I am a graduate of The University of Texas where I received my PhD in the Humanities with a focus on History and Literature. In addition to my extensive experience in the classroom, I have also raised a child with learning differences so I am keenly aware that everyone learns at their own speed and in their own way. There are no quick fixes and the student must be a party to their own success. I firmly believe that with organization, a good work ethic, and the proper learning environment, all students can do well in school. However, the most important ingredient is self-confidence, which is only achieved through accomplishing target goals. In the classroom, I concentrate on the individual needs of each of my students by helping them with organizational skills, reading, research techniques, and especially writing. This approach enables each student to not only develop their own style, but provides them with learning tools which can be applied to other areas of study.
Undergraduate Degree: The University of Texas at Dallas - Bachelors, Literature
Graduate Degree: The University of Texas at Dallas - PHD, Humanities/Lit and History
My hobbies are golfing, biking, and needlework.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that nothing is impossible. With a little hard work anyone can learn a given topic.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session I would talk to the student in order to understand how they learn and how they approach the material. I would also try to find out what their interest are in order to make the material relevant to them.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Helping students become independent learners is possible through building their self-confidence. You can't just provide the answer for them, you must enable them to develop their own style in order to come to the resolution on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
It is important to help students relate their school work to something that is important to them so that it isn't a chore. In order to help them stay motivated you must talk to them, not at them. Only then can you help them be successful.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Patience and communication are the keys to education. You must first help the student break down the material to see where the issues are. This enables them to identify the problem on their own. I also find that drawing parallels between a problem topic and something they are interested in, like music, sports, or entertainment, helps to lessen the fear of the material and enables them to approach it with an open mind.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Student reading comprehension is one of the major problems in education today. Everyone is so immersed in image and text speak that it is difficult to patiently read from a book. I find that color coding, index cards, and discussion are the best ways to help a student breakdown a reading assignment, no matter the topic.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
In order to help a student, they must feel comfortable with you. I find that talking to them and getting to know a little about their interests provides for a better working relationship. It is important not to be mechanical in education!
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would help a student get excited about a subject that they are struggling in by trying to relate it to something that is important to them, such as music, sports, or entertainment. The goal is to make it relevant to their life.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
When trying to help a student understand material it is first important to evaluate the way they learn. Are they an auditory learner, a visual learner, etc. After establishing the way in which they learn, it is easier to help them develop a strategy.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Building a student's self-confidence is built by enabling them to come to conclusions on their own. No one ever benefits from being given the answers!
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
It is important to talk to students to find out what they think about school, how they learn, and what scares them about the material. Hopefully, after the student feels comfortable enough to share those things, they will let you know what bothers them about their work.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Every student is different. After getting to know the student a bit I can find out how they like to approach their work, then I adapt my teaching style to their learning style.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I like to use index cards, PowerPoint presentations, and conversation!