Tutor Spotlight: Kristina M

Name: Kristina M

Educational Areas of Focus: General Support, Writing, Organization, Special Education & Academic Success Skills

Educational Background: M.Ed. in Special Education with Dual Special Education (K-12th) and Elementary Education (1st-8th) Credentials from ASU, 2015, B.A. in Child Development from Holy Names University (CA), 2012

What is your teaching philosophy? My teaching philosophy is that when learning becomes tangible, growth happens.This looks different for each child and each learning style. My teaching philosophy consists of making learning personal for my students, fostering a desire to learn. I encourage exploration and appeal to numerous learning styles in my lessons.I hope that by bringing their textbooks to life, they will become engaged in what they are learning.

I put a huge emphasis on what I refer to as, “challenging the why”. Critical inquiry and analytical thinking are crucial to figuring out why things are the way they are. Students are encouraged to continue questioning and seeking answers, becoming lifelong learners.

My philosophy is to set expectations high and using compassion, provide opportunities for my students to push themselves to achieve more. I know that with support from someone who believes in them, they can begin to see their vast potential. My goal is to initiate an environment where students strive to get more information and make informed decisions in their lives and in their world.

When you're not working with kids, what do you like to do? When I'm not working with kids, I am typically found with my camera. I have had a photography company for the last 9 years and I find so much joy in it. I'm also an avid reader and researcher. I love learning so I am always undertaking projects, such learning how to embroider and learning new software programs. 

Who was your favorite teacher and why? My favorite teacher was Ms. Pavlos who I was lucky enough to have for both 1st and 2nd grade. She not only taught the required subjects, she taught empathy, intrinsic motivation, positive self-talk and encouraged me to dream bigger than I could imagine. She was a huge inspiration behind my lifelong desire to become a teacher. She brought (and continues to bring) learning to life for each child who walked through her door. Over the past 20-something years that she's been teaching, she has developed amazing relationships with her students. I feel so thankful that I was lucky enough to be one of them. 

What do you enjoy about tutoring? I love having the opportunity to work with students one-on-one and help them develop confidence. Tutoring has allowed for the opportunity to really see the changes as my students have developed positive self-talk about school and academics in very short periods of time. I find it so fulfilling to work with such incredibly engaged, creative and driven young adults while developing such wonderful relationships with them and their families.