My name is Nicolette Stanziano and I am currently a 4th grade teacher with Fairfax County Public Schools. This is my first year teaching fourth grade. In 2013-2015 I taught second grade. I also have experience in grades K-5. I attended The University of Alabama where I earned a degree in elementary education. I have also been taking master classes in school counseling at George Mason University. I believe all students can learn and achieve anything they put their minds to, and I am here to help them achieve those goals.
Undergraduate Degree: The University of Alabama - Bachelors, Elementary Education
Reading, writing, ballet, hiking, skiing
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that all students have the capacity to learn, but not all students learn the same way. Every student has strengths and areas they can grow in. A teacher should be someone who helps students grow as learners and never gives up. Teaching involves differentiating instruction to meet the needs of all learners.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
When I meet a student for the first time I like to start by getting to know them. Typically, I will have a survey for the student to fill out that will ask questions about what they like to do. This survey will help me get materials that will interest and engage the student. My first session will also include pre-assessments to determine what level the student is at and what their strengths/areas of growth are.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner by scaffolding instruction. I would need to start by showing the student what it looks like to complete a certain task. The first time would involve me demonstrating and speaking out loud what my thoughts are. When the task is completed again, I will have the student walk me through the steps and supplying me with input. As the task is done over and over again the student will begin to see that they are doing most of the task rather than the teacher. I will also help students become independent learners by teaching them organization skills. These skills will help a student become more positive about their work, which in turn will lead them to becoming harder workers.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would help a student stay motivated by finding activities that are interesting to them and that keep them engaged. I will also at times allow them to pick which activity they want to do next. Allowing them options gives them that sense of control.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I would provide that student with accommodations that would help them access the skill or concept. This could be anything from math manipulatives to reading graphic organizers.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
If I have a student who is struggling with reading comprehension, I will have them do close reads with short reading passages. This means that the student will be reading a story and marking the story to show their thinking. Another strategy I might use is having the student read a book and use sticky notes to write down key words. They can then later use these sticky notes to write a summary about the story.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would find the areas of strength that student has in that subject and boost their confidence by showing them what they are really good at.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would use pre-assessments, check ins, and post assessments to ensure that the student is understanding the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I would build a student's confidence in a subject by giving them positive praise when they successfully complete a difficult task. I would also make sure to boost their confidence by showing them what they are really good at in that subject.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's needs by using a variety of assessments.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt my tutoring based on what I see from the student after the first session. This could be that they need frequent breaks, that they need shorter passages, that they need more organizers when completing work, etc.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I typically use books, reading passages, comprehension dice, comprehension questions, worksheets, flashcards, and math games.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I find that getting to know the student helps the student feel more comfortable, and in the end have a more successful session.