A photo of Stephanie, a tutor from University of Central Florida

Stephanie

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I believe that each individual has an unlimited amount of potential if guided in a way which meets his or her learning style and needs. There is no such thing as "not be able," only not yet having found the approach that makes sense in one's mind. My goal is to cater to individual learning styles and needs in order to help all learning goals be achieved. Throughout my five years of classroom teaching experience as a Florida certified teacher and the training I am receiving in my Masters in Education program at Florida Southern College, I am continuously learning innovative methods to meet the needs of each student. I have a variety of educational experience and am excited to be able to share this skill set with students at Varsity Tutors. My areas of expertise include English and English/Verbal/Writing test prep, social sciences (my Bachelors degree is in Political Science from the University of Central Florida), and Psychology/Clinical Mental Health (I have completed everything excerpt for an internship to meet the requirements of a Masters in Clinical Mental Health at Troy University). I love to learn and share my love of knowledge and learning with students. One of the greatest joys for me is knowing that I helped a student unlock his or her potential and come closer to meeting goals.

Stephanie’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Central Florida - Bachelors, Political Science and Government

Graduate Degree: Florida Southern College - Masters in Education, Education

Hobbies

My biggest hobby is participating in aerial arts. I love creating dance routines on silks, lyra, and hammock; it's fun, a great workout, and has opened some performance opportunities for me! I also enjoy reading, going to the beach, and "adventure" activities like skydiving and zip-lining.

Tutoring Subjects

ACCUPLACER ESL Prep

ACT English

ACT Reading

ACT Writing

Clinical Psychology

College Application Essays

College English

Elementary School

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

English

English Grammar and Syntax

ESL/ELL

Essay Editing

FCAT 2.0 Prep

High School English

High School Political Science

ISEE Prep

ISEE- Lower Level

Math

Other

Phonics

Political Science

SAT Writing and Language

Social Sciences

SSAT Prep

SSAT- Elementary Level

Test Prep

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that each student is capable of learning even his or her most challenging subject if the information is presented in a format which makes sense to his or her individual learning style.

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

I would like to find out their personal interests in order to help me determine how to make the lesson more engaging and fun. I also would ask the student to describe to me what he or she thinks his or her strengths and weaknesses are and what area of the subject being taught he or she needs the most guidance. I would also ask questions to determine if he or she prefers lectures, visual aids, or hands-on activities.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I believe the "I do, we do, you do" method helps students to become independent learners. Students gain the confidence to answer questions independently when they are first shown how to do the work and then guided through examples with assistance.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

The first thing I would do is attempt to identify what part of the skill/concept the student is having difficulty with and then tailor an appropriate approach. This could include using visual aids, modeling how to approach the problem, video clips, or hands-on activities.

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

I feel that "breaking the story down" so to speak is very helpful for most students. Instead of initially focusing on the passage as a whole, I have the student read one paragraph at a time, stop, and then tell me what he or she thinks the main idea of that particular paragraph is. I have the student underline key words, circle words that indicate a contrast such as "but" or "however," and just point out any context clues that will help with overall understanding. After strategies and skills are refined, I will then focus on timing for standardized tests and other related strategies.

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

I think it's important to get to know the student as an individual and find out what activities he or she enjoys. Modifying lessons to interests and goals is always motivational. It also helps to understand a student's strengths and weaknesses in order to plan the best lesson and activities possible.

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

I have noticed that, in general, students become more excited about a subject with which they were struggling when they start to master the concepts. However, during this process, I try to make learning fun by incorporating games, video clips, and hands-on activities.

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

I encourage the student throughout the learning process and reward each small success. I like to show students how far they have come by comparing previous work, and make sure that, whenever a student correctly answers a question or makes an insightful observation, I comment on it and give praise for that achievement.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I evaluate a student's needs by looking at previous work samples, talking directly to the student and parent(s), and administering simple pre-tests in the designated subject areas.

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

I use practice tests, workbook activities, hands-on activities/games, highlighters, colored pencils, and toys depending on the student's age.

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

Each student has his or her own strengths and weaknesses. I think it's important to both formally and informally assess these skills before forming a learning plan, and then work on the skills that the student struggles with the most. I also think it's essential to assess through activities and speaking with the student what his or her individual learning style is - whether he or she learns best/ prefers auditory, visual, or tactile methods to best learn new concepts. I also think that ensuring the student stays engaged and has fun through games and interactive practice activities is important for success.

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

When a student answers a question, I like to follow with asking them: "Can you tell me why you chose that response?" If the answer is incorrect, this gives me insight into some misconceptions the student may have and gives the opportunity to correct these misconceptions. Asking this question also helps me to identify if the student truly understands the concept, or if he or she arrived at the correct response for the particular question, but with inaccurate reasoning. If the student demonstrates overall understanding, we will move to a new concept, and, if not, I will spend time making sure he or she understands what makes the response correct or incorrect.