I am a high school teacher with 3 1/2 years of experience. During my time as a teacher, I have the opportunity to work with students from a variety of backgrounds. My first two years of teaching were in a Christian School in Illinois. During those two years, I had the opportunity to teach 5 foreign exchange students (3 from South Korea, 1 from China, 1 from Brazil). I next went to South Korea, where I spent three years teaching English as a second language. The last two schools I taught in were in Thailand. The first school was in Nonthaburi, an urban suburb of Bangkok. The last school I taught at was in Nakhon Phanom, a rural city located on the Mekong Rive, bordering Laos.
I have always been excited about mathematics and applied sciences. I love seeing how formulas work. I also enjoy being given a problem and finding the solution. My interest in history came much later as I began seeing how today's events are direct results of yesterdays actions. Over the last ten years, I have sought to teach myself history and have found great joy in what I have learned.
When I was a student, I learned that if I focused on understanding the material, my grade would take care of itself. I try to pass that same mindset onto my students. It isn't the grade you get that matters, it is whether or not you understand what you are doing. If you understanding what to do, you will be able to succeed on tests and quizzes.
My favorite thing about teaching is seeing a student that is struggling finally understand a concept. I believe my best teaching comes from a student telling me what they don't understand and me having to explain it differently. As a tutor, I get the privilege of going directly to the areas where students are struggling and leading them to a clear understanding of how things work.
It has been my experience that any student that is willing to work and wants to learn can earn at least a passing grade. I have never had a student earn less than a C that has done all of their assignments, attended class regularly, and asked for additional help as needed. I believe my role as a teaching/tutor is to give the students the additional help to clarify concepts that they miss or don't understand.
As a final anecdote about my teaching experience, I want to speak about the happiest moment I have had as a teacher. During my first year in Thailand, I had a student that I caught cheating on her first test. "Fern" at first tried to deny that she cheated, but later admitted when the evidence was shown to the school's administrator. Along with having her parents contacted and the test grade being a zero, the school administrator asked me if I wanted to take any other actions. I told her that I wanted to start tutoring "Fern" for 1/2 hour a week before school. When the school year ended, "Fern" came to thank me for "giving" her a C for the class. I informed her that I gave her nothing; it was her hard work that had earned the C. She broke down in tears at the realization that she actually earned the grade! I love to see students realize that they really can understand what they are being taught in school.
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