Hi! My name is Laura and my passion is teaching. I believe positive reinforcement is the key to academic success. Whenever possible, hands-on learning is essential. Whether it is using manipulatives to understand math or visiting a museum to see artifacts from another country or time period, learning must become a personal endeavor. My goal is not simply success in one subject, but in acquiring the tools to be a lifelong learner. I set high standards and expectations of my students and then accept the responsibility of helping them want to achieve them. I expect my students to exhibit discipline and a desire to learn--and if I don't see that in the first session, we will start there before we tackle the subject matter. The learning environment is vital to the process of learning--and to my sanity.
I have worked with individual students in the subjects they are having difficulty with by helping them acquire new skills using subjects/hobbies they already enjoy. For example, I invented a baseball diamond incentive chart to help an elementary-age boy who loved baseball want to improve his reading skills. I helped a middle school boy one summer learn how to write better by helping him prepare a written and oral report on his favorite subject and then presenting it to his family. He made A's the following year!
I am an award-winning teacher. I was named the First Place winner of the first-ever National Student Teaching Competition conducted by the National Education Association in Washington, DC. I have always pursued excellence--as a student, a teacher, and professional. I have taught all ages from preschool through university graduate students and am willing to work with students starting at the point they feel most comfortable. We find the beginning level for success and build on that. Often, when a student is failing or is frustrated in a particular subject, it could simply be that he/she did not understand a basic concept when it was first presented in a class and the teacher did not have time to make it clear but had to move on. We'll find that point together and establish a foundation for continued success.
I am an excellent writer and public speaker. I can help elementary students improve their reading and writing and spelling. I can help any age student build her/his confidence in speaking before a group. I was an advanced math student all through middle and high school and can also help students in math up through algebra. I have traveled the world and have a passion for cross-cultural learning and can help history or social studies come alive for students. I am a seasoned researcher and have written two master's theses and a doctoral dissertation. Writing long papers is not about having a lot to say but about being organized with what you have to say. I have great organizational skills and can help a student develop good study habits.
My bachelor's degree was early childhood education and I taught third grade before entering graduate school. I have a master's degree in communication and many years experience as a writer and editor of newsletters and magazines. I was also a graphic designer for several years. I have a Christian ministry background and seminary training as well, so I can help with Bible studies and religion as an academic subject. I also have many years working for women's organizations and have a master's degree in women's/gender studies. My personal research focus is the history of American feminism. My doctorate is in education, specifically, higher education administration. I have taught in universities in the US and Romania. I thoroughly enjoy interacting with students. I believe I can be my students' friend AND teacher. I view each of my students as created in the image of God and deserving of my respect.
The success of my teaching is based solely on what my students learn. If no learning occurs, then no teaching has occurred. I believe teaching is a two-way street. I expect to learn new things from my students as they should expect to learn from me. I have lived overseas and understand the frustrations of living in a new culture and not knowing the language. Therefore, I am very open to working cross-culturally with students from other countries and will exhibit patience and kindness toward them.
As a professional educator, I am looking forward to helping you achieve your goals. Contact me with your questions. May you find the key that unlocks the door to success!
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