I am a Michigan Certified teacher. Secondary degree with a middle level endorsement. Majored in Mathematics, Minored in English/Language Arts. Last year I taught at middle school in Michigan. I had two 7th grade math classes, one 8th grade math class, and 3 different math intervention classes (5th, 6th, 7th grade).
Unfortunately, I had to resign from that position to move with my husband for his job. We are now making Minnesota our new home. While I transition to a Minnesota license and job, I want to continue to help students succeed.
All throughout college, I tutored in classrooms and in after-school programs. I understand the importance of one-on-one attention for some students who struggle. I want to give the individualize attention and instruction to students who really want to succeed and understand the academic concepts deeper.
In my free time, I love to be outside doing anything like hiking, camping, kayaking, etc. Seeing any type of animal brightens my day. I also play video games (both playstation and on PC).
The core of my teaching philosophy is making connections with students so that we have a trusting relationship for students to feel comfortable asking questions and making mistakes.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Central Michigan University - Bachelors, Secondary Teaching (math, English) with Middle level endorsement
I love animals and volunteering at shelters. I also enjoy camping, hiking, kayaking and anything else outside.
Q & A
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I will get to know them first on a personal level, and let them ask questions about me; second, I would get to know their viewpoint on academics and homework in general; third, I would make a plan for us to work together to get the resources available for us to learn together.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Letting students struggle a little at times can be great to help them become independent. The best way to learn is from your own mistakes.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Depending on the personality, taking short breaks can help bring focus back afterward. I would discuss with them why it is important to keep up with their school work as well as how they can make learning their own.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would first see if the difficulty is because of a prior knowledge gap, and work to close that. I would also find different ways to explain it to them, both in deeper concept and procedural.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The best strategy I have found in working with students is getting to know them on a personal level and making them feel comfortable with me as a person, and let them know mistakes and struggle is an important part of life.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would help students get engaged by using my knowledge as well as Internet research together on what the concept can apply to in the real world.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I try to do a tiered "program." First, see what they know/how far they can get in specific material. Second, direct instruction based on what they understand. Third, a few guided examples together. Fourth, let them try individually, and then have me check. Fifth, assessment. Then reteach accordingly.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
To build confidence, I would make sure to keep track of where the student was at the beginning and show them how much more they can do now with progress monitoring.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
The best way to evaluate needs is to give them a few problems, and see what they feel comfortable with, and then work together to find where they are. I try to never assume specific prior knowledge just because it "has been covered in class."
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I consider myself a personable / flexible person. I can adjust to be a strict task master if needed or just a guiding backup in homework completion. It all comes from getting to know the students.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Plenty of paper and pencil is a must. A whiteboard, depending on venue, is also extremely helpful. I find that students are more comfortable with putting themselves out there and making mistakes if it can be easily erased. Internet access is also nice, depending on topic, because that can help us explore how the topic relates to bigger and better things.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to work with students to help them understand the deeper meaning behind the day-to-day problems they are faced with. I want students to feel confident and comfortable with making mistakes and struggling so that they have to tools to learn even when I am not around.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
For reading comprehension, I would try to assess what they root issue is. If it is simply focus, we would work on personal strategies to clear your mind and stay focused on the task at hand. If it is because they are struggling too much with the pronunciation and grammar, we would start focus on there. If it is a generalized struggle, we would start with short pieces and practice our way up to longer pieces. Overall, it is key to find grade level appropriate topics that interest the student.