Hello there! My name is Erica and I come from two generations of teachers! My mother, aunt and grandmother are all teachers. My mom taught school up until the month before I was born, so you can say I have been in the world of education my whole life! I am an avid reader and writer who is dedicated to correct spelling, proper grammar, and extensive vocabulary. I have a natural love of learning and passing that along means everything to me. My goal is to make a student realize his or her competence and ability to comprehend even advanced material. It is important for me to make learning a fun, positive experience so as to enable a student to feel confident in academia and in approaching new material.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: California Lutheran University - Bachelors, Communication
Reading, writing, poetry, classic films, music, museums, art and philosophy.
College Level American Literature
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Writing
High School English
High School Level American Literature
High School Writing
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Writing
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to break complicated concepts into their most simple components in order to set a strong foundation upon which to build.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session with a student, I will introduce myself and share my education history. I will applaud him or her for their being in tutoring, as it reflects their commitment to excellence and advancement.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner by affirming their intelligence and natural talents, and making learning an enjoyable experience. It is important for a student to develop a positive association with learning so that it becomes something they look forward to and want to do on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I help a student stay motivated by celebrating the smaller victories along the way to the larger ones.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, it is important for me to remind them that they are not alone, and it is perfectly normal for certain ideas to come easier than others. I will let them know that many of the most brilliant and intellectual people in the world often benefited from going over a skill or concept, and that we can approach this as a fun challenge. I encourage a student to have patience with himself or herself and to have confidence and faith that in their own time, it is possible to master any skill or concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I help students who are struggling with reading comprehension by relating reading to painting a verbal picture in one's head, or even telling a story or watching a television show or movie. When we develop strong mental pictures of words and then break the sentences into pieces, reading comprehension becomes much easier. I also like to incorporate art, as in drawing, to help 'illustrate' an author's often subjective vision.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Some strategies that I have found to be successful when I work with a student are repetition, the use of mnemonic devices, and the breaking down of concepts into their simplest components. Mastery of fundamentals is paramount. Each student has his or her own learning style, and I do my best to relay information in a way that is suitable to individual needs.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
To help a student to get excited/engaged in a subject they are struggling in, I would first address the struggle in a way that re-frames it as a positive opportunity for advancement. I will help the student to understand that the harder this is for them, the more accomplished and proud they will feel when they feel confident in this subject. I will encourage them to approach this as a chance for them to feel empowered by doing something that initially presented a challenge. I will do my best to start working with a student within their world of knowledge - building upon things they already know and incorporating supplementary information until, maybe unbeknownst to them, they have learned new things.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
To be sure that a student understands the material, I would dialogue openly with them about the subject and allow them to teach me. I will develop practice tests/writing prompts, as well as work with them on study techniques they can utilize on their own.