The student-teacher relationship relies on exchange of ideas, information, and affect. I believe in a learner-centered, communicative approach to teaching and learning. A good teacher listens, understands, and adapts to student responses in a way that is most beneficial to that particular student.
I also believe students must think critically in order to truly understand the world around them – so a successful student takes initiative and asks questions. By that same token, a teacher should ask many questions. I prefer to ask many open-ended questions that begin with “how” and “why” in order to prompt the learner to think about content rather than to simply memorize it.
The process of explicit explanation exercises valuable cognitive skills required for assimilation of knowledge and deep understanding of academic content as well as skills to negotiate the world. When a student can explain a process or concept in their own words and apply new knowledge in a variety of contexts, I feel as though I’ve done my job.
I received my graduate certification in Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language at Indiana University – Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI). Earlier in my academic career, I obtained my B.A. in Anthropology with a minor in Psychology from the same institution. The emphasis of my studies included social dynamics and intercultural communication. Prior to that, I trained and served as a Journalist and Public Affairs Assistant in the U.S. Navy.
I have 2 years of tutoring experience and 1.5 years of classroom experience. For 1 year, I instructed an adult learner at beginner-level in ESL for general purposes and conversational fluency, with an emphasis on community participation and attention to integration of five major language skills (speaking, listening, reading, writing, and culture).
I also taught one year of English for Academic Purposes (W130) at Indiana University – Purdue University at Indianapolis. My composition course was a prerequisite, and each was composed of approximately 18 multi-national students. Course content included composition of essays for various purposes and audiences with an emphasis on the reading-writing connection.
As a student teacher, I Instructed 18 learners of varying nationality in lower-level English for Academic Purposes (G011). Instruction included grammatical mechanics, presentation-building, reading strategies, note-taking, summarization, deciphering word meaning through context, and analysis of stems and affixes. During this time, I also tutored undergraduate ESL students as requested.
I spend most of my free time developing my professional knowledge, but I also enjoy reading, writing, drawing, and music. I am also a published co-author of “The Neighborhood of Saturdays: Memories of a Multi-Ethnic Community on Indianapolis’ Southside.”