I am a graduate of Lincoln University (PA) where I received my Bachelor of Science in Biology. As a student, I was hired to be a peer biology tutor during my junior and senior year. During this time, I began working with groups of two to three students each session. Due to my success in communicating science concepts, the size of the group increased to about 20 students each session. I distinctly remember a very special day when a student ran toward me on my way to a tutoring session to excitedly report that he passed a test that he was very nervous about. This display of excitement and gratitude was a defining moment in my life, because it was the moment that inspired me to become a teacher. Ten years later, I’ve had the opportunity to teach high school science, biology and math for three years in the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago. I then returned to Baltimore where I now teach middle school science. I enjoy helping students find their own way to learn by presenting content in a variety of ways and evaluating students’ strengths and weaknesses. When I am not teaching, I enjoy reading, watching movies and taking my dog on long walks. I am also a huge soccer fan; a sport I played from middle school through college.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe students should have the opportunity to have fun discovering their learning style. Ultimately, each student should develop the skills to be confident, resourceful and self-motivated learners.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, I will get to know the student, set goals and present a plan for meeting each goal. The student will also be evaluated for preferred learning styles as well as content strengths and weaknesses.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I help students become independent learners by teaching students strategies for studying, memory techniques, and helping them to identify their individual learning style.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I help students stay motivated by setting clear and achievable goals as well as preparing fun and engaging lessons.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I will patiently break the lesson down into smaller, manageable parts that will give the student a greater chance for success. Also, I will present the information in new ways.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
1) I will break the text down into manageable parts. 2) I will read aloud for the student. 3) I will allow the student to practice reading. 4) I will help the student define challenging words, phrases and ideas.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
1) Playing games. 2) Reading aloud. 3) Reviewing student notes. 4) Doing sample questions / diagnostic tests.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I usually motivate my students by encouraging them to focus on the goals that we have set, connecting the lessons to other areas of interest to the student, and by celebrating each success that we have.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
The student will be given verbal and written checks for understanding, timed independent work, and quizzes.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I help students build confidence by making learning fun and helping the student have success answering challenging questions.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I simply ask the student about their needs. For additional data, I will examine student notes and do sample questions.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I will expose the student to different methods of content delivery, and then I will choose the method that produces the most results.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use student notes and textbooks, videos, games, and tutor-created notes and materials.