I have a B.A. in Linguistics with a TESL certificate and a minor in Japanese from the University of Florida. I am working towards a master degree in Linguistics and possibly international relations. I have been tutoring/teaching for 3 years. I have worked with elementary to university students.
I tutor English as a second language, French, Haitian Creole, Math and Biology. I mostly teach student centered/activities based learning with visual aids. I am here to support, encourage and guide students towards their goals and objectives.
I love and practice a few sports such as archery, tennis and soccer. I also love to travel and one of my goals is to travel to every country and learn as many languages as possible. I love animals and food!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Florida - Bachelors, Linguistics
traveling, archery, tennis, languages
ACCUPLACER ESL - Sentence Meaning Prep
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Writing
FCAT 2.0 Prep
High School English
High School Writing
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Writing
SAT Subject Test in French with Listening
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that, as a teacher, I should assist my students in completing their tasks or objectives, and guide them in the right direction. My classroom will be engaging in a meaningful way for my students and also will enable me to check on their understanding. One way to engage students is by asking questions that encourage them to express their understanding of the content, which will give me an insight on what they know and what they are confuse about. Instead of providing them with all of the information, by asking the right questions I should be able to evaluate the level of my students and adjust the difficulty level of the questions, the activities and the lesson plans. As a teacher, recognizing when there is a problem in my class-- for example if the students are having difficulties understanding the materials or the goals of an assignment-- is a must. I always said that a teacher should notice performance issues of their students and the students' conditions, and try to accommodate the needs of the students. One thing that I think really helps is talking to my students before or after class-- asking them how they are doing -- their concerns and study methods; I will get to know my students and be able to work with them on a more personal level if necessary. As a TESOL teacher, my students are non-native English learners, and I think that it is necessary to at least try to understand some of the cultural differences and keep them in mind when creating my lesson plans. Basically, I think that as a teacher, I should not assume the reasons why a student is not performing well in class or seem to not be paying attention. Communicating with my students is a must. Although it is not possible to answer the needs of every student, especially during class, I should still be able to provide my students with alternate resources that might be beneficial. In my opinion, there is never enough preparation for a class. Instead of just preparing a lesson plan and moving on, having a good amount of background information on the topic that I am going to teach is essential in order to be prepared for some of the questions or misunderstandings that the students may have. In the future, some of my students might depend on me as their primary source while learning English; if so, I should be able to provide them with enough contextual and related information about a topic. The more passionate I am about the subject, I believe that the students will most likely be more willing to pay attention and be excited about learning. It might show the students that I believe in what I am teaching, which might facilitate the participation of some of the students in class. I have to be flexible in my teaching methods. I will not hesitate to introduce or integrate new types of activities or new lesson formats that I think it will be beneficial to my students. In my opinion, being flexible does not mean that I have to conform to what the students want-- for example, fun exercises or specific types of activities-- but rather to compromise to meet the needs of my students.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first lesson, introductions are obviously a must, but that doesn't mean it has to be boring. Depending on the topic/subject that I will be tutoring in, I do different introduction scenarios/questions. Set expectations and rules. Set up a friendly environment so the student feel welcome but also motivated. Check how much foundation or on what level does the student understand/doesn't understand the subject.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Most of the time, students struggle with becoming independent learners because of the one or few of the following reasons: -comprehension difficulties ( not only showing a student how to do something but also giving them guidelines so that they will be able to do it by themselves next time.) -organizational skills (how to manage workloads and divide them equally so that they can work through everything) -focus (manage work space and distractions; coping mechanisms) -confidence (encourage a student and guiding them so that they can reach their goals on their own and attain a level of satisfaction, which will increase their confidence)...
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Introducing topics or ways to connect what they are learning with their interests. Providing examples/explanations using scenarios in their correspondent interested field. Keep track of progress made and show it to the students to see how much they have improved or how much they will improve.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would find out specifically what they do not understand; the basics, execution, general explanation, usage, etc. I would then try a different approach that targets their specific needs/problems.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Most of the time, reading comprehension problems relate to lack of contextual understanding and background information. In general, the more you read about the topic the better you will understand the material; but most likely time is of the essence, so one of my first methods would be to give the student a step by step guideline on how to read a passage section by section. How to find the meaning of new words using contextual clues. How to find the answer of comprehension questions.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I do not have one strategy that works for all students. It depends on the student and their needs. A concept does tend to give good results overall: showing the student that their opinions and questions matter. Not teaching a lesson just to get through it but making sure that the student understands and that you are going at their pace.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
By relating to something that they find interesting. Using analogies or examples that will pique their interest. For example, if I was tutoring a student in basic math (3+2=5;3>2), and let's say that they find math boring and difficult but love soccer, I could do a soccer scenario using their favorite team and explain the concepts using a game.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
There are a couple of ways that I can check for understanding: - pre and posttest (to check the difference between their initial knowledge and what they gained after the lesson) - practice questions - have the student explain the concept(s) to me
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Positive reinforcement -encouraging words -praise when deserved -explain and provide guided steps for wrong answers