I am excited to offer my 10 plus years of teaching experience to Varsity Tutors! I was an elementary school teacher for 6 years and a middle school teacher for 5. I believe that personalizing instruction to the needs of the student is important, and I believe that working hard and believing in yourself are the primary components of success. I am able to create and apply meaningful instruction towards several subjects, and believe that my specialty is teaching young learners to read. Once again, I look forward to helping students achieve their utmost potential.
Mary Ann’s Qualifications
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Steinhardt School of Education NYU - Bachelors, Studio Art
Graduate Degree: Teachers College Columbia University - Masters, Art Education
Playing with my daughter, Painting, Playing Keyboard in my band, Writing, Watching movies
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe all learners have a personal way of learning how to achieve success. I believe that one on one instruction and attention to the needs of each student as an individual are important.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, I would like to get to know the student, and have the student get to know me. I would like to create trust and let them know that I will do my best with what I've learned to achieve success.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
You can help a student become an independent learner by helping them build an interest in the world around them, and by helping them to know their thought, struggles, and successes are important. Learning improves not only out futures, but our quality of life.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation comes with well-planned lessons, focused and thoughtful positive criticism, and fun. If you're not excited to be learning, you won't be motivated. An element of play should be used to motivate students of all ages.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would step back and review where the students was successful, and then compare it to the struggles they are having in the present lesson. I would stop and review the lesson in a different way and try to use multiple forms of teaching to get the topic across.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I like to use visuals. Behavior modification and positive feedback help learners to feel less self-conscious. Reading topics that interest the student can be helpful. Re-examining basic story structures and narratives that the student can relate to can help comprehension as well.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Quick and exciting mini lessons, topics that excite and interest students, and lessons that involve play.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would find what the student is interested in and use that as hook to bring the student into the lesson.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would use frequent informal assessments, exit slips, Learning Objective related questions, personal feedback slips and further questions tickets.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I remind the student that everyone starts at square one, that hard work is important and to believe in themselves. I would remind them that success comes with practice; there a lot of ways to learn a topic. I would remind them we believe in them too, and not to give up.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Learning Objective questions, informal verbal and written assessments regarding the topic, and exit slips.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
By getting to know the student's personal interests and successes, we can learn how to apply personal needs to all topics taught.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Visuals, videos, "manipulatives", pertinent texts, games, music, and art.