Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. - Nelson Mandela
I currently teach 8th grade math and Algebra 1. I have been teaching math at the middle school level for 4 years. At my current school I am the math department chair, which means I oversee the math department itinerary, provide information from the county to our school's math teachers, assist with curriculum professional development, keep a detail record of mathematics inventory such as calculators, manipulatives, and textbooks. I am also the soccer and softball coach for the past two years. For the past four years I tutored students after school. I have also been tutoring students for the past four years as an independent tutor. I tutored students from Kindergarten to 12th grade. These tutoring sessions varied from homework help to basic skills, one step and two step word problem decoding, one step equations to multi-step equations using manipulatives, pre-teaching skills that were soon to be introduced by the student's teacher, and many more skills that parents requested.
Prior to working at the middle school level, I taught at an Elementary School for 5 years. Of those 5 years I taught 4th grade 3 years and 5th grade 2 years. 4 of the 5 years I spent tutoring after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Mondays and Wednesday I would spend time at the local library tutoring students in mathematics at the elementary school level.
As a teacher I try to keep an equal balance of movement, peer engagement, mathematical discussion, practice, exploration of content in my lessons. I try to reach all needs of all my students and keep an open line of communication.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Lees-McRae College - Bachelors, Elementary Education K-6
Graduate Degree: Concordia University-Portland - Masters, Curriculum and Instruction K-14
Softball SoccerArts and CraftsDIY projects Music Hiking CampingTrying new things
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
To help a students stay motivated I give a lot of praise and compliments.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The strategies that I use when tutoring that have found most successful are motivation, setting high expectations, teaching the way I would like to learn (like hands-on), repetition, and praise. I have found students have more success when they feel they have confidence in themselves.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
There are many ways to get students excited with a subject; a lot depends on the student. Creating competition not only between others but themselves (How fast can you recite your multiplication? Can you beat that time?). Allowing the student to take control of their learning or what is taught helps create engagement with a lesson. Giving students rewards for correct answers (who doesn't like a reward?). These are just a few ways. Ultimately, it depends on the student, so building a relationship is most important.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Explanation is the best way to gain understanding if a student understands the material. If a student can teach me how to work a problem, or explain the process and apply that process on other problems, then they understand.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
One way that I try to build a student's confidence is through praise. I try not to correct the student initially when they say something wrong; I try to listen to their full explanation. I will ask questions that will help guide them to the correct response, with the hope that they learn how to correct their own mistakes. I try setting obtainable goals for my students. Every time they reach a goal and feel that success, it builds their confidence.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I try to evaluate a student's needs through the first session. Some students can be very vocal about their needs; others not. If a student is not vocal, I will ask questions that help me better understand what they understand. Thorough explanation of how to solve particular problems is one of the best used methods.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
For mathematics, I typically use diagrams, pictures, manipulatives, calculators, graphs, drawings, and real-life examples during a tutoring session.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt my tutoring to a student's needs once I see the issue. Like stated before, some students are vocal about their needs; for others, I ask questions to assess what they need.