My name is Stacy Martinez, a current Graduate Student at Rutgers University, and I am set to complete my degree in May of 2017. Both my Bachelor and Master's Degree are in Landscape Architecture with a special interest in Cultural Historical Preservation within spaces, general communities, and our youth. My tutoring career began very early on at the age of 16 through a Calculus Professor. At the time I taught children from the ages of 6 and 12 in Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, and Spanish. Once entering college I expanded my age group and community circles. I began tutoring students my age in similar subjects as well as tutoring adults (in the New Brunswick community) who were not familiar with English. While Spanish is the known language of New Brunswick, I tutored adults who spoke a wide range of languages seeking to learn English (English Language Learning). In 2015 I put a hold to tutoring to pursue my interest in teaching at the University level. For the past two years I have co-taught 4 courses at Rutgers University within the Landscape Architecture Department.
Teaching is something that I naturally love to do. Though I continue to co-teach at Rutgers University today, I strive to tutor other children and adults to enhance their skills, gain an interest in their subjects, and most importantly have learning be fun and innovative.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Rutgers University-New Brunswick - Bachelors, Landscape Architecture
Graduate Degree: Rutgers University-New Brunswick - Current Grad Student, Landscape Architecture
Exploring/Nature, Fitness, Reading, Drawing
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Every day is an opportunity for learning.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Listen to the student - his or her personal interests and everyday activities. Get to know him or her for a few minutes before understanding their concerns and goals for the upcoming tutoring session(s).
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
While tutoring the student, I would teach them how to create and give themselves mini-quizzes so that they could understand the usefulness in testing themselves on what they just reviewed.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I've learned that comparisons and relationships to the student's personal life really gauges a student's focus and interest in their studies.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
First, if a student is frustrated, I try to give the student a mini-break. Then I try to ask him or her to give me three activities that they enjoy doing. While they are telling me of these activities, I attempt to apply such activities to the learning skill or concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Break it down, creating brackets or pauses within the sentences. Once those brackets are made, within each of the brackets, I ask the student to define what is being said above each of the brackets. Once done, we add all the definitions together to create a comprehension.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Relatability and being personable allows for trust and confidence within the student.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Apart from comparing it to their interests, I try to create active games and songs/rhymes to keep them engaged. I have also used colors and flashcards.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Repetition, and giving the students mini-quizzes at the end of our sessions.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
It'll take time, but I do plan on having him or her practice more heavily on that subject so that he or she can gain a stronger familiarity with the subject. Familiarity will ensure effectiveness.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Through the first, or even first two tutoring sessions, I can see the topics they are struggling in.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Every student is different, with different backgrounds and needs. Taking the student's strength or a particular skill that he or she has in another subject and applying it to the current one is useful.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Flashcards, color cards, templates, mini-quizzes, song/rhymes, and games.