A photo of Vicki, a tutor from Carlow University

Vicki

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My interest in tutoring comes from my own positive educational experiences and from my love of learning. I believe that learning can and should be fun.

As a communication professional, working with corporations and non-profit organizations, I understand how important it is to develop a solid foundation of reading and writing skills. Competence in vocabulary, reading comprehension, and the ability to organize and communicate facts and ideas is the basis for all learning.

As the tutor, my role is to serve as a mentor providing access to information and opportunities for discovery and knowledge development. I believe it is important to make the tutoring session relevant to the students interests, therefore involving them in the process and creating excitement to learn.

My tutoring approach is student-centered. Each student is unique. How do they learn? What is their motivation? What are their strengths and weakness? Do they need to improve study methods? Do we need to work on their approach to learning?

By sharing my love of learning, I help my students build confidence and develop the skills to foster success throughout their education, career and life.

Vicki’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Carlow University - Current Undergrad, Professional Writing

Hobbies

I spend a lot of my free time outdoors - gardening, bicycling, kayaking, walking/hiking. If I'm not outside I am probably reading. I always have a book on hand and can easily read for 3-4 hours a day - immersed in a good story or learning more about a wide range of subjects from history to nutrition to organic farming.

Tutoring Subjects

Adult Literacy

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

High School Writing

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My interest in tutoring comes from my own positive educational experiences and from a love of learning. How one goes about teaching a subject depends on the student's background, academic skills and learning preferences. I believe that learning can and should be fun. The challenge is to engage the student - creating an atmosphere that is motivating and encourages active thinking and interest. For the younger student, it is important to take small steps so that the instruction is not overwhelming and to use a mix and match of pace and teaching methods. It's important to check the student's understanding of the material along the way - ask questions and talk with the student about their answers. Celebrate successes and support their efforts. Students who are active participants learn much more.

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

The first thing is to talk with the student - get to know each other; build a connection. Work together to create a list of their interests, and what they want to learn. Review the goals of the tutoring (in an age appropriate way) and get their input.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Set up a learning process in which the student needs to make choices. By providing a structure, the boundaries for learning are set, but will allow the student the ability to choose the direction. Involving them in the process. By giving the student options, you are encouraging them to make decisions and become independent.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Make learning fun. Involve the student in the process - give them choices. Celebrate their success. Relate the academic lessons to the real world.

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

If possible, I would move onto another lesson and then circle back to the concept using a different approach.

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

Give the student the tools to learn. First off, it is important to choose the appropriate book. After reading, ask the student to tell you the story in their own words. Talk with them to help them visualize what they are reading. Predict the end of the story, and then finish reading to see if they are right.

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

The most important strategy is to involve the student. Talk to them. Ask questions. And listen to their answers. It is my job to help them learn using the method that works best for them.

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

There are a variety of methods to engage a student. Using hands-on activities to enforce the subject. Creating a chart or graphic about the information. Help them research the topic outside of the textbook - perhaps talking to an "expert" or going online to find images or other stories.

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

The best technique is to ask the student to tell you what they've learned. Orally or in writing. Depending on the student, you may have them create a montage of words and images.

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

Celebrate their success! Verbal encouragement at every turn. Praise improvement.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

First, set desired goals. Review the goals regularly, and discuss progress and weak areas. It may be necessary to re-set some goals. Or to go back and cover certain lessons again.

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

The student's needs and learning style drive the tutoring approach. It is my job to frame the lessons in a way that enables learning and success.

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

Books, pictures, paper and markers, and a computer.