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Tutoring Reflection I and II

Tutoring Reflection I

For this session, I worked with 7th and 8th grade students in the subjects of Algebra I and
FOA II. On the first day, I worked with students on their home and in-class work and
conducted one-on-one tutoring session for converting Fractions, Decimals, Percentages
(FDP) and Scientific Notation. On the second day, I was tasked with grading homework
problems and taking groups of students to the library for one-on-one tutoring sessions.
Additionally, I sat-in on a curriculum review and design session . For my visit next week, I
will be tutoring two transfer students to get them caught up.

Below, please reflect on your experience since the last report.

1. What were your strong points?

This was my first official teaching/tutoring sessions so I have to admit that it
took me a couple of hours to get over my nervousness because the students didnt
know me and I also had to learn my mentors teaching style. So, I began by observing
how she was managing the classroom, her attitude and personality in addressing the
students, and her teaching methodology and content delivery. I think one of my
strong points was that the fact that, after getting over my nervousness, I jumped
right in and began helping. I think this was something the teacher really
appreciated. I saw many students raising their hands and, although the teacher did a
great job of canvasing the classroom, she just could not get to all of them. So I got up
and began helping.
I think another of my strong points was my ability to simplify the problems
and help students build their confidence in solving them. Every student that I
worked with, I told them that they need to trust in themselves and that wrong
answers are like video games because you get to play with them a little bit longer.
Another proponent I worked on was asking students to write large enough so that
they can read and re-check their work in case of a mistake.
2. What do you want to work on?
There are a few things I need to work on, one of which is getting to know the
students names and understanding their learning styles. I think getting to know
their names will help me to form a more personable relationship with the students
and help them to become more comfortable in asking me questions. This will
increase my efforts in understanding their learning styles. Students come from
different walks of life and so does the way they learn. I realized this during the
tutoring session because while some students could see what I was explaining,
others had to be shown.
Another area I need to work on is having patience. Patience will allow me to
help the teacher better manage the classroom so she can maximize her teaching
time. Additionally, it will help me to reduce my expectation of students because
they do not know the materials as well as I do. Patience will strengthen my teaching
effectiveness and provide students with a more positive learning experience.

3. What could you do next time to improve outcomes?

Listen, intently, to the students problems and make sure that I am well
prepared for the next days lesson. Students have different problem areas so I need
to make sure that I know all aspects of every problem in order to effectively break it
down and answer their questions. This will help the student and I to quickly identify
the problem, formulate a solution, improve the learning outcome and increase my
effort in getting around to more students.

4. What questions do you have for your cooperating teacher and/or your UMUC

I had plenty of questions for the teacher because I wanted to know what she
went through during her internship. I asked her questions such as was she nervous
at first, was she able to answer all of the students questions, did she have a
preferred subject to teach or was she just assigned one, and what was the difference
between teaching middle school versus high school? So she told me a story that
really calmed my anxiety. During her first teaching experience as an intern, she
taught a 50-minute block in 25 minutes. When she looked at her mentor, her mentor
said, What are you going to do now? She said that is when she realized that the
importance factors to being successful in teaching are planning, preparation and

Tutoring Reflection II

12 October 2017
Todays tutoring session was quite different from the rest. It was not so much what I taught
but more of the connection I made with the students. Today, the teacher had a large FOA II
class and the students were preparing for an upcoming test on adding and subtracting
Integers. She had quite a few students that were having trouble so she decided that I would
take the students having the most trouble to a separate classroom and work with them on
the Integers. The time I spent with the students was extremely gratifying because they
actually moved from going through the motion to concentrating on what they were doing.

17 October 2017
Today the students received their test grades back. The teacher said, I dont know what you
did but the students you worked with scored better than I expected them to. That was
absolutely awesome to hear and she decided to let me work separately with another group
of students, this time on multiplying and dividing integers.

Below, please reflect on your experience since the last report.
1. What were your strong points?
Today (17 Oct), my strong point was the connection I made with the
students. The teacher allowed me to work separately with another group of
students so we worked on test problems they got wrong and the new homework
problems for multiplication and division of negative and positive integers. For this
session I achieved a part of my goal and learned 7 or 8 of my students names. I
believe knowing students names is the first step in creating rapport and fostering a
positive learning environment, improving classroom management and interaction
and letting students know they exist and are important.
Additionally, knowing my students names helped me to identify with the
peculiarities of their learning styles. For example, all of the students know how to
do the problems but some lack confidence in their solutions while others appreciate
exploring the different ways to solve problems or believe doing problems fast is the
way to go. Therefore, I have to exercise flexibility and patience when reinforcing
their strengths and getting them to trust in their solutions or procedures.
2. What do you want to work on?
I need to work on my classroom management skills. Students have short
attention spans and can become easily extracted so I need to ensure I have the right
attitude and style when it comes to maintaining order in the classroom. Harry Wong
stated An effective teacher manages the classroom while a ineffective teacher
disciplines the classroom (Wong, 2013). This statement sticks in my head because
classroom management less about discipline and more about creating a safe, well-
constructed, challenging and enjoyable environment that is conducive for student
learning. I have observed quite a few teachers and all have different classroom
management styles so I need to explore and practice what will work for me. The
teacher I currently observe does a very good job of maintaining a reasonable
balance between allowing kids to have fun and being firm. I have also observed
other teachers that were strict and very firm but still allowed students to enjoy
themselves. I need to find the balance that sets the tone, mood and theme I require
to encourage and motivate learning.

3. What could you do next time to improve outcomes?

To improve outcomes, I first need to reduce my students math anxiety
followed by improving their confidence and self-efficacy. During my tutoring
session, I found that some students would give up on themselves and the problem
by stating they were dumb if they got the answer wrong. When I heard this, I
would quickly jump-in and dispel that self-defeating attitude by telling students,
You are not dumb, you are learning. So next time, instead of saying that, please say,
Awww man! I got it wrong. I must be [learning].
The reasoning behind this self-defeating attitude is the students high
performing standards they place on themselves. They think that math is all about
getting the right answers instead of exploring its ideas and understanding its
fluidity and flexibility across the entire spectrum of education. I need my students to
develop a mindset of perseverance and understand that the energy they put into
getting a wrong answer is not lost but merely transformed into the practice they
need to learn and enjoy math. Once they get past the superfluous meaning of
learning math then they will except getting wrong answers, practice problems
longer and build confidence and self-efficacy.

4. What questions do you have for your cooperating teacher and/or your UMUC

I have plenty of questions about classroom management. I spoke with her

about it and she said that you have to show your students that you are in control but
you also have to be patient with them because they want to talk and have fun with
their friends. Using warnings and pausing instruction until students quiet down is a
good method to start with. For example, when students began to talk she would say,
I will wait for you to finish. Another method she uses is to place X marks as
warning on the board. If it gets to three Xs then students will lose their seating
privilege and be assigned seating. These methods were quite effective as students
never reached the three X warning. My thought is that just as I need to get to know
my students so do the need to get to know my mannerisms and me. That way, their
understanding of my classroom management style will go from he is mean to Mr.
Marshall dont play when it comes to learning math. This understanding will allow
them to respect and greatly appreciate what I am trying to do for them.