I am passionate about helping students because I am passionate about people of all ages gaining knowledge. My experience working with students is varied because I am a substitute teacher and I am also a current student. I got my Associates degree in Early Childhood Education at Miami Dade College. I am currently working on my Bachelor's degree in Applied Linguistics at Ashford University. I tutor English and Literature, they have always been my favorite subjects. I was a volunteer for Laubach Literacy and I am an advocate for reading. My mentors in education are Maria Montessori, John Dewey, and Margaret Mead. I admire their innovative techniques and the changes they made to education. I like to discover a students learning style and work with them in a way that makes them most comfortable, engaged, and motivated. Outside of academia I am interested in travel, the arts, and I am a voracious reader. I have traveled extensively and enjoy working with people from other places. I have been a volunteer, primarily working with children, and been advocating for them for decades. I spent the majority of time in shelters and as a Guardian Ad Litem. I live a healthy life which includes a focus on nutrition, daily exercise, Qigong and daily meditation. These keep my life balanced while I maintain an active life. I have embraced the TED talk by Rita Pierson. I tell students what they did right, not what they did wrong.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Miami Dade College - Associates, Early Childhood Education
Graduate Degree: Ashford University - Current Grad Student, Applied Linguistics
My favorites things in life are traveling and reading.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My mentors are Maria Montessori, John Dewey and Margaret Mead. I would like to have known all of them personally. I appreciate Montessori's emphasis on independence, freedom and uninterrupted learning time. It allows for the child's individual personality to expand in a more meaningful learning environment. I admire Dewey's pragmatism. He operated on schemas. He felt content had to be presented in a way that the student could relate it to a prior experience to deepen the connection. Mead believed that human behavior was learned and could be shaped by a society determined to make changes for the better.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would like to know what your goals are for your tutoring session, what your experience is in school and what you like about your favorite teacher or professor. Then it's time to get to work.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I would have a conversation to understand their learning style. Talk about how the work is accomplished. This way I can highlight positive attributes, not just focus on the grade. Talk about goal setting. Have a conversation reflecting on how they approached the lesson or assignment and what worked best.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I like to keep things positive. I want to see what they like to do and combine that with the more challenging parts of the tasks. I would help with organization and break down what we need to accomplish. This can ease some of the stress and anxiety.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
There are more than a handful of ways any individual learns. I can look over their work and get a basic understanding. I can combine two skill sets to try to create a new way to approach their goal. Combining their strength with their weakness can help sharpen their chances.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I go back to the basic steps to see where their personal process has lost its traction. Then, based on their age, I can develop activities that strengthen their levels.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Developing rapport is important. They need to sense I am comfortable and competent, and want to work with me. I talk to them about their interests. I want them to know I am there to help for even the smallest, "dumb" question. I stay pretty close to school topics so that they know we are together to get work accomplished.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I can probably find a personal story. It could be about myself, a student I actually know of, or a story in a book. It depends on their age, but making them feel like they are not the only one helps. I would find out why they like the subjects they favor to look for something that I can bring into the struggling subject. There is usually some history about anything that can make it more interesting as well.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would go over what they have. I need to make an assessment in minimal time. I do reviews a lot in my substitute teaching. I really like to give them hints and tools to help them think of another way to learn what they need to.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I like to work until I see a smile and a sigh of relief. My favorite TedTalk is by Rita Pierson. It makes me cry every time. I tell any student what they did right, not what they did wrong. Your words can work so much more effectively that way.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I go over their work. I like to see their style and their organization. I want to have some conversation about their goals. I like to know what I'm working with, and they will respond much better if they know I care.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I must analyze very quickly to make the time productive. I have had to be a chameleon for all my different work experiences. I am about customer service and being a public servant, so I know how to interact with many types of people from all walks of life. I have a lot of patience, and I talk them through to understand their needs thoroughly.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I will ask if there is anything needed before I come to the session. The materials vary widely depending on the need. There are many things that can be accomplished with a computer at hand. Otherwise, if there are special needs for application, I can go over that ahead of time to be prepared. I don't want to waste time.