A photo of Carol, a tutor from CUNY Brooklyn College

Carol

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As a child I developed a love for reading that has lasted throughout my adult life. I enjoy helping students acquire strong literacy skills and instilling in them a similar love of reading. I received my Bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College with a major in Television Production and a minor in English. It was my study in English literature that eventually led me into teaching. I have taught in both preschool and public school. As a teacher it was my responsibility to help students learn and expand their literacy skills such as; letter recognition, phonics, grammar and vocabulary. Since reading and writing are so closely connected I also enjoy helping students to express their ideas and opinions on paper. I have taught both general and special education students; so I am familiar with writing and maintaining IEP goals. I think learning should be interactive and interesting, therefore I try to use music and games whenever appropriate. When I begin working with a student; I assess their current skills so that I can build on what they already know and help them to achieve their academic goals.
I believe that all children can learn given the right tools and support.

Carol’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: CUNY Brooklyn College - Bachelors, TV/Radio Production

Hobbies

fiction reading, arts and crafts, board games, word and number puzzles

Tutoring Subjects

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Other

Phonics

Special Education


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe in meeting students where they are and acknowledging the skills that they have already acquired. I will then use what they know to help them gain the knowledge they are missing. I want to understand how my students learn so that I can tailor my lessons to better meet their needs. I will use various methods and tools with my students, such as: music, games, art, flashcards and counters whenever appropriate. I like to make learning interactive and interesting so that the students will be engaged and want to learn.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Independent learning takes place when a student is motivated and excited about what they are learning. I would build upon the child's interests and try to suggest materials that they can read or watch on their own. I would also use their interests, and relate them to subjects where their interest may not be as strong.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

I would break down the skill into smaller parts or sections so I could see exactly where the student was having trouble. I would also go back to previous skills and see if a review is needed.

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

Since reading comprehension encompasses a great number of skills, I would try to determine exactly what the student is struggling with. For example, one student might have a problem making inferences. Another student may have difficulty finding the main idea or details. These skills, among others, affect the student's understanding of what they read. Once I know specifically what the student's difficulty is, I will create lessons/worksheets that address the skills needed. I will also read with the child and ask questions to improve their understanding and assess their progress.

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

When I start working with a student, I find it best to take time to get acquainted. I will ask student as well as the parent what their academic needs are. Then I will explain how I will structure the session and what I expect from the student. I will ask the student or parent to send me any worksheets, class work or tests that show what skills the student is having problems with.

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

I would build upon what the student may already know. Often, when students are struggling, they don't see what they are doing right. I think it is important to encourage the student by acknowledging what they have already learned. I would then show the student how to relate what they know to what they are struggling to learn. In this way, I hope to build a bridge from one skill to the next.

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

I would use short quizzes, independent reading/writing or exit tickets. If possible, I would have the student be the teacher and teach the skill to me.

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

I would build their confidence by breaking down the skill so they can see the parts that they are doing correctly. When students see what they can do, I believe it gives them encouragement to continue learning.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

There are a variety of ways to evaluate a student's needs. The most basic way is to ask questions of the student and parent. If possible, I would create/use an assessment tool. For younger students, I might use alphabet flashcards to assess letter recognition, vowels, consonants and letter sounds. For older students, I might use a short paragraph where I ask them to identify key words or details.

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

I understand that every child has a different learning style, attention span, interest and academic level. I will change my approach from one student to another. For example, if one student is highly motivated, my goal would be to enrich the tutoring session and challenge the student with more advanced work. However, if I have a student that is struggling, my goal is to encourage the student and introduce ideas at a pace that will make it easier for the student to understand.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I would use a tracking tool to show the student the progress that they are making. I would also encourage the student and/or parent to track the student's progress by recording test scores and communicating with the student's teacher.

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

I use worksheets, flashcards, games and books that relate to what the student's needs are.

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

In a typical first session, I would get to know my student and find out their academic goals and/or needs.