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I have spent the last 25 years within various special and general education classrooms, as teaching is my passion. My experiences include teaching general education classes in grades pre-K-12, as well as special education classes in grades pre-K to adult. I am currently Adjunct with El Camino College and CSULA.
While completing my dissertation, Supporting the Transition of Learning Disabled Students to the Postsecondary Environment, I learned that an effective teacher is a key factor in intrinsic motivation and student success. Intrinsic motivation can be gained via a sense of humor, making learning relevant to students, gaining a good rapport, setting a good example for others, and sharing commonalities and even how one has learned from previous mistakes. Students are often responsive to extrinsic motivators, but the most effective motivation comes from within, including self-esteem, increased performance, life changing events, and job and educational satisfaction. It is important for educators to model a genuine enthusiasm for lifelong learning and to get to know individual students and their learning styles and needs. Acting as a facilitator of learning and maintaining high standards and expectations will also foster intrinsic motivation and trust among student and teacher. Frankly, I also have quite a sense of humor, and I try to incorporate that in order to maintain student interest.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: DYouville College - Bachelors, Education
Graduate Degree: Walden University - PHD, Education
Music, art, writing, reading, fitness, religion, animals, animal rights
College Application Essays
College Level American Literature
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Science
Elementary School Writing
High School English
High School Level American Literature
High School Political Science
High School Writing
Introduction to Fiction
Introduction to Poetry
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Writing
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
An effective teacher is a key factor in intrinsic motivation and student success. Intrinsic motivation can be gained via a sense of humor, making learning relevant to students, gaining a good rapport, setting a good example for others, and sharing commonalities and even how one has learned from previous mistakes. The most effective motivation comes from within, including self-esteem, increased performance, life changing events, and job and educational satisfaction. It is important for educators to model a genuine enthusiasm for lifelong learning and to get to know individual students and their learning styles and needs. Acting as a facilitator of learning and maintaining high standards and expectations will also foster intrinsic motivation and trust among student and teacher. Keep learning relevant, student centered, and throw in a sense of humor for maximum results. Adult learners are self-directing. To be an effective educator, a professor must allow for self-evaluation and group evaluation. The various experiences that an adult brings to the classroom are a valuable tool to be used within the learning process, as students can assess where they are now and where they would like to be and can apply what they have learned via experiential and problem-based methods and discussions. It is important to look at the process of learning within the andragogical model, involving the learners in formulating objectives and within the assessment of these in order to make the learning relevant. When students are actively engaged within the learning process, projects, portfolios, research papers, tests, and time to practice the learned skills can be valuable tools of assessment. When instructors exhibit facilitative control and an eclectic approach within a classroom, students will be intrinsically motivated, successful learners.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I want to learn about the student and what his/her interests are, as well as have a quick discussion concerning strengths and areas of need. We would need some sort of baseline from which to start, so I would need to measure reading and writing abilities. I would also ask the student for specifics, as far as how they feel about that which is troubling them.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Students must learn from their mistakes, and it is OK to make mistakes; it's HOW we learn. I think that providing trust and a safe environment for making them is key to helping students become independent learners.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I have 25 years of experience in special education, and I seem to have a knack for helping those who are having the most difficulty. First, that concept needs to be broken down. Scaffolding and differentiation is crucial in student success. Concepts must be provided in a variety of ways, and both verbally and visually.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
One must have a basic set of vocabulary before one can succeed in reading, as well as basic phonics knowledge, so looking at this ability level is needed first. Then, concepts can be broken down, and one would be able to teach context clues, prefixes and suffixes, and more complex vocabulary.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Having a sense of humor, being able to break apart concepts, being able to explain those concepts in easier terms, and showing the student that he/she CAN succeed, are all great strategies.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
A good teacher will make a lesson relevant. Concepts should be compared to modern day, for example, whether reading Shakespeare or a word problem. Helping via mnemonics and memory tricks also helps with motivation, as the students will experience success and be more motivated.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would have quick evaluations, such as basic questions, as well as drawings or hands-on activities, student-created explanations in plain terms, and then practice tests.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Success leads to more success. Helping a student to have one little success is a huge motivator for more and more. This builds confidence.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I would perform a baseline assessment in order to determine needs. I would also interview the student and/or parents, in order to see where my focus should be with that student.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I would ask the student and evaluate the student in terms of what kind of learner he/she is. Tutoring can be verbal, visual, and even hands-on, as needed.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use textbooks, as well as my own adapted materials and common materials to assist students. Lessons may also require markers, a white board, flash cards, or whatever helps the student to learn best.