I believe that every student is unique and that uniqueness extends to how they learn individually. Each student must have the subject information tailored to their own learning style. Essentially, this is meeting them where they are and facilitating ways to help them reach their potential.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Tennessee State University - Current Undergrad, Sociology/ Africana Studies
Reading, sports, observing different cultures and practices, teaching, skating, ice skating, running
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
GED Social Studies
High School English
High School Writing
IB Social and Cultural Anthropology
IB World Religions
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that every student is unique and that their individual uniqueness is attached to their learning style, as well. Thus, I feel every educator should cater to students individually to ensure that our knowledge becomes their knowledge.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In the initial session, I like to take a moment to find out exactly how a student learns and what their strength is. This allows me to tailor a lesson directly to that strength AND empower them to improve on their weaknesses.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner by teaching them to focus on necessary information. Any factor or variable that weakens focus is unnecessary information. It isn't hard to sit with a book and study. The trick to being an independent learner is to find out what creates an atmosphere of focus, and then maintain that focus.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I help students stay motivated by making sure that the subjects being studied and the information being received is relevant to their lives, in real time. For example, a student that knows how historical events shaped the way they view the world today is more receptive to information than a student charged with just memorizing dates and names.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I would take a moment to backtrack and see where I went wrong. A student that is new to a subject isn't the problem. It is my job as an educator to be as clear and concise as possible to guarantee that the student absorbs and retains the information.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
In my experience, students that struggle with reading comprehension have difficulty separating the necessary information from the unnecessary. I have found that it helps to read a selection/passage in sections, backwards, or from a different perspective entirely. I've found that getting the student to think of him/herself as the subject of an ACT reading comprehension passage has done wonders for their test scores.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The strategies that I have found to be most successful in the initial stages of working with a student have been to find out their likes, dislikes, hobbies, and interests. The things I have in common with them help me tailor the way that I teach and instruct. A student that enjoys basketball often does better with statistics, percentages, if/then statements, word problems, etc. Also, being knowledgeable about what a student's likes, hobbies, and interests are gives me the opportunity to look into new things that I may not have been aware of. On past occasions, I've found new hobbies and interests for myself that I maybe didn't consider prior to working with those students.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
While there are some subjects that some students just won't find any commonality with, there are many instances where one subject crosses over into a myriad of others. I would have to find that sliver of commonality to make that subject relative to a student's life and generate excitement. In the past, I have shown students how reading comprehension correlates directly in music composition. A musical note is a language just like any other spoken or written language. To understand that language is to have a deeper understanding of music and how each note or sound has a role in telling the story of the piece.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would be sure to make sure that a student understands the material by using a small situational quiz. I would take the subject material and get the student to apply it to a real-world scenario that they are familiar with.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I would build a student's confidence in a subject by employing music. It is no different than pre-kindergarten students learning their ABCs. A student that can internalize a subject by song and instantly recall that song has built-in confidence because they know can recall information on demand.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's needs based on observation and first-hand interaction. Reading an evaluation only gives a fraction of the information that I would need regarding a student. First-hand observation and interaction provides the qualitative information I need to move forward accordingly.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt my tutoring to individual student needs by constantly checking the baseline where we started against where we are presently. This dictates how to tweak lesson plans to allocate time and focus for pertinent subjects.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Depending on the subject, I try to implement anything that could be used to create a mental connection between the student and the material. A meme or YouTube video can be used to create a deeper understanding of a history lesson or philosophical concept. A song or lyrical breakdown of the themes of a song or poem can give clarity to a social issue or scientific subject.