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Laura

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I went back to college to earn my education degree when I was 35 years old. I understand what it's like to have to start over in life with very little in my pocket, working toward an education and new career, and raising a family as a single mom. I want to inspire and help mold the lives of all the students I come in contact with in hopes that they would continue their education and achieve the future they desire. I want to help students find a love for learning in hopes they will have a desire to find a career that they will enjoy and succeed in. I love when a student gets that "aha" moment and finally understands a subject and feels confident in their abilities as an active learner. I love to see them smile when they know they CAN do what they once thought was impossible. I love teaching!

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Laura’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga - Bachelors, Early Childhood Education PreK-3

State Certified Teacher

Hobbies

I'm a mom so I don't do a lot other than be a mom. But when I do get some free time I enjoy making crafts and projects, going on a walk/hike, watch a good movie, or color a really cool picture.

Tutoring Subjects

Art

Elementary School

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Science

English

Handwriting

Math

Other

Science

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Anyone can learn! Some things may be more difficult but nothing is impossible. I believe in using many different methods to help my students learn. Not everyone learns the same way. I want to engage every part of a student in their learning through audio, visual, hands-on and movement.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

During a first session, I want to get to know a student: what are their interests, what do they feel their strengths are, what do they feel their weaknesses are, and what is it that they hope to gain from being tutored? I also want my student to know some things about me so they know who it is that's teaching them. Then we start looking at what they need help with and make a plan on how we are going to tackle their needs.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

A student will never learn how to do something if you always do it for them. I like the I do, we do, you do approach. I'll teach and do some myself, then we'll do some things together, and then the student will do some on their own. Sometimes this method doesn't work, and I would need to start with having a student find what they understand in a problem. Then we go from there. They need to take ownership in their learning and start by showing what they do know and understand.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

When a student gets frustrated, their motivation goes away. So when frustration begins, a break must take place, but the learning must never end. So we take brain breaks and learn in a different way: video, song, dance, etc. No matter what, I wouldn't let the student ever give up.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

If a student is struggling with a skill or concept, then I've got to find another way to teach that skill/concept. This is again where using a variety of methods to teach comes in. I might use different manipulative for a math problem, or a poem for a grammar lesson, or a song...in any subject. Every student learns in different ways.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

When a student is struggling with reading comprehension, you have to decrease the amount that the student is reading. I would start with smaller chunks of the literature and use the read/stop/paraphrase method. Sometimes the student may be reading too fast and just not paying attention to what they are reading, so they need to slow down and again talk about what they read. I would also make sure they are understanding what they are reading by stopping at different points and asking them what something they read meant.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Students have to know that you believe in them. I never want them to feel like I think they are stupid or that they can't learn. As a teacher, I have to be encouraging at all times. In the beginning I may need to start with things they already know so they feel good about what we are doing and not frustrated. Then, we work toward the things they are struggling with. They have to trust me and know that I'm there for them and I'm not going to give up on them.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I would use things they enjoy to help teach them the subject they are struggling in. A song, a poem, motions that relate to the topic, a fun video of the topic, etc., and have them moving and enjoying themselves while they learn.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Answering a question correctly doesn't always mean that a student understands the material. If a student can teach me the material, then they understand.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

You build a student's confidence with praise, praise, praise! In the beginning they need to have some questions that they are able to answer. Starting with the hardest questions is only going to tear them down. They need to be built up so they have confidence in themselves and know they can keep going and get to the really hard questions and be able to answer them.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I would need to know what they feel their struggles are and maybe even what their teacher says their struggles are. I would need to know what it is they are needing to accomplish in class but having difficulties doing. Once I know what it is they need help with, then I would give a pretest to see exactly where they need to most help.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

As a teacher, I have to know about the student. I adapt, knowing what they enjoy and love so that I can use that in my teaching. I then need to know how they learn best: audio, visual, movement, etc., and then teach to that.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

I would have examples, manipulatives, paper, different kinds of pencils and pens, white boards and markers, games, videos, music...anything needed for that lesson.

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