I am a life-long learner and have worked with students of all ages over the past 40 years to facilitate their growth academically and achieve their personal goals.
I create an environment for learning that is free from guilt or judgment - I believe that academic struggles of the past are not necessarily indicators of an inability to learn - rather they show us methods that did not bring the results that were desired.
Everyone has the ability to learn, anything, given the right motivation, methods, and time.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Nevada-Reno - Bachelors, Psychology
Graduate Degree: Lesley University - Masters, Curriculum and Instruction - Educational Technology
Hiking, photography, travel, cooking
College Application Essays
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Writing
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Science
Middle School Writing
PC Basic Computer Skills
Study Skills and Organization
Technology and Computer Science
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that every student, regardless of age, has a key that is able to unlock their education. My goal is to build a relationship that will allow me to find that key. Everyone has preferences in learning, and I use a variety of teaching methods to help ensure that every student 'owns' their education.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first session is dedicated to calming nerves since seeking a tutor usually happens when things are not going well. Here we begin the process of building trust, learning interests, and laying the foundation for the work we will do together.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Each student has the ability to learn. Over the years they may have been told many things that are damaging their belief in themselves, but I help students regain confidence in their abilities. They develop a passion for their own growth once they get a taste of the freedom that learning brings.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
One key to motivation is focusing on a goal; if a student defines their personal goals clearly then this provides the framework for success. Creating checkpoints for progress also helps students stay motivated.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
It is often necessary to approach a topic away from traditional strategies. If those are not working then I will find something that does. It may come from the use of technology, or from a different content area. The key is to remain open, and to believe that everything can be learned and mastered.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension is a skill built upon several factors. If a student is having difficulty, we work on one or all of the following: decoding skills, vocabulary development, word knowledge, active comprehension strategies, visualization, summarizing text, and close monitoring by the tutor.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The greatest strategy I have found is to build a strong relationship of trust. Any skills I have as a teacher will not help if there isn't a close relationship with the students I am working with.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
If a student is struggling with a subject then they may also be dealing with a variety of other issues, such as fear of failure, peer pressure, and poor self-esteem. My job becomes being a coach, helping them to eliminate negative thinking that only adds to their problems. I build an environment absent of guilt and judgment, which allows them to grow at their own pace.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
True understanding allows a person to transfer and apply knowledge. In mathematics, I may ask a student to generate one or two problems related to their personal learning. For things such as reading comprehension, I may ask them to create a new character for a story, all while being consistent with the author's point-of-view and character development.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Confidence comes through practice and feedback. I make sure that the work we practice is developmentally appropriate and leads to success. I also tell students to understand that making a mistake is not a bad thing; we learn from those, make adjustments, and try again.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
As a teacher/tutor, my biggest skill comes from my ability to listen. When I first meet a student, I will ask a series of questions to find out what the student's goals are, and then we will look at what has hindered them from achieving those goals in the past. I may ask some probing questions to find out possible hidden areas of concern for the student.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
There is no "one size fits all' in learning. Each student, regardless of age, is capable of learning. As an educator, it is my job to create the proper environment for learning to occur. I will determine the student's preferred learning style, and adjust my methods and materials to complement those preferences.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Materials will vary by subject, and by the learning preferences of the student. In mathematics we may use a variety of manipulatives, allowing for concrete experiences before moving to symbolic representation. In reading, we may use everything from newspapers to fashion magazines to generate interest and promote learning.