Since I was sixteen I have known I wanted to join the field of education. Throughout my high school career I obtained jobs working for after school programs and summer camps. I quickly worked my way to obtain full time positions and eventually help to fill in for directors when they were gone. During my college years I spent three years at Blossburg Elementary School working as a tutor for grades K-5. This was one of my most rewarding jobs. I was given the opportunity to work in small groups and often one on one with students who needed extra help. I learned a great deal of practical information from the staff there and from my experiences working with students of special needs. I enhanced my classroom management and small group instructional skills. My love for teaching grew each and every day I worked. Between all these jobs I have 13 years of straight experience working with children, planning and implementing educational activities. The ranges of experience I possess have added greatly to my professional teaching arsenal and have shaped the teacher I have become. Throughout my jobs I learned valuable techniques and skills to work with children of special needs and during my student teaching I had opportunities to implement these strategies. The conflict management skills as well as my classroom management skills were honed and strengthened during my student teaching. My strong background in music helped make my lessons more rounded and have a stronger impact on my students. Music can enhance student learning and make the lessons more meaningful, and I feel it is essential for all elementary school students.
Undergraduate Degree: Mansfield University of Pennsylvania - Bachelors, Early Childhood/Elementary Education
Reading, Watching Science Fiction
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that every child has the potential to achieve greatness, and it is a teacher's duty to find that greatness in each and every one of our students and help them let it out. Teachers don't just open the doors to the future, we guide them through the doorway and show them what's on the other side. As a teacher, I strive every day to make an impact on each and every one of my students and make their dreams a reality.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I get to know the student on a personal basis. Their likes and interests as well as where they feel like they need extra help. I use this as a springboard to help plan a tutoring curriculum to best suit their needs.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Rather than giving students answers, I help students where they feel like they struggle. We work through the barriers that prevent them from completing a task and help them to learn strategies to complete them on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Lots of positive reinforcement as well as intrinsic rewards. I like to help students see their potential.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would go back to the beginning. Start small and break each skill/concept down to basics. A student's failure is actually my failure.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I use the Wilson reading strategy. This breaks comprehension skills down to the basics and students learn reading skills easily.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I tend to have the students show me what they know. I then take what they know and expand it further. If I see a student really confused, I will teach a new strategy.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I make the subjects fun! I relate the subject matter to something meaningful in their lives. I make sure they are excited about the topic prior to diving into the fundamentals.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I use self-reflection techniques. I ask students to reflect every session and tell me what we covered. This gives me direct feedback as to if they mastered the concepts.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Helping students build confidence means giving them the skill set to independently solve problems. As a tutor, I don't just help study; I help students learn to study or learn a concept.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Each session I take note of the areas of weakness and enhance the sessions going forward to tailor towards those weaknesses.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I use the student's interest to determine my sessions. I want the students to be excited about the material and enjoy what we are learning.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use a lot of technology. I have all sorts of educational software on my iPad and I use that for virtual learning tools.