I have been a teacher for 15+ years. I have taught in many different environments and grade levels. I have taught 2nd - 5th grades, as well as 7th and 8th grades. I have taught both regular education and special education. I majored in Elementary Education, and I minored in Fine and Performing Arts. I enjoy working with children and have spent most of my summers since I was a teenager working with youth at different summer camps. I feel that all students can learn and be successful; they just need a teacher who is willing to find the techniques that work best for that child.
University of Rio Grande - Bachelors, Elementary Education grades 1 - 8
What is your teaching philosophy?
I feel that all students can learn and be successful in school. Each child is different, and therefore it is the job of the teacher to discover how to reach each child. Teachers need to offer multiple ways to provide the information to children so they have the opportunity to be successful.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, I believe it is important to get to know one another and discover in what areas the student is strong and weak. This is also the time to discover if the student has a particular learning style that helps them be most successful.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I think that in the tutoring process it is important to lead students toward self-discovery. It is the job of the tutor to help the student be able to complete the task on their own with different techniques so that when they are in the classroom they are able to accomplish the tasks on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I believe that keeping a constant positive attitude and always pointing out the parts that the student did well on helps keep students motivated. Setting attainable goals for each session and the sessions to follow also keeps motivation high.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I believe providing multiple ways to approach a problem is the key. There is no one way to get to the answer. I also believe that breaking difficult concepts down into smaller pieces that are attainable helps develop difficult skills.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I believe allowing students opportunities to work out problems with hands-on materials, as well as written ones allows the most success. I believe that for many students hands-on learning is the easiest way to solve a problem, but when they are tested in class they need to be able to translate those activities into writing. Teaching students how to translate from one format to the other will help them find success.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Finding one piece of the subject that they can find an interest in will help build engagement. I also believe that breaking a subject into smaller pieces so they find frequent success can also build excitement.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would have students demonstrate how to solve the material, then have them explain in their own words the steps that they followed in order to reach their final answer. This gives them two different ways to demonstrate understanding, and also allows them to discover any mistakes they may have made.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I believe that starting a student in a place that they feel comfortable with and then gradually increasing the difficulty builds confidence. They see that they can do it in steps, and that they just have to combine the things they already know to be successful.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I believe you can learn a lot about a student's needs by getting to know them. They will lead you toward what they struggle learning. I also believe in having students do sample work in order to see what they already know and what areas that they are struggling with.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
No two students are the same! It is imperative to have multiple methods on hand to present the material.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Paper, pencil, manipulatives, books, and computers are all possible tools.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
First I believe you have to discover what the issue is for the student. Does the child have difficulty comprehending because they are a struggling reader, is the material above their reading level, or is there some other issue causing the student to struggle? Helping students increase their vocabulary so that unfamiliar words make more sense will increase comprehension. Teaching students to self-monitor and ask themselves reflective questions will increase comprehension. The most important first step is to discover why there is a comprehension problem.