My name is Donita Petean! I am a history senior major at Grand Canyon University. As a result of that, my strengths include tutoring in history and English/writing,as I spend so much of my time in history, political history, politics, researching, and writing. I am willing and able to meet various students and help when I can. I have a heart for others and want to help them succeed as much as I can! I am kind, patient, and a hard worker.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Grand Canyon University - Current Undergrad, History
Politics, History, Sports, Reading, Writing, Exercising, Running, Sleeping, Music, Being with friends
College Political Science
High School English
High School Level American History
High School Level American Literature
High School Political Science
High School World History
High School Writing
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Help out most when students need the help. There is no need to force something on them when they do not need it. Be kind and fair, but hard when necessary as well. Also, be in tune with the student's body language. Take breaks when necessary, and finish strong when required.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Introduce myself, and find out what the student's like or dislikes. Have them work on an assignment individually, and from there, I can assess where they are struggling and what they need the most help with. It should be low-key and mellow, but work needs to be done too.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Have them do the work themselves. There is a stark difference between helping a student and doing the work for them. I can aid and assist when needed, but otherwise they need to do the work on their own, which in tune sharpens their potential leadership skills.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Pay attention to their body language. Take breaks when needed. Get snacks when necessary. Praise them on what they do well and exceed in and what they are improving on, whilst providing constructive criticism to help them work on their weaker areas.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Break it down in the most simple terms that I can. Take a break from it if necessary, and then come back to it.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I take it on an as-needed basis. We go line by line, and explain and break down as much as possible. Further, sometimes you just need to take a break and go back to it, especially if the person in question is getting frustrated. You really don't accomplish anything if you stay on the area for too long. Breaks are vital and important.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Be kind, be patient, be diligent, and most importantly, listen to their needs and wants. Not every student is the exact same.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Consistently encouraging them when there is progress. Make that effort, because it shows and acknowledges that you care, while making the student aware of just how far they have come! Rewarding them as well with small treats would never hurt.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Note cards, rewriting notes, and organization. In my history as a student and tutoring students, I have learned that rewriting notes helps the knowledge sink in more and provides more clarity, while flashcards provide easy access to definitions and are not as lengthy as notes. Having organization helps to set the mind at ease as well.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Positive reinforcement and constructive criticism. Let them know that they are getting stronger and better in an area, but also help them keep in mind that there are other elements that they can get better in. But ultimately, genuine positive reinforcement is major.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By listening to them, watching them work carefully, and paying attention to their body language, especially when it comes time to move on with something or to take a break.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Listening, responding, and observing accordingly to a student's needs and their body language. That will tell you more than they themselves ever will.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Notes, notebooks, flash cards, highlighters, my notes if necessary, their books and their notes, calculators, erasers, pencils, pens, and the like. I am old school in doing virtually everything on paper, so I do a lot on paper and carry that over with me.