Messiah College (Social Studies)
Thank you for taking the time to check out my profile. I firmly believe that every student is capable of retaining knowledge and effectively communicating that knowledge. One summer, I tutored a young man who struggled with math, reading comprehension, writing and oral presentations. I used Edgar Allen Poe's, "A Noiseless Patient Spider" as the foundation for our weekly sessions. I did so, because he became fixated by the spider on his porch during our math sessions! By the end of the summer, he memorized and orally presented the poem with confidence, decreased the time of his targeted written compositions, and increased his writing proficiency. I used his own interests to empower his success.
I have tutored students from third grade to undergraduate. I have worked with students with autism, ADHD, mild dyslexia, ODD, and other special needs. Most recently, I taught for five years at a faith based private school. Each year, I taught a different age group, due to the size and needs to the school. I taught: Math for 1st -11th grade, Science for K - 10th grade, History for 3rd - 6th grade, Writing for 1st - 12th, beginning Latin for 3rd - 11th, Logic for 5th - 11th. Finally, I assessed and co-taught reading for 1st - 10th grades. My passion is for Math and History and my strengths are in these two subjects, along with reading and writing, because they are so important in History. Every semester, I was presented a different set of challenges, mostly due to the influx or withdrawal of students. This forced me to adapt my approach and style in a manner that best fit the students in my classroom. By focusing on the students' interests, strengths, and individual gaps, I could tailor my instruction, and still accomplish the curriculum goals.
I have taught math from 1st grade Arithmetic through 11th grade Algebra II. I have used four different curricula (Saxon, Abeka, Key to, Spectrum) and a host of supplementary materials. This has allowed me to experience different types of strategies for teaching the same concepts, and exposed me to a variety of methodologies to apply to individual learning styles. One of my favorite topics in Math is "the missing number/variable." I tell the story of "x", how he became disenfranchised by being a member of the alphabet. So, he went to look for work and found that he could stand in place of the missing number until it is found. Students have found this same humor and even mystery in my own story problems, which are written specifically to take away their fear of story problems. "Two cupcakes walked up the stairs...." and "The Hydra" became perennial favorites.
As for reading and writing, I believe assessment and establishing baselines are instrumental in developing a students' reading skills. Always start with the student, never with the task at hand. I have found that I could guide a student to completing any task and still leave them without a conceptual understanding of the tools needed to complete it. This does a disservice to everyone, especially the student. I always start with a level they have already mastered, and love to read aloud with the student. In this way, their reading progress becomes a shared journey of discovery, as opposed to "no, do it this way." I believe in keeping detailed data regarding students' progress. I have used Dr. Frye's method, McCall-Crabbe, Scholastic assessments and SAT source material. I have also used Shirley Grammar, Institute for Excellence in Writing, Total Language Plus and Language Arts Through Literature.
I know some of my "qualifications" may sound boring, or perhaps you're wondering, "Ok, but what about your professional degrees/development?"
I have a four year Bachelor's degree in Social Studies, with a concentration in History. I was an education major until I decided I really just wanted to help people, especially kids, more than I wanted to teach in a public school setting. I completed all the necessary coursework and Exams until the end of my final semester in 2002. I then graduated from Messiah College, Grantham, PA, with honors and a cumulative GPA of 3.34. Ever since then, I have worked in various settings with multiple types of students. Feel free to contact me and ask me questions about my experience, materials I've used, or more stories from the field. Thank you for taking the time to check out my profile. I firmly believe that every student is capable of retaining knowledge and effectively communicating that knowledge. One summer, I tutored a young man who struggled with math, reading comprehension, writing and oral presentations. I used Edgar Allen Poe's, "A Noiseless Patient Spider" as the
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