A photo of Leslie, a tutor from The Catholic University of America

Leslie

Certified Tutor

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Hello!

I am a first year teacher who is excited to hit the ground running. My education was very rich in differentiation and reflection, two key tools I believe every successful teacher must be devoted to. I look forward to creating a happy and safe learning environment for my students through facilitating active learning opportunities, setting authentic expectations, and collaborating with parents and other stakeholders. Even outside of the classroom when in a tutoring session, I strive to create a mini version of this environment so my students get the most out of each session as possible.

My personal teaching mantra is "It's my career, but it's their lives." I really take this to heart and look at each day as an opportunity for passion, rather than "punching the clock."

I hope to work with you soon!

Leslie’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: The Catholic University of America - Bachelors, Elementary Education

Hobbies

Cooking, baking, arts and crafts/DIY, hiking, traveling, animals (especially cats!), movies, fashion

Tutoring Subjects

Elementary School

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Science

Elementary School Writing

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Math

Other

Pre-Algebra

Science


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe in a happy and safe learning environment. Children should be excited to wake up each morning and go to class, not dread the sound of their alarm. Teachers should be more than educators; they should be mentors, coaches, confidants, and role models. The learning process should be an active one, not passive, in order to have maximum impact on the student. I will do my best to ensure this is the case by taking the time necessary to make my lessons catered to each student's individual needs. I will take into account their academic interests as well as extracurricular, making my lessons as relatable as possible to each new generation. I believe no opportunity for engagement should be spared and through building relationships with my students and their families I will be able to tap into their intrinsic motivators and reach my students on a new, inspiring level. Teachers are the first line of defense against bullying and should do so by setting a positive example. Creating a safe, happy, bully-free learning environment starts with avoiding Glasser's 7 Deadly Habits of a "Boss" teacher: criticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing, and rewarding students to control them. Instead, I will promote Glasser's 7 Connecting Habits of a "Lead" teacher: caring, listening, supporting, contributing, encouraging, trusting, and befriending. Through these simple guidelines, I will create an environment for my students that will promote growth. By always radiating a sense of openness and trust I will become a confidant to my students, encouraging communication at every turn. This will not only help to create a safe learning environment, but also to cater future lessons to the students' current interests, moods, and home situations which are constantly changing at any given age. I will also utilize helpful anti-bullying classroom features such as "bucket fillers" to promote positive relationships between the students by encouraging positive thinking rather than critical thinking of peers, as well as "show-and-tell" or another activity to allow the opportunity for my students and myself to learn something new about their peers. Especially in an urban area such as D.C. (where I received my education) and the Bay Area, teachers need to provide for students the safe, caring, healthy, and happy environment that they may not be experiencing otherwise. Showing students that there is at least one adult in their life who can provide a positive, strong support structure is imperative to the development of bright young individuals. I strongly believe it is impossible to learn and retain new information on an empty stomach, so I will help battle this by always having healthy snacks in my classroom for those who do not have enough to eat to enjoy. All students deserve to have the tools necessary to be a successful student, and nutrition is no exception. This goes hand in hand with the open communication and safe environment I will have established in my classroom, not only by communicating food allergy concerns with parents, but also by building a mutual trust between myself and the student where they feel comfortable coming to me with any issues they may be having at home or elsewhere. Just as I believe the learning should not stop when the bell rings, the teaching should not stop either. Being available to my students and their parents before and after the scheduled school day is very important to me. I want my students to know that they don't have to fit all of their questions and concerns into one seven-hour school day. If they require further instruction past 3pm, I will be happy to be there. By providing set office hours as well as my email address to schedule an appointment to my students and their families I can ensure that I will always be available when I'm needed. I will also utilize my peers by collaborating with them based upon our respective expertise to combine resources. By organizing study groups based upon need, rather than generic subject or task, I will be able to satisfy each student's individual needs and weaknesses, actively combatting the likelihood of a student becoming lost and overwhelmed in their education. Communication is key for success in any industry, and this is no less true for Education. By providing my email address, phone line, and after school office hours to parents of my students I will encourage an open line of communication. Should their children be struggling with a subject they will be able to contact me and schedule further help or whatever else they feel may aid in the learning process. The top priority of the parents of my students and myself is the success and happiness of the student. By being readily available to the parents of my students to discuss IEPs, homework, performance, upcoming field trips, etc. I will be able to reinforce the parents' knowledge of my commitment to the student. Additionally, should the student be experiencing a problem at home or with peers, the previously established safe environment of my classroom would allow the student to feel secure coming to me for advisory. The most important thing a teacher can do is to provide a happy, safe, and loving environment for the students. It is through inspiring by example, creating an active learning environment, providing a safe classroom environment, and encouraging open communication that I construct my philosophy for teaching. By following these guidelines, I hope to provide for my students the nurturing building blocks that will inspire a lifetime of learning.

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

During our first session, I will do my best to get to know you and your specific needs and goals. We will track these through our sessions so we can clearly see your awesome progress. After creating your goal sheet, we will dive into the tutoring session. I truly believe each student learns differently, and I will create a unique individualized tutoring experience each meeting to ensure your goals are met.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Through tutoring, I will not only guide you on the content, but how to maneuver the content on your own. We will work on problem-solving techniques in addition to the straight content to ensure you will be as successful in your independent practice as you are with me.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

It can be hard to be motivated in a subject when a student does not feel connected to the subject or see the real-world applicability. I will work with you to make the content as relatable as possible to increase intrinsic motivation.

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

We would take a step back and make sure the foundational skills are there for us to build upon. I would do this especially during our first session as a pre-assessment so we make sure we are working as efficiently as possible.

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

I have many tools and intervention practices for students struggling with reading comprehension. During my student teaching experience, I completed an Action Research Project on reading comprehension intervention strategies and was selected to present my positive findings during the campus Research Day. I would be so happy to utilize these tested methods with you!

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

I believe the best way to check for comprehension is to teach it to someone else. After practice questions reaching the correct answers, I would have you teach the material back to me.

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

Practice makes perfect! We would work to practice the subject from multiple views/lenses to ensure you understand it in its entirety.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

No one knows your needs better than you. We would do an evaluation of your needs before/during the first session, and you would be involved in this process fully. We will identify your needs and set goals together to increase accountability and motivation in our sessions.

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

I believe each student has a unique way of learning and a unique set of needs. We would work together on the first session to establish these needs and constantly adapt them as sessions continue, if needed.

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

This would vary depending on the subject matter. If you have a textbook or other material provided, we would likely use that with the intervention of Internet resources when needed. I also love to utilize the resources on this website.

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

We will be our most successful when we both feel comfortable and confident with each other in our sessions. I will work towards this by getting to know you and your needs as an individual before diving into instruction.

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

If a student is bored by a subject, they are likely having a hard time being invested in it. I will increase their excitement and engagement in subjects by highlighting the real-world applicability of the subject while building confidence in the subject.