I graduated from California State University at Northridge with a Bachelor of Arts in Radio-Television-Film with a minor in Political Science. I have been a teacher and a tutor for over 20 years. Now, using exciting new technology, I greatly enjoy tutoring online! Through all these years, I have approached every student from Kindergarten through college/adult level with unbounded creativity in finding each person's unique strengths and areas where strengths are less evident. As a writer, I creatively strive to strengthen my students where they are strong and, at the same time, where they are not so strong. I am passionate about communication, all the way from phonics/reading/ESL to every kind of history and any writing task presented. I have been trained in ultrasound technology, and therefore entertain the sciences and many levels of math. Overall, with mutual respect for my students, I only desire for each one of them to achieve better and that makes it all worthwhile for me.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: California State University-Northridge - Bachelors, Radio Television Film
As for hobbies, I delight in nature hikes, camping, swimming in the ocean and loving the beach. I like to daydream, travel and experiment with all sorts of cultural foods.
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Writing
GED Reasoning Through Language Arts
GED Social Studies
High School English
High School Level American History
High School World History
High School Writing
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Science
Middle School Writing
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy of teaching is one of helping the student to discover. Some of the knowledge is embedded by rote repetition as always, but concepts need to be discovered by the student to ensure understanding and mastery.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
A very casual question and answer interview helps me to assess where the student is struggling, what the scope of study needs to be and where the student wants to go.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I will teach many of my own simple secrets to success in learning, and pull in other materials that will strengthen the student in learning better for themselves.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Encouragement is key. If the student is doing well in another class, then there is every reason that they can do well in the studies set before them with some tutorial guidance.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try to present the skill or concept in two or three different ways. Perhaps orally, by pictures/diagrams and even active media to approach it from all different angles. Surely, one approach will help the student to understand, or a combination of the approaches will help us move on.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Patience! I section out the reading assignments and stop to ask the student pointed questions about what was just read to check for understanding. The student gets the idea that when I stop, they need to start trying to pay attention to what they are reading. Also, I will check them on their understanding of vocabulary. They may not know some of the words used -- so a handy dictionary routine is in order to learn unknown words. This list of unknown words is written down by the student (writing or typing) to further ingrain the word and the definition in their collective learning mind.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I think there is a small period of connecting that must go on between student and teacher. We need to find common ground and decide to have mutual respect for each other. The student's perspective and understanding is just as important as mine. If there are errors in the student's perception, based on relationship, I will have 'the place' to offer guidance.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Any successes along the way are celebrated with praise and brought up time and time again to reinforce the student when they feel like giving up. Once a few items are achieved well, the student is set up to be more excited and engaged.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I am big on the litmus test of question and answer. Along the way, I will ask questions that are provocative for obtaining an answer that resembles understanding. Beyond that, we can do this type of thing with simple one-paragraph writing assignments so the student has a chance to think more about their answer, and we can go over it together to see if there are any holes in understanding.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I make it clear that there is no subject that they cannot at least do somewhat well in. The subject may not be their vocational calling, but they are intelligent, bright and have a willingness to learn, and so they will.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Once again, question and answer in a very casual interview session. Also, along the way, unspoken needs become clear as we do more and more of the classwork and these are addressed accordingly -- as needs which will be met.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I've learned, as a teacher, that people have different modalities for learning. Some students are commonly visual learners, while others are aural, intuitive or even tactile -- perhaps a combination of several modalities. I try to notice the best modality of learning for the student and employ those types of teaching material/activities to adapt to the student.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I will use oral instruction, written instruction, review of concepts and multimedia. Whatever will suit the needs of my students.