My teaching philosophy is founded on a strong desire to share my passion for learning with others. Inspiring an interest in life-long learning, whether formal or informal in others has been my lifes work. The opportunity to do both through teaching was a primary impetus for entering my doctoral studies.
My teaching philosophy has three parts: (1) committing to the needs of my students, (2) continuously improving as an educator, and (3) exposing the beauty of lifelong learning to any audience. Each part is grounded in my experiences teaching, career college students, at risk youth, and students with disabilities for nine years in various classroom and workshop settings. I commit to the needs of my students with my whole being. I believe I best support the needs of my students when I am widely available while providing individual support which helps students recognize and address their learning barriers. I strive to be accommodating and open to students because I take seriously the constraints in students differing life situations. Students in the courses I taught were a mix of traditional and nontraditional students from various fields of study. To be available for all my students required committing to extra office hours, taking phone calls, and clearing out course emails as quickly as possible.
One student in a course evaluation said [Dawn] was always understanding and available for help. She made things understandable, and was able to stay longer if you needed help, while another remarked that my general availability was excellent. I recognize that being available for all students all the time is infeasible and can create an undesirable dependence; my experience has taught me that a good mentor recognizes when the student is ready to begin the journey on their own and always sets the expectations of success for the individual based on the needs in the moment. Being available is only part of the commitment; the rest is providing support unique to individual students to help them recognize and address their learning barriers. A student, who becomes their own model of success, becomes a mentor, and the cycle continues of learners and teachers.
Continuously improving as an Educator, I recognize that I still have much to learn. I am a strong leader, and a great instructor. I am, and will always be, an evolving educator who listens to the experiences of my students and peers to provide the most innovative and effective educational experience I can. For me, the cornerstone to growth is consistently listening to student concerns, reflecting on my performance to find areas for improvement, and assessing my changes.
In conclusion: I expect my students to have the enjoyment of learning so they can be well prepared for the future with adequate knowledge and skill. I believe everyone wants to learn but not everyone knows how to learn and what to learn. As a teacher, I desire to help each student enjoy learning and develop the interest and find his/her potential in the subject. I need to know who my students are and what their background is, and how they learn.
In this century, teachers are required to know multicultural student bodies and how to fulfill their needs in learning. Differentiated lesson plans are always necessary. Every student deserves an equal opportunity to learn well. A trusting relationship between students and teacher is conducive to a positive learning outcome. I think it is important to get to know my students, their learning background, and their motivation to learn. I strive to provide a no-fear and open minded learning environment. A well-structured learning setting is cardinal to providing the equity of learning. I insist my students learn in an enjoyable learning climate which encourages an interactive and communicative learning approach with technology. What shall we learn together today?
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of the Pacific - Bachelors, Business Administration and Management
Graduate Degree: Plymouth State University - Masters, Conflict Resolution
Basic Computer Literacy
Elementary School Math
High School Business
High School Economics
Study Skills and Organization
Technology and Computer Science
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Introductions, review of existing knowledge, discuss needs, learning goals, and best approach to achieving those goals.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Solid study map and plan. Answer the "why, where, how, and what" questions so the student learns how to plan their own academic blueprint of success.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By focusing on why we are we learning. What is the end goal?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Redirect - if a student is struggling, it most likely is a result of a mismatch between the material, delivery, and student learning style.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Varied methods. Monitoring, metacognition, graphic and semantic organizers, journals, q and a, recognizing story structure, etc.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Creating a space of safe learning and exploration. Taking the time to understand the learners needs. Answering the questions, addressing the fears, and promoting self confidence.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Connect the subject to their life, help them find the interest or why in what they are learning. Provide choices in learning, and present the information in a variety of formats.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Student self-monitoring and instructor teach one, do one, show one method.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
The best way to build confidence is by allowing the student to develop strength in a subject. When you follow differentiated instructional methods and implement solid pedagogy you provide the student a pathway of academic success. This academic success builds a student's confidence.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Formal and informal assessment.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I am a differentiated instructor that focuses on learning styles. I teach to the learning style of my student.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Manipulatives, pen, pencil, crayons, paper, balls, pennies, cards, etc.