Hello! I am a certified high school teacher with experience in CPS. I am very patient and creative. I love solving problems and helping students of all ages to learn effectively, understand deeply and master information - especially in the pursuit of learning new languages.
Undergraduate Degree: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Bachelors, Commercial French Studies (French & Business Administration)
Graduate Degree: DePaul University - Masters, Master of Education, French & Spanish K-12
Elementary School Math
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
I strongly believe that everyone deserves to be taught in a way that respects where they are with the material and in a way that makes sense to them, and at a pace that is challenging but attainable. With regard to language learning, I believe that everyone who speaks is capable of learning a second language. I love being part of the process!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
It really depends on what we have discussed prior to the first session. I prefer to be over-prepared and will likely have a few different ideas ready. For instance, it might make sense to review known information to ensure mastery before moving forward, taking a quick test to gauge where the student's areas for improvement might be, or jumping right in from the very beginning. It truly depends on each situation.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
One small way in which I help students to become independent is by only teaching new material once. After the first time, I ask questions and help the student to come to the answer. This is not a sink or swim exercise, but rather a gradual loosening of my grip on the material in favor of the student's mastery.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I think it is best to provide lots of fun activities, including whatever the student enjoys, whether it is music, creating poetry, word games, puzzles, flashcards, quizzes, or discussion in the target language. There are many ways to improve fluency in language, and most of them are a lot of fun.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try another approach. I like to use acronyms, metaphors, silly stories, or just explanations with clear parameters. Everyone has a way to remember things. Sometimes, it is just a matter of finding what works for individuals.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Practice, practice, practice. If we start at low-level reading and progress to higher, most students will get better with time. There are also techniques of identifying problem words and defining them, using context clues, rephrasing, and looking for details. Reading comprehension is easily improved upon with plenty of practice.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
When building up reading levels, the best approach is to provide text that is the student's existing reading level, plus one. A similar approach can be used with most material. As a tutor, it is my responsibility to challenge the student with material only slightly more difficult than he is already used to. In this way, he improves gradually. Students lose confidence when they feel lost in a subject. This typically happens when things go too fast.