I love to help people of any age understand concepts they find challenging or areas that bring questions. I believe in making sure the basic ideas are solid before moving on to more advanced concepts. I have 13 years of teaching experience and an even longer time frame for personal tutoring. I believe people need to be pushed to strive for the best, but not so hard that they give up or break.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Virginia-Main Campus - Bachelors, Psychology
Graduate Degree: University of Virginia-Main Campus - Masters, Learning Disabilities, Elementary Education through grade 8
I enjoy reading, watching movies, scrapbooking, card making, visiting with friends and family, and being involved at church.
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Science
Elementary School Writing
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Writing
Study Skills and Organization
Technology and Computer Science
What is your teaching philosophy?
Everyone learns differently. I like to make sure that each person is taught in his or her own style. First begin with the basics, and then add on the advanced ideas. Teaching can vary between manipulatives, oral, written, or some other method.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would talk with the student beforehand over what concepts seem to be the problem or why tutoring is wanted. Then I would give an informal "testing" session to see where the student stands. From there, we would come up with a plan of where to begin and move on from there. I believe in working hand-in-hand with my students.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Once the basics of a concept are learned, I gradually begin to give the student more practice in learned skills to improve confidence. Then I ask them to try a slightly more advanced problem. Eventually as confidence improves, the student wants to do more on their own. Occasionally, time management or organizational skills also have to be taught.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I believe in positive feedback and reworking/reviewing challenging areas together. Students also have a partial say in what will be taught at times, which increases their sense of control and responsibility.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Go back a few concepts to see if the student understands the basics. If so, then we determine how the student is having trouble applying the information. Sometimes memory skills and additional practice are needed so that the concept becomes automatic.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
After being given an informal assessment, I find that usually it is either difficulty in reading the actual words or difficulty in reading fast enough to remember what has been read. Each issue has a separate way of being tutored. One way that I help is by taking turns reading aloud with the student.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found that having a set schedule, a plan of action for each session, and an open mind work well when starting with a new student.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
To get a student engaged in a topic, I would try to relate it to something they find interesting. It is the idea of making a personal connection.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I like for students to be able to respond in various ways: written, verbal, demonstrating the concept back to me, etc.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I believe that a student's confidence is built with positive comments, when appropriate, and reviewing any challenging tasks. Each little step is a step ahead.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate my student's needs through conversation with the student and/or parents and informal assessments.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
As a special education teacher for 13 years, I am familiar with adapting for a student's needs, whether it be modifications in materials, manipulatives, style of teaching, etc.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
This would depend on the subject being taught. I like a combination of written material and, if necessary, manipulatives to reinforce or introduce the concept.