Hi, I am Nancy. I love tutoring students online. I strive to make my sessions interesting and fun. It's important to make real world connections, so students understand why learning a particular skill is important.
I was a classroom teacher for many years. I spent most of those years teaching grades 3, 4 and 7, but I have actually taught all grades! While in the classroom, I taught core subjects to heterogeneously grouped students. For the last ten years, I have been an online tutor. My online students varied in abilities and geographical locations. I was even tasked with planning for and teaching homeschooled students with autism and dyslexia. I have given help in reading, language arts, math, writing, and teaching English to pupils of other languages. I have experience preparing students for standardized tests such as the ISEE. My students have ranged in age from preschool to college level.
I have a Bachelors and Masters degree in education from Southern Connecticut State University and a Sixth Year in education from the University of New England. I hold a TESOL certificate for teaching English to students of other languages.
I look forward to working with my Varsity Tutor students. Let's have some fun and learn some exciting things.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Southern Connecticut State University - Bachelors, Elementary Education K-8
Graduate Degree: Southern Connecticut State University - Masters, Elementary Education
My hobbies are reading, making jewelry, and doing therapy work with my Standard Poodle Charo. I also enjoy the beach and listening to music.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Many times, I may relate a personal story of how I got to like something. I believe in constant positive reinforcement when a student lacks confidence. Success builds confidence, and I strive to make my students successful.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
There are many ways to evaluate a student's needs. Questioning the student, asking him/her to give examples, and administering practice material, are just a few techniques I use.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
After I assess my student's needs, I can then work on adapting my tutoring. If a student needs to practice fluency, I will encourage oral reading. I identify the need of the student, and then I address it.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use the student's downloaded materials, my own lesson plan, the bank of material available on learning tool websites.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy of teaching is to foster critical-thinking skills by addressing a student's' learning desire, and by accommodating their learning styles.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first session sets the pace for what will happen in consecutive sessions. I get to know my students and share information about myself. I strive to provide an environment that fosters learning in a positive atmosphere.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Students become independent learners when they feel confident. I provide encouragement and reinforcement. I let them take risks and try things on their own before stepping in to help.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Once I get to know my students, I learn what helps keep them motivated. I make sure the material is not too hard or too easy. Letting the student be the "teacher" helps them gain confidence when he/she teaches me how to do a skill.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I never want to see my students struggle. If the material is too difficult, I may have to reteach, or go back a few steps to detect the problem. I work at the student's pace.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
When students struggle with comprehension, I apply various strategies. Some of the most frequently used are: main idea, summarizing, sequencing, retelling, predicting, and drawing conclusions.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
When I first meet a student, I want to make him/her feel comfortable. I establish a rapport by getting to know the student's interests and hobbies. I then share some information about myself. This gives us a good foundation.