I have a sincere interest in each student's individual learning processes, realizing that everyone's learning style is different. That is why the strategies and methods I employ may differ from student to student. However, I usually begin the tutoring relationship by completing a diagnosis of skills and assessing the student's most effective learning styles. Just as importantly, I like to talk to them about their school experiences/challenges and likes/dislikes. This provides me with valuable insight into how they learn best and where they're at on the subject(s) we'll be covering.
We all have the same goal: increased confidence and enthusiasm for learning via continued academic success. I like to ask parents to allow me to review their child's old quizzes, tests and class notes to help me get a sense of what the child knows, their study habits, learning styles and test taking ability. We can then set appropriate goals and review expectations with both the student and parent(s).
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I integrate what I learn about my student into each lesson and encourage and allow time for discussion and Q and A. To engage students and improve their motivation, I try to make lessons as enjoyable and as relatable as possible, often providing relevant real-life examples and skill level appropriate challenges.
I strive to build a confident and supportive relationship with my students and realize how important it is to remain truly "present" during each tutoring session. My experience in teaching numerous scholastic (English, language arts, reading/spelling, ESL, history, social studies etc.) and elective subjects (French, art, art history) allows me to draw out and encourage questions. It's also a great way for me to gauge if there is a lack of understanding at any point in the tutoring session.
For visual learners I like to use learning tools such as flash cards, diagrams, illustrations, mind maps and occasional online learning games. For auditory learners I implement activities encouraging speaking and thinking aloud. For more tactile learners I engage them in movement and touch by using puzzles, real-life examples, and even simply focusing on the movement of writing or typing.
I realize how important it is to have effective communication on all sides and work hard to strike a balance between focusing on my students' strengths while also giving them corrective instruction and feedback. To ensure maximum learning and retention, I combine subtle methods, including eye contact and specific speaking/listening skills as well as more traditional techniques, such as providing verbal feedback, support and encouragement. Alternating my teaching methods while regularly recording progress can make all the difference in the world as to whether the student will meet and exceed their own expectations.
I always end tutoring sessions on a high note - I want my students to feel good about the progress they're making and to look forward to their next session. My goal as a tutor is to help set the stage for their continued learning success, so they can feel confident while building on the progress they have achieved during our sessions!
For your information:
ENGLISH/WRITING: I excel at tutoring English-related issues including: ESL, essay writing, grammar, spelling, reading and reading comprehension, and PSAT/SAT prep. I am a very experienced editor.
PHONICS: For those who wish for their child to improve reading skills, I am knowledgeable of and can employ use of the phonics-style learning system. Via this method I have achieved success with students who have become "stuck" at a certain reading level and are frustrated or discouraged at their progress.
ESL: My love of teaching led me to St. Edwards University where, in February of 2012, I earned a Teaching Certificate in English as a Second Language (ESL). I've found that my experience teaching ESL has given me further insight into how best to help all people (children to adults) achieve their reading and comprehension goals. I currently teach English lessons via Skype to people as far as Uruguay!
ART/ART HISTORY: My first degree is in Art/Graphic Design and I worked in the field for three years. An example of my work: the Austin Java Company logo. I owned a successful art gallery for five years. This allowed me to raise funds for children (both sick and well, with and without disabilities), all in need of art supplies. I love tutoring a budding artist in everything from life drawing to painting to Art History!
SOCIOLOGY: My second degree is in Sociology from UT, where I also took significant case work in the areas of religious theory and multicultural studies. I received a National Science Foundation (NSA) grant to continue my Sociological studies.
TUTORING YOUTH: I was an AmeriCorps volunteer at Widen Elementary and also an AISD Victory Tutor for four years. That's where my love of teaching began!
BUSINESS ACUMEN: I have 10 years of professional experience , mostly working in an educational/training/public speaking capacity at companies such as Any Baby Can and the American Cancer Society. Three years ago I began a consulting business, which has included contracts as an editor for PBS and a tutor/mentor for people with disabilities wishing to become entrepreneurs.
Know that my love of teaching comes from a sincere place and that it's my hope to work with you and your child to increase their academic success!
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