I've always been passionate about teaching and tutoring, and I've held various positions in the field, starting as early as my high school years. I'm a native English speaker, but I've lived in Mexico for five and a half years, during which time I have mastered the Spanish language, graduated from a renowned Mexican university with a degree in digital art, and have had countless interactions with native Spanish speakers, who have sought me out to help them practice and improve their English. I am able to tutor in a wide range of subjects, including English as a second language, Spanish, essay writing and study skills, as well as many others.
I believe that hard work pays off, and that every student, regardless of circumstance, has the ability to achieve academically if he/she is willing to put in the time and work with a motivated tutor who can guide them in the process of learning.
Undergraduate Degree: Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey - Bachelors, Animation and Digital Art
SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1470
SAT Verbal: 700
SAT Writing: 760
Digital art, movies, anime, comics, playing with my dog
What is your teaching philosophy?
Every student is capable of learning and understanding. The key to teaching is to find a learning style that works for the individual and to never give up, even when difficulties arise. Hard work pays off.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, I would ask as many questions as necessary, or even have the student take a short assessment, to determine the areas in which the student experienced the most difficulty. Then I would discuss learning methods with the student and agree on which method would be the most effective. Time permitting, I could also provide urgent homework help if requested.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
It is important to establish critical thinking skills and confidence. As a tutor, I can usually achieve this through having the student work through the problems he/she finds most difficult, while I merely act as a guide through the problem. I supply the necessary information to solve the problem, while the student applies the given information in his/her own way. While my direct help and involvement in the problem solving process varies from student to student depending on their specific needs, I have found that this method in general is very effective at establishing the skills and characteristics necessary students to become independent learners.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Support for one's students is a very important aspect of all types of teaching. It is important that my students know that I am here to help them, and that I will not give up, even if they want to. It is also important to express to your students that you believe in their abilities, and that with hard work they will achieve their academic goals. A positive attitude is one of the most helpful and motivating tools that a teacher can bring to the table.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, my first course of action would be to determine whether the student is having trouble with the core concept of the lesson or with its application. Then, I would assess whether the learning method we are using is effective for the material we are covering and the difficulties the student is having. I would subsequently make the necessary changes and concentrate on the area of difficulty closely until the student masters the skill.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I often administer quizzes and worksheets that I expect the student to complete. These serve not only as a way for me to gauge a student's progress, but also as extra, very beneficial practice with the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Showing a student that he or she has the ability to solve problems on his/her own with minimal guidance from me is a great way of building confidence in a subject. Instead of just telling a student what the answers are, a tutor/teacher should be a guide or act as a helping hand for the student to discover or work out solutions on their own. This is also one method to encourage more independent learners.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I make quizzes and worksheets, PowerPoint presentations, illustrations and infographics for my students.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
When I encounter a student that struggles with reading comprehension, I find that the best method of overcoming the issue depends on whether the student is a child or an adult. For older students, teaching skills like note-taking and outlining works well, as they are able to take control of their own reading and can handle more intensive study. For children, I find the best way to address reading comprehension is by asking questions about what was just read and having students make inferences as to what they're reading based on context clues. This teaches them how to read more effectively, even when they're reading on their own.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I always try to be encouraging with students. They're going to make mistakes, especially when first being tutored or starting new material. Consistently assessing their understanding by asking questions, and having a good grasp on their style of learning, can help make the early stages of tutoring go much more smoothly.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Using real life examples of how to employ the techniques, skills, strategies and general knowledge is a good way to engage a student and get them excited about learning. So many students fall into the trap of thinking, “this will never do me any good. I'll never use this.” Therefore, showing those students that they will use these skills may motivate them to commit to the act of learning. You just have to let them know that they're doing themselves a disservice when they decide against doing their best.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Using the student's current grades/test scores, I usually conduct a basic interview wherein I ask the student about how they feel about their own progress and understanding, and then I use a written or verbal assessment I create to further understand where the student is academically. It is also important to me to get to know the student on a more personal level - for example, I learn what they like and dislike, and what they themselves are looking to gain from the tutoring experience.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Teaching is not one size fits all. A good tutor or teacher will always adjust his or her methods to better facilitate the learning of the student. If, for example, a student is learning Spanish, and I find that she is a visual learner, I will create infographs, illustrations and otherwise use visual sources to help that student learn. If that same student learns better by listening and speaking, then the focus would be on conversation and question/answer.