I am a certified Elementary teacher with a Masters in Teaching and Learning: Special Education. I love teaching and watching the minds of my students expand. I strongly believe that any student can learn, it is just the duty of the educator to find the way in which the student learns best. I pride myself in my ability to personalize my teaching for my students based on their particular likes and interests. This assists the student in becoming more interested in a topic they would have otherwise not enjoyed. Teaching is my passion...Allow me to help bring the passion and love for academics to your student!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Claflin University - Bachelors, Elementary Education
Graduate Degree: Liberty University - Masters, Special Education
ACT Composite: 21
Teaching, Writing, Vacationing in warm climates, Watching TV and working with children
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My personal teaching philosophy is that any student can learn. There are no dumb students...it is simply the duty of the educator to find the best way in which the student learns and build on it. Everyone has interests and hobbies; if we utilize the things that we already like and enjoy and incorporate them into academics...we can make magic!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, I would take the first few minutes to get to know the interests of the student. Because my teaching methods include personalized interests, it would be beneficial for me begin there. Next, I would dive right into the areas the student is struggling with. I believe in being thorough and not moving forward until a skill is mastered, but at the same time, I don't like wasting time.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I use a variety of scaffolding methods in my teaching. These are used kind of like a crutch for the student with a topic that they are struggling with. The more we practice, the less we'll need the crutch, so I would gradually take it away until the student is able to perform the task without assistance or a crutch.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
This is also where I use the student's interests; as a method of motivation. As I mentioned earlier, we all have things that we like and that we are interested in. I would attempt to give the student something that they enjoy when they reach a milestone in their learning. For example: a student of mine loved the group Lady Antebellum. She was absolutely obsessed with the group. I told her once she reached her goal of 90 or above on her next Math test, I would learn the entire song and sing it for her. Well, she reached that goal and I recorded myself singing her favorite Lady Antebellum song "Need You Now" and uploaded it on YouTube. I used that same method with another student who loved Jay Z.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
There are always several ways to teach one concept. If my students ever show that they aren't "getting it," I go back to the drawing board and work on a new method of delivery. As I mentioned earlier, we all learn differently so I would have to find the best way to execute the skill.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would use close reading strategies and guide the student through reading and re-reading the text until the student develops a better understanding of the content. I would also use graphic organizers and Venn diagrams that help put the information from the text into perspective.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I always start with getting to know what the student's strengths and weaknesses are. I also like to find out what hobbies and interests the student has. This many times will help with the flow of the session and help with the areas of weakness.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would start with connecting what I am teaching to real-life scenarios. As I mentioned earlier, I would also make connections to the student's interests and hobbies. Through differentiation, I would give the student multiple formats of learning and options of assignment types. I would also use differentiation to ensure I am meeting the needs of the student's specific learning style.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I would find a way to show them that it isn't scary. Once they learn to like and ultimately love the content, they will no longer be scared of it. There are ways to get students interested. One popular way of doing so is by turning content into music. I have helped my students turn content for a test into a song in order to help them remember the information. Believe it or not, this helps. It makes the content fun and takes the fear away from the academics.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I would evaluate what areas the student needs assistance in by using various forms of pre and posttests. I would do some observations, some viewing of their completed work (if available) and some samples of work that I give.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
By using differentiation. Learning styles are very important. All students do not learn in the same manner; therefore, all teaching methods cannot be delivered in the same manner. I often prepare several ways to teach one topic at a time, because the reality is that all students don't learn best in a traditional setting.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I am a hands-on learner, so I am a hands-on teacher. I like to use manipulatives when I teach. Anything that the student can hold on to and use as a visual to help them learn and better understand what they are learning. I like to use videos and interactive games to pique the interest of my students.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would use standard forms of assessments. Pre and post-assessments are key to ensure mastery. I like to use mini-quizzes such as exit tickets. These include 1 to 3 questions focusing on the topics covered during the lesson. The goal of these is to quickly assess if the student understands the topic covered. I would also use games and other fun activities to assess understanding and mastery.