs more support, I can break the concept down and be more explicit. I use visuals or repetition as needed. I can rewrite worksheets so they do not seem too complicated or confusing. For those students who are advanced but may have just missed a few details in their learning along the way, I listen carefully for what they do know, and try to focus on to the areas that they do not know.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
For reading, I have phonics workbooks, K-8 reading material, lots of puzzles and worksheets to practice their skills with and some games. I have writing material for not only learning how to print, but exercises on how to write responses to literature or debates. For math, I have worksheets, manipulatives and flashcards. I also have some games.