I am a licensed Pre-K to 6th grade teacher from the Richmond, VA area. I graduated in 2012 from Virginia Commonwealth University with my Masters in Teaching for Early and Elementary Education. I have done post-graduate coursework for working with Gifted and Talented students. I am in my fifth year teaching and currently teaching in a private Kindergarten. In the afternoons I also help with homework help for K-5 students. I have previously taught 4th grade and in early childhood settings. I was also a tutor for Huntington Learning Centers while I was searching for a full time teaching position. During my tutoring there I worked with elementary students as well as with middle school students for math and science. I was also an SAT and test prep tutor. I decided to look into Varsity Tutors because I enjoy teaching and I was looking for additional income. My love of teaching goes back to my own elementary school days and playing school as a child. I always said I wanted to be a teacher from about the time I was in second grade.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Virginia Commonwealth University - Bachelors, Elementary Education
Graduate Degree: Virginia Commonwealth University - Masters, Elementary Education
Reading, Adult Coloring Books, Listening to Music
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Science
Elementary School Writing
ISEE-Lower Level Mathematics Achievement
ISEE-Lower Level Quantitative Reasoning
ISEE-Lower Level Verbal Reasoning
ISEE-Lower Level Writing
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Science
Middle School Writing
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
I am a proponent of teaching to the individual child and their individual needs. I also enjoy using hands-on learning techniques and teaching using the knowledge of a child's interests.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, I would want to evaluate what the student already knows and also get an idea of their interests so that I can tailor instruction to meet those needs.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I believe you can help students become independent learners when you can show them that learning can be fun and encourage them when they are doing things correctly. Also, once you realize a student has mastered a particular concept, praise them for their excellent work!
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would encourage the student when I see they are doing things correctly. I would also do what I could to teach to individual interests. Encourage the student that they will get it with practice and help them through that practice.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would adjust how I was trying to teach the concept. Sometimes with teaching when you realize that what you are doing isn't working, you have to modify the lesson to a level the student will understand.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
As a teacher, I would try to find out what reading level they are at to make sure we are reading appropriate books for that student. I would also try to teach comprehension techniques such as note taking, highlighting, questioning, etc. A lot of it would depend on the age of the student and what they can do at that level cognitively. My teaching approach would also depend on what the individual student was struggling with on a case by case basis.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
When you first start working with a student, it is important to establish a positive and professional relationship. Let the student know you care about them and their learning, and also let them know you are human and not just a teaching robot. One way I have done this in person is by telling students about my family and sharing personal pictures as well as asking students about themselves and their own interests and families. It is also important to find out the goals of the individual student and help to set those goals as well as looking at what the student already knows.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would try to find out what is causing the student to struggle. If it is a lack of interest such as finding history boring, then I will do what I can to make it interesting and exciting. Also, doing what I can to teach to the individual student's interests. I know when I taught fourth grade many of the students struggled with history and science because they were not interested in what was being taught, so as a teacher I did what I could to make teaching and learning the concept fun and interesting.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would do a combination of formal and informal assessments. Assessments might include informally observing what the student is doing and asking questions or a more formal assessment such as an exit ticket (having the student answer a couple of questions on paper to do with what was taught or having the student write in their own words what was taught). I would also do quizzes to see what the student is learning.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
You have to show the student that they are capable of mastering the subject by encouraging them each time they master something. Even the smallest success can encourage a student and make them feel more confident in what they are doing.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
You evaluate needs informally with observations and formally with more formal assessments. You can also ask older students questions to get more details about how they are struggling and use those notes to decide on student needs.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
As a tutor and teacher, you are constantly assessing where the student is at within a particular subject and adjusting your lessons to meet the needs of that student. Just like I do in my classroom to tailor instruction, I would do the same with tutoring clients.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use various manipulatives, books, online resources, paper and pencil, and student provided materials (homework and classwork that needs to be corrected). I am willing to do what I can to make sure I have the correct materials to work with a particular student.