A photo of Kimberly, a tutor from Clark Atlanta University

Kimberly

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I have been in Education for 12 years. I earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Clark Atlanta University, a master’s degree in educational leadership from Lamar University, and a Doctor of Education in instructional leadership from Nova Southeastern University. My teaching Certifications include ESL, EC-4, Special Education, and Gifted and Talented. I have 7 years of classroom experience teaching grades Pre-K, First and Third in HISD and FBISD. I was an ESL specialist in Fort Bend ISD serving grades Kindergarten through Fifth for 3 years and in my current role as a Teacher Development Specialist in HISD I train and support classroom teachers from grades Pk- Fifth to help improve their performance as teachers and raise the level of student achievement in their classrooms. I am passionate about foundational literacy and teaching reading. I especially enjoy working with students that may be limited in English proficiency and helping them to reach their goals through the use of effective instructional strategies. I love seeing my students grow, change, obtain inner confidence, start to believe in themselves, and absolutely flourish. I look forward for the opportunity to work with you and your child!

Kimberly’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Clark Atlanta University - Bachelors, Business

Graduate Degree: Nova Southeastern University - PHD, Educational Leadership

Hobbies

Yoga, Reading, Traveling

Tutoring Subjects

Elementary School

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing

English

ESL/ELL

Expository Writing

ISEE- Primary

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Other

Phonics

Special Education

STAAR Grades 3-8 Prep

Test Prep


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that all students are capable of learning, however it will be in their own way and at their own rate. As an educator, it is my duty and responsibility to be skilled in my craft, possessing a deep knowledge in my content and varying instructional strategies so that I am able to discern which approach works best for each student, and then tailor my instruction accordingly. When my students are not successful, I reassess and make the necessary changes to better equip them to achieve their goals. I teach because I love it, and I care about my students achieving their goals and being all that they want to be.

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

I would like to get to know the student to understand what their current struggles are as well as what their goals are. I also value reading with students from the beginning as well. Literature can create common experiences.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By creating a learning environment that holds them accountable for their learning. When I work with students, there are things that I do, things we do together and things that they alone must do.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I motivate students through establishing consistent routines, creating common goals, being clear about expectations and then holding each other accountable.

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

I would first need to understand the Why behind the struggle to determine an action plan. Sometimes students struggle because they lack previously taught skills, it may be teacher-taught misconceptions, it could be lack of focus, or simply they just don't want to learn something. Once I know the why, I can determine if I need to provide initial instruction on a skill, reteach a skill, teach a strategy, provide practice, model thinking or process or motivate.

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

Students struggle in reading comprehension due many different reasons; decoding, fluency, language, level of text, genre of text -- questions stem from any number of things. I would assess students first to get a proper independent reading level using a running record, and then take them up a reading level or 2, working on comprehension-based strategies with texts that I know are in the student's instructional range.

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

Having a clear understanding of the student's reading level from the onset. Taking the time to assess students with a running record to obtain an accurate independent level is invaluable. It allows me to not only get their correct reading level, which will be the basis of the bulk of literacy work, but it also allows me to observe their reading behaviors and make anecdotal notes of concepts and skills that I need to review with them or teach.

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

Often when students struggle, they lack motivation. It is important to me as a teacher that I build self-confidence in my students so that, as they grow, they believe in themselves more. When you do this intentionally as you teach students well and they struggle less, they also feel better about themselves and become more engaged in the process now that they have seen themselves win.

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

I frequently check for understanding. With a new student in reading, we will stop after designated sections so that I can both model thinking for them and have them share their thinking about the text.

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

Often, confidence will come with academic growth if you are intentional. As a teacher, I deliberately take the time to establish a relationship with my students. One of the first things my students learn about me is that I care about them and I believe in them. It takes that relationship to help a child obtain inner confidence, start to believe in themselves, and absolutely flourish over time.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Initially, for reading clients, with a running record assessment so I can establish the student's independent reading level and get a baseline calculation for the number of words that they can read per minute as well as how they sound while reading. I evaluate what I need to begin working with them from that point.

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

As an educator, it is my duty and responsibility to be skilled in my craft, possessing a deep knowledge in my content and varying instructional strategies so that I am able to discern which approach works best for each student, and then tailor my approach accordingly. When my students are not successful, I reassess my approach and make the necessary changes to better equip them to achieve their goals.

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

For elementary reading, usually magnetic letters, whiteboards, dry erase markers, pictures for sorts, leveled text, a writing journal, rich literature to read aloud, questions and accountable talk stems.