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Maria

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I am a licensed teacher with six years of experience in both general and special education. I received a Bachelors degree from Mount Holyoke College in Sociology, a Masters Degree through the New York City Teaching Fellowship, in Bilingual, Childhood, and Special Education, and a Masters Degree in Language and Literacy at Harvard. I have experience working with students as young as in Kindergarten and adults across different ability levels. I have experience working with students who have dyslexia and can train students in rule-based reading. I also do test prep for aspiring independent school students. I like to work very specifically towards the needs of each of my students, and I want the experience to be both fun and beneficial.

Maria’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Mount Holyoke - Bachelors, Sociology

Graduate Degree: CUNY New York City College of Technology - Master of Science, Bilingual Education

Graduate Degree: Harvard University - Masters, Language and Literacy

Hobbies

Reading, singing

Tutoring Subjects

Adult ESL/ELL

Adult Literacy

Basic Computer Literacy

CLEP Prep

CLEP College Algebra

College Application Essays

College English

Conversational Spanish

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing

English

Essay Editing

French

French 1

GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment

Graduate Test Prep

GRE Analytical Writing

GRE Verbal

High School Writing

ISEE Prep

ISEE- Lower Level

ISEE- Middle Level

ISEE-Lower Level Verbal Reasoning

Languages

Math

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing

Other

Phonics

Spanish

Spanish 2

Special Education

SSAT Prep

SSAT- Elementary Level

SSAT- Middle Level

Technology and Computer Science

Test Prep

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

When students enter my classroom, the first thing they notice is a poster on my wall that reads, "Different people need different things." I grew up in New York City, attended the public schools, where I received a world-class education. Every teacher I had there recognized that our differences made us special, and that they could work towards equitable educational outcomes for students like me. My educational philosophy is a combination of progressivism and critical theory. I want to continue teaching because education promotes positive social change. I recognize that each child is unique and requires specialized, individualized, instruction. It is my goal to make sure that my students understand that learning is their superpower, that their differences make them perfect, and that curiosity is essential. I believe in making the classroom a safe and supportive community, ensuring that safety and trust are prioritized above all else. I do this by ensuring that routines are established early in the school year, that we set aside time in the morning for social development, and that each child feels a level of responsibility for his or her classroom. I also ensure equity by utilizing Universal Design for Learning and Understanding by Design techniques, which helps all student benefit from best teaching practices. Thus, I provide models for all students, preview and review concepts with all of my students, and set clear expectations. Paulo Freire says, "The teacher is of course an artist, but being an artist does not mean that he or she can make the profile, can shape the students. What the educator does in teaching is to make it possible for the students to become themselves." I view the classroom as the laboratory where experiences happen before they occur in the real world. This allows children to truly become the people they are meant to be. It is not because of me that my students have done well; it is because I have respected them, gotten to know them, and have let them shape me.

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

In a typical first session, I like to assess students for leveling purposes. We also get to know each other by developing a rapport and relationship. I like to learn about the student's interests so I can incorporate them into our sessions.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I can help a student become an independent learner by teaching them strategies that can help with their executive functioning. This ranges from organizational skills to basic academic skills that improve student performance.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I help students stay motivated by being funny, and simultaneously making sure that they understand that the end-goal is knowledge. I work hard to really get to know them so that they know I want to spend time and help them achieve their goals.

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

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I would try other strategies to try and teach it. Of course, in the moment, I might take a short break and go to a skill that I know the student already has, to ensure that we are working from a level of confidence.

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

I help students who are struggling with reading comprehension by encouraging them to do close readings and visualize what they are reading. I often do this by allowing students to try and restate the story in their own words, and then work on their critical-thinking skills after they have a foundational knowledge of the text.

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

The strategies I have found to be most successful when I start to work with a student are: (a) providing an interest inventory so that I can learn how to tailor my instruction, (b) assessing student skills by adapting to their interests, and (c) allowing students to talk about their schooling experiences and what they want from tutoring.

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

I would help a student get excited and engaged with a subject he or she is struggling in by reminding him that nothing is impossible, and by drawing on an example that bridges different content areas (with a link to a content area of strength).

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

In order to be sure that the student understands the material, I would regularly assess them, both when we are not together and when we are together, to see if monitoring the student makes a difference. I would do preview and review at the end of each session, with a review largely being the student recapping what it was that he has learned.

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

I build a student's confidence in a subject by starting with skills or questions that seem simple and building up to questions that are more difficult. This makes the assignments seem less taxing for students.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I evaluate students' needs using homework, formative assessments, summative assessments, and observational records. Formal assessments would not occur every session, but I would be constantly taking data in order to be able to better tailor my instruction.

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

I adapt my tutoring to the student's needs by learning what the student's interests are, what the student's needs are, and drawing on content and lessons that really reflect the student. No two students of mine have ever been alike, and I take pride in my ability to differentiate, even if three students are in a room.

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

I use workbooks, worksheets, school materials, prepared materials, and other such things as available online/library/elsewhere.