Patient and Knowledgeable
Patient and Knowledgeable
Little did I know twelve years ago that by volunteering in a school and playing my guitar once a week I would begin my career as someone who was interested in becoming a teacher. The next year I was hired at Jefferson Jr. High School to work with an individual student guiding her through a structured environment. While instructing my student over the next four years in the high school setting I used the Question and Answer Relationship (Q.A.R.) reading strategy, Touch...
Little did I know twelve years ago that by volunteering in a school and playing my guitar once a week I would begin my career as someone who was interested in becoming a teacher. The next year I was hired at Jefferson Jr. High School to work with an individual student guiding her through a structured environment. While instructing my student over the next four years in the high school setting I used the Question and Answer Relationship (Q.A.R.) reading strategy, Touch Math, and mainstreamed her into the general education classroom providing her not only instruction but socialization skills which prepared her for life after high school. I remember one time when I brought in the Beatles’ song “A Hard Days Night” as a hands on example for her to comprehend pronouns, which had been previously taught throughout the semester by her ESE teacher, she aced final exam! Kirstie and that class of Varying Exceptionalities in 2005 inspired me so much that I decided to attend school at night earning my bachelor's degree from the University of Central Florida in Exceptional Student Education (ESE). You see, I also believe that both the teacher and the student can learning together because learning never stops.
After I earned my bachelor’s degree I started a job in Osceola County at Discovery Intermediate School as a sixth grade Intellectual Disabilities (InD) teacher. Since I was a hands on learner, I became an educator who provides experiences from real life. I demonstrated hands on lessons for math, reading, and science. For example, when we were learning about the layers of the Earth I brought in different sized rocks and sand from my parents’ garden so that everyone could be involved in the lesson. I had a blind student in my classroom that year and did not want him to feel left out. I also brought in clothes from Goodwill with a variety of different designs such as buttons, zips, and Velcro so that each student could practice his or her fine motor skills and functional skills.
I also have really enjoyed tutoring students ranging from third grade through ninth grade for a private company called Hidden Potentials. Over the years while working with this company I have practiced my teaching skills and applied the idea that students can learn in a variety of ways because they are all different. For example, when teaching a third grader about fractions I used M&Ms to show the different amounts so that he could visualize which portion he would truly want to eat. I am currently helping a ninth grader get through his classes so that he can focus on being a mechanic. He brought his grades up in eighth grade math from an F to an A because I was able to explain to him as well as show him how to do his Algebra homework. Recently he was having trouble in his English class by showing how to write a descriptive essay.
As a tutor and educator, I believe that ultimately students are responsible for their own learning process so that I will be able to go from “providing instruction” to observing an independent learner. I can also relate very well to students who get overwhelmed with the amount of homework given by teachers which is why I believe it is important for parents, students, and tutors alike to be on the same page so that the student can succeed in life. I am so excited that I can actually change students' lives. A quote which sums up my feelings on being a tutor is when Ever Garrison says, "A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge, and wisdom in the pupils" and volunteering in that classroom many years ago provided me with the enthusiasm it takes to be that compass who guides students through their learning.