When I was a child, I found and read the book series The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer. I positively loved the series and it inspired my love and interest of history. This has continued with me into adulthood and influenced my decision to pursue a bachelors degree in history. However, prior to college, I was homeschooled through high school which allowed me to be flexible and self-motivated in learning. After high school, I went on to study at a college level, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in History from Thomas Edison State University. I received many of my college credits from taking CLEP and DSST tests allowing me to graduate with a degree by the time I was eighteen. For completing my degree in this way, I received the Arnold Fletcher Award, an award for students with exceptional achievement in nontraditional learning.
While studying at Thomas Edison I also had the opportunity and privilege to help coach a speech and debate group for a year, helping students improve on their speaking abilities. I also later worked as a chess instructor helping the students learn about the fundamentals of chess. Currently, I work as a substitute teacher at a private school. For the past several years I have also worked as a bookkeeper and I currently working in the finance office at a school. So, I am equipped to help students with finance and with computer application. With whatever I teach though, I believe that I should not instruct just for the purpose of people of obtaining knowledge so they can pass a test. I want knowledge that I give them to be used as wisdom for how they live life; applied knowledge. So, I hope that I have the opportunity to serve students through tutoring and help equip them for school and for life.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Thomas Edison State College - Bachelors, History
GRE Quantitative: 154
GRE Verbal: 157
History, reading, biking, Packers, coffee, and the Bible
Basic Computer Literacy
CLEP American Government
CLEP Financial Accounting
CLEP Social Sciences and History
College Level American History
College Political Science
College World History
High School Accounting
High School Business
High School Economics
High School Geography
High School Level American History
High School Political Science
High School World History
IB Global Politics
IB Social and Cultural Anthropology
IB World Religions
Study Skills and Organization
Technology and Computer Science
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
As a teacher, I am primarily a facilitator. I cannot force any student to learn, however what I can do is help them to teach themselves. Providing information, feedback and encouragement are all ways of facilitating the student's learning.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Begin by getting to know each other. I do not just want to assume things about the student; I want to get to know them as an actual person. From there I would assess the student's current position in the subject I am tutoring on by asking them to explain concepts and answers questions, and then I would go on from there.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By giving them the tools to learn. Showing them the way to knowledge and wisdom so that, when I am no longer there, they will continue to be a learner.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Encouragement, first and foremost. I think that today in education we get into a mindset of a "self-fulfilling prophecy". We cause a student to think they will never be able to learn a subject, so therefore they don't. My goal would be to give students the belief that they are very capable of understanding a subject.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Break it down or go back to basics. You see, a problem or paper might be overwhelming to a student. However, if we break it down into smaller portions, it becomes much more bearable. Also, if a student is clearly demonstrating they do not understand a subject, I would go back to more understandable concepts and build up from there.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would first supplement their learning with audiovisuals. However, in some circumstances this is not practical, so I would slow down the learning and make sure that the students understand what they are reading before moving on.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Make the information relevant to them. Oftentimes students do not care about a subject because they do not how it applies or relates to them. As well, understanding their learning style. Some people prefer books, or like videos better. So, I would try and understand how they best learn.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Relevancy. Help them understand how the subject relates to them and why it matters. What causes many people to give up is because they do not see the point in learning something. To motivate them, I would help them understand why certain subjects matter.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Quizzes are one way, as well as asking a student to explain a concept back to me in their own words. This would help to show that the student has internalized the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Step by step. I would help them learn a little at a time, encouraging them along the way. When they reach a significant point, I will point them back to their past work and show them how far they have come to show how much more they can achieve.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Two ways. First and foremost, by asking; communication is key between a student and teacher, because this allows me to truly understand a student as opposed to just assuming things about them. Secondly, I would evaluate how well they are doing in their subjects through their assignments, such as quizzes and papers, to see which areas need work.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
"Be flexible or be miserable." As I have studied social science, I have realized more and more how complex people are, and that you cannot just fit them inside of a box. I would therefore read and react. Becoming more familiar with their way of doing things the more I work with them.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
It depends on what we are working on. Videos are great way of communicating concepts, and the whiteboard serves as a good tool as well.