Every student has the ability to learn, to overcome challenges, and to get excited over new discoveries. I believe as a tutor and a teacher that it is my job to guide a student to use their abilities, to conquer challenges, and to discover more than they did on their own. Every learner is different, and that's a good thing.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Brigham Young University-Provo - Bachelors, English Teaching
running, cycling, reading, writing, baking, quilting, real estate
College Application Essays
College Level American Literature
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Writing
High School English
High School Level American Literature
High School Writing
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Writing
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
The student has the power to make positive changes, to learn anything, and to become better. The teacher is the coach. You already have the ability -- it's my job to help you refine it.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I'd spend some time getting to know the student -- what things are they good at, what could they be better at, and what personal goals do they have? Education is about more than passing a test; it's about confidence. If I know my students' goals, I can better help to reach them.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Students must become confident in their own abilities. Positive thinking, guided practice, and student reflections on how to improve all promote this confidence.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
It would depend on the student, but one of the most motivating things for students is seeing that their work makes a difference. Even if you fail an assignment or get a problem wrong, your work still means something -- you can reflect on the mistakes and make a change. In learning, forward progress should be the goal.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Practice. Learning something halfway will not help a student to build confidence or help them feel empowered to learn more. Practice can be draining, so I avoid busy work. Instead, I'd try to show the student different applications to keep things interesting.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
First, I'd research diverse methods for comprehension improvement. There are so many different approaches for student reading improvement, and it would depend on the individual struggles of the particular student. But, simplifying reading assignments is a great first step. Learning is like building a tower. A firm grasp of the basics helps to build greater ability for more complex ideas.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Guided practice. Nothing is more frustrating than receiving an assignment when you're not sure what to do. Guided practice follows the "show -- cooperate -- try -- do --teach" pattern. First, I can show a student what to do and give examples. Then, I can ask the student to help me do the next task. Next, the student tries to do it independently. If he or she has trouble, we go back to cooperation. Finally, the student is able to do it well, and he or she can even teach others.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Choose topics with which they can relate. I find Shakespeare fascinating, but I know that not all students will ever find it as interesting. Fortunately, you don't need to like Shakespeare to do well in English class. You can read and write things that are more interesting to you. And, if you do need help understanding Shakespeare, we can find a method that's more effective than struggling through hard-to-understand passages.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I'd ask for different applications. For example, if a student is struggling with commonly confused words, I might quiz them on the definitions, but I might also ask them to find four modern pop songs that use the words incorrectly. Applying knowledge through multiple lenses ensures thorough understanding.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Let them see their success, and give the subject meaning. Many students have no confidence when learning because they feel they never do well, so trying isn't worth it. I try to plan lessons around the strengths of the student, helping them to see how the things they are good at can actually help them to succeed in areas where they struggle.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
In English, one of the easiest ways to assess a student is through writing. Not a test or an assignment, but through daily journal entries using just a few sentences. How engaged they are about the subject at hand is a good indicator. I also like to be honest with my students and ask them to reflect on how well they think a lesson went. Their answers are generally informative.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Reflection. Reflection should be an active process for every teacher. After each lesson, I'd personally go over the material covered and mark what did and did not work well for that student. After a few sessions, I'd have a fairly tailored style for a particular student's needs.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Plenty of short reading materials, diagrams, short videos, songs, audio books, writing booklets, whiteboard, markers, and speakers. I try to bring diverse media to lessons to help engage students with various learning techniques.