I love helping people achieve the mobility and independence in the English language to concentrate on achieving their goals instead of which words to choose. I want to help the student new to America feel comfortable going into each academic and social situation that is his life. I strive to bring my students more "future tense" and less "tense future." I have over three years' experience teaching online regularly and globally. I have almost 15 years of classroom teaching experience.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of North Texas - Bachelors, Communications (Radio/TV/Film)
I enjoy cooking, household decorating, reading, wrapping gifts, concerts, jogging, horseback riding and writing poetry. I have traveled extensively in Asia and I'm fascinated by culture around the world.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
First listen, then teach. Meet the student where he/is, no matter what the starting point. Teach him/her only information that is useful and helpful to his goals. Know your student, and care about your student.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would get to know the student. It doesn't matter at all how good my skills are as a teacher if I don't know what motivates you as a student.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Show methods instead of just answers. Verbalize what I'm doing as I pull up certain websites, use certain search phrases, and consult certain sources. Teach you HOW I find the answers, and not just what the answers are.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I like to keep students focused on the real world, and the real world waits for no one. But when I'm finished reminding you of your reality, I will also remind you of your strengths and the items that are in your favor so you feel empowered to meet the tough demands of modern education.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Find a different approach. KEEP TRYING.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Break down sentences, preview and review vocabulary, make a timeline of events, draw pictures, and relate the story to something the student understands better.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Move at a steady pace and inject a little fun - make a game of things, make a competition, if possible - keep people moving; get them out of their seats. Set a tone of accomplishment, but lightheartedness. Make the students feel safe so they will speak more. They have to know they won't be harshly judged before they will speak.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Make a game or competition out of it, or relate the topic to something the student likes better. Put something out there for the winning - depends on what motivates the student. Basically try to approach the subject in a different way that might be more interesting than what the classroom teacher is doing (likely lecture-style).
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would ask the student to pretend like I'm his/her little sister instead of the teacher, and to teach it to me -- teach back to me what I just taught you, as though I've never seen it. We retain 90% of what we TEACH and only 15% of what we hear. Role reversal is both fun and effective.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I would liken the subject to something the student already understands and enjoys, (video games, piano, swimming, etc.) and as the student pays more attention and starts making better guesses about answers, I would point out the progress at every opportunity. I would demonstrate to the child how far he has progressed since we started, and how he is actually good at this (initially uncomfortable) topic. I would help him with the vocabulary involved as that's usually the problem more so than the concept.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I have a meaningful conversation with the student, and also with his/her parents. If it is appropriate for me to consult one of their teachers, I would take the opportunity. I would ask about formal and informal assessments that have recently been completed and their results. I would not try to re-invent the wheel, but rather start with the available data and advice of others. As time progressed, if I thought the child had previously unidentified needs, I would share my opinion and also a suggestion for a possible solution with the parents.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I will change my materials, my speed, my number of words used, my complexity of vocabulary, the length of the session, and the manner of praise I give, depending on a student's level of English acquisition. What I will NOT change for ANYONE are my expectations! Whatever is your PERSONAL best, that's what I expect you to give me. Your personal best could be different from someone else's best. Give me YOUR best.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Of course, it depends on the subject, the age of the student, and how well the topic lends itself to visual media. I like to share the screen and look at the same articles together, making notes and annotating together with the platform's draw function. Sometimes, a very brief graphic animation might really help clarify a concept. I will use books and workbooks, real objects, body gestures, vocal intonations and puppets to get my point across. If a session is in person, and if the subject calls for it, I like to get up and do real life activities that demonstrate those principles. If the subject doesn't necessitate activity, I will still make a game out of it. Buzzers for right or wrong answers can be fun. Using playing cards to give us a number of adjectives or verbs we can think to use in a paragraph can be fun. I like to keep it fun, but keep it productive.