Greetings! My name is Shana Cloud and I am looking forward to working with students eager to achieve.
I graduated cum laude from the Horace Mann School in Bronx, NY in 2002, Harvard University in 2006 with a B.A. in Sociology, and from Pace University in 2008 with an MS Ed in bilingual elementary education. I am a native New Yorker with over 10 years of teaching experience in public and charter schools, and directing tutoring centers in NYC.
In my 10+ years as an educator, I've taught phonics to essay writing, number sense to logarithms. My success is not based on the curriculum knowledge but rather on the ability to:
- Identify the root cause and need of the student. (For example, I've tutored many students that claim to need help with algebra, when in fact their misconceptions lie in basic four operations from the 3rd and 4th grades)
- Instill the ability to self-learn. Students will not do the majority of their study with a tutor. Therefore, it is essential to train the student to problem solve and self-teach. This ability ensures achievement in college studies as well.
- Connect and empower. Students will enjoy their sessions when they form a bond with the tutor based on mutual respect and trust. We set meaningful, challenging and realistic goals; and I share these goals with the student and parent so that we are all invested in the students' achievement together.
Undergraduate Degree: Harvard University - Bachelors, Sociology
Graduate Degree: Pace University-New York - Masters, Bilingual Elementary Education (1-6)
Dance, DJing, lego building, video games, and playing with my puppy!
Elementary School Math
High School English
HSPT Language Skills
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
Good. Better. Best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better, and your better is best. My job is to help students remember that they are talented, guide them to connect what they know to what they are learning, and train them to teach themselves what they want to learn next.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First, I listen. I want students to tell me what they feel they need from me. It helps me understand their own self-monitoring ability and gauge the best approach to meeting them where they are mentally, emotionally, and academically. Then, I observe. I want the student to show me what he or she already knows, and how he or she approaches challenges. From there, we plan. We talk about goals, and exactly what it will take from all of us (tutor, parent, and student) to get there. Finally, we celebrate. Every day of effort is meant to be acknowledged.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I help by positioning myself as a coach rather than as the "teacher." The less I speak, the more the student has the peace to concentrate and work through the thought process. When I do support, I always give a tip that is linked to something the student already knows or has been practicing - that can be a particular fact or a study strategy. Finally, when needed I may also give the answer. Sometimes giving the answer and working backwards helps students make connections better than struggling through a particularly difficult problem.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Goals! Once a student agrees on a goal and has a clear understanding of the effort needed to get there, we can work through the tough points in study. Along the way, we set short-term goals and celebrate the success on the path to the big goal.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I will ask, "What do you know?" because I want to know exactly where the student's understanding is limited. Most of the time the new concept is just a more advanced version of a more basic concept with which the student is familiar. I'll work to connect these ideas using analogies and real world situations that apply the concept.