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Sharayah

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I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Oregon with a special interest in children's literature. I have over 6 years of tutoring experience, both privately and through an agency, for grades K-12 and just about every subject.

From 2010 to 2012 I worked as a private tutor, focusing primarily on reading and writing, but also helping a few students with math ranging from 5th grade fractions to freshman algebra. I have worked with students as young as 3 and as old as 16.

From 2012-2014 I worked with Northwest Behavioral Associates in Bellevue, WA as a tutor for children on the autism spectrum (teaching everything from grammar to social fluency to self-help skills), so I also have extensive experience working with children on the autism spectrum, including OCD, ADD, PDD-NOS, and Aspergers. I am not intimidated by tricky behaviors!

I have experience tutoring English language learners (ELL) and assisting with test prep and organizational skills.

I am currently in training to become an AMS-certified Montessori 3-6 (Primary) teacher and have assisted in a Montessori classroom since March 2016. My philosophy on working with children is one of deep respect for the child's personhood, development, and need for independence.

After taking a brief hiatus from tutoring to get established in my Montessori training I am once again assessing interest and hope to build a clientele for tutoring sessions beginning in January 2017, after the holidays.

Sharayah’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Oregon - Bachelors, English

Graduate Degree: Montessori of Alameda Teacher Education Program - Current Grad Student, Primary (3-6)

Hobbies

I love to read, draw cartoons, paint, sculpt, make anything involving glitter, hike, cook and bake, and play with my two year old.

Tutoring Subjects

American Literature

AP English Literature and Composition

Basic Computer Literacy

Elementary School

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Science

Elementary School Writing

English

English Grammar and Syntax

ESL/ELL

Essay Editing

High School English

High School Level American Literature

High School Writing

Math

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing

Other

Phonics

Science

Special Education

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I approach each student with empathy and understanding. I believe that a relationship of mutual respect and trust is important! I work hard to think outside the box and recognize each student's individual needs. I follow the student and set the pace based on what will work for them.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

Spend some time getting to know one another. My typical questions include: "What is your favorite thing to read?" "What do you like to do in your spare time?" "What are your favorite and least favorite subjects?" "What do you hope to get out of tutoring?" I try to set forth a basic outline of what our sessions will look like going forward, and set a few goals that we can work towards. I also like to establish the chain of communication, whether that's with a parent or a teacher.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

An independent learner is one who is goal-oriented, self-motivated, and has developed strong study habits. Helping a student to achieve a higher level of independent learning means helping them develop good study habits like organization and note-taking skills. We may sit down together and identify their goals so they can keep their eye on the bigger picture when things get difficult.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Depending on the age, it can be anything from a small sticker chart or treasure box to an agreement with parents about a larger incentive. Other students don't operate this way, and will benefit better from drawing out a map of their goals to help them stay on track. The ultimate goal is to reach a place of internal motivation where external rewards are unnecessary.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

Slow down, approach things from a different angle, take a break and come back to it, ask another teacher or tutor for their input, or ask the student to try explaining the concept to me so that the areas that are most difficult become apparent, and I can better help them overcome the difficulty.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Break the text down into smaller bite-sized parts. Visuals are often helpful, whether the student hand-draws them or we find pictures to add to the text. Writing is also very helpful for comprehension- I may take some time with the student to have them compose a piece of writing from their own mind that is similar to what we are attempting to read. Above all else: lots of time, practice, and patience.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Identifying what really makes their eyes light up and grabbing a hold of that. Some students can get through a long session just because we're using a whiteboard, and it's fun to write on it. Others need to take frequent breaks to move their body. Most students really benefit from taking some time to switch places with me: I become the student, and they tutor me in their subject. This really helps to solidify understanding.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

It's always helpful to find a game we can play to help teach a difficult concept. Using our hands to help solidify abstract concepts with manipulatives or with drawings can be really helpful. Sometimes it's useful to find a way to keep some data and let the student compete against themselves from week to week to see how they improve.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

The best way, in my opinion, to ensure that a student really understands the material is to ask them to teach it to me. This makes it very clear whether or not they understand it (and can explain the "why" behind it).

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Time and practice. Keeping some records of their progress so they can see themselves improve (this may be how much time it takes them to get through a stack of flashcards, or how many problems they get through without an error). It's also really useful to make sure that the student has a strong foundation in the subject-backtracking a bit and reviewing simpler foundational skills can really help a student feel like they know what they're doing- and why.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Speaking with the student, the parent, and sometimes the teacher to understand why they are seeking tutoring. What are their current grades? Where do they feel they are struggling? Where do others feel the student is struggling? Do those two things align?

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

It is all about the student's needs! I come into a session with years of experience and a toolbox of tactics that have worked in the past, but I spend a lot of time studying, practicing, and thinking of new ideas to help each of my students succeed. If something isn't working, we throw it out the window and try something new.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

In-person: a whiteboard and markers, paper and pens/pencils, sometimes drawing materials or simple games related to the subject. Often a laptop or tablet for looking things up.