Hello! I received my degree in Applied Learning Development from The University of Texas and am currently an elementary teacher that works in a special education setting. I developed a passion for working with people with disabilities when I would volunteer with my mom at local Special Olympic games growing up. Now, I work primarily with students who need additional support in reading, math, writing, or social skills in virtual and in-person settings. I believe teaching should be individualized and see it as my duty to best meet learners where they are and tweak my instruction based on their interests, learning styles, and current level of understanding. While I currently work in an elementary school, I've worked with students through the high school level in a variety of subjects. I hope to be able to work with you soon!
Undergraduate Degree: The University of Texas at Austin - Bachelor of Education, Special Education
In my free time, you'll mainly catch me with a book in my hand or getting lost somewhere outdoors. My best days are when I combine the both of those!
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Science
Elementary School Writing
Middle School Reading
Middle School Science
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I know it might seem kind of cheesy, but my first day would include a few different things to get to know one another. I'd do this to get a better idea of the student's goals, their method of learning, and how they envisioned our sessions to go.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I feel like the ultimate goal is for the student to become an independent learner. Learning can be hard when it's not suited towards your needs or when it's not catered towards you. I would teach my students steps they can take when they come across something they find difficult, and I'd use different resources they can use to get some answers.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
One thing I enjoy doing for my students is tying lessons back to their interests. For example, if a student loves basketball, I would try to tie basketball into the lesson to hold their interest. I've found this to help keep students motivated. My corny jokes seem to work great with a lot of my students also!
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Firstly, I aim to be really patient and understanding with everybody. There will always be a time that a student doesn't understand something. To me, that just means that I need to figure out the puzzle and find a way to make it work for that student. This means that I use different tools, or word things differently and create a different plan of attack.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
The only way to work on comprehension is through reading. I have different reading tools such as story map charts, cause and effect puzzle pieces, and steps for making predictions. I would use these, along with different questions throughout a story, to help the student take meaning from the text. After having practiced together several times and the student begins to master the task, I would then begin to release the strategies and responsibilities to the student.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The most important factor to me is building a relationship with the student. Without trust and personal interest, little learning will actually happen. So first, build a relationship. Then, learn and see the student soar.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
It's hard to be excited about something that's hard. One thing that I would use, when appropriate, is a self-monitoring chart. The student fills out the chart by themselves and can see visual proof of how much they're improving. For other students, where coloring in a chart may not be as appropriate, I would still focus largely on the success that is being made rather than what still needs to happen. Constantly seeing their growth will then cause the student to gain motivation as well as self-confidence.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Ask purposeful questions. I look to have as many "aha!" moments as possible by wording questions in a way that allows the student to make the connections rather than me answering all of their questions. At the end of each session, I'd also have a purposeful "exit ticket" where the student will be able to answer a question from the lesson and/or ask me a question and go over what the next lesson will include.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Allow the student to view their own success. This often allows them to build confidence in themselves. I would do this by verbally praising their process and all of their attempts, focusing more on what the student has accomplished rather than what still needs to be accomplished, and always celebrating with the student when they complete something that they've been struggling with.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
As an (almost) special education teacher, I focus on adapting my lessons to meet the student's needs. This includes teaching in their method of learning, including their interests, and always keeping their age in mind to ensure that I'm tutoring the student in a way that's appropriate for their age.