My Approach to Tutoring
No matter what level I am teaching, from preschool through adults, I strive to spark the interest of each student in the subject at hand by connecting to their personal interests; we then can maintain that focus to carry the student through to increased understanding and proficiency.
As I assess a student's prior knowledge base, I aim to help him/her discover the breadth and depth of his/her understanding. This can involve un-learning misconceptions by breaking down a concept down into small components before re-learning from a new angle.
When I work with a student, I use multiple modes to reach him/her effectively.
With Spanish, for example, rather than simply translating, I often demonstrate the meaning of a word or phrase through gestures. The art of circumlocution is crucial: we learn to use the words we know in order to communicate an idea, even when the exact words we want are unknown or not on the tip of our tongue. We can also put words to familiar tunes, in order to allow a concept to solidify in not only the brain but in the heart as well.
Above all, I strive to maintain empathy in being aware of the stress or vulnerability that a student can be feeling when faced with the challenge of needing to make improvement in his/her proficiency. I use humor whenever possible, to prevent inhibition in the student's attempts at self-expression (especially in learning a language). This sets the stage for an optimal climate of learning, which makes it possible to achieve - or even exceed! - the student's goals.
My Tutor Profile
Spanish (all levels), ESL, GED, Early Elementary: Reading, Writing, Math
Bachelor's of Arts in Spanish
University of Pennsylvania
Coursework toward Master's of Education
University of LaSalle
Master's of Education (Bilingual/Bicultural Program)
Summary of my Experience
- Taught Spanish and coached for 8 years at Friends' Central School
- Taught ESL with Center for Literacy
- Helped prepare students for taking the GED at Community Women's Education Project
- Served as a Spanish Professor for 4 years at Saint Joseph's University
- Tutored bilingual elementary students in Matemáticas (Math)
- Ongoing reading support at Henry C. Lea Elementary School
- Ongoing Spanish tutoring throughout Philadelphia