Hello! My name is Keliy Grobbelaar and I have been working in education for over four years. I spent my last two years of highschool living in West Africa teaching music and English to children rescued from slavery. When I returned to the States I started my own tutoring program for immigrant children who were struggling to adjust to their new home. I also worked as a highschool teacher at a local school for the last two years and I wrote my senior thesis at Meredith College on Interfaith Education in Public Schools.
I am now attending UNC Chapel Hill to achieve my Masters Degree in Social Work. Teaching is my life and passion and I specialize in working with students who find traditional learning challenging and who need an imaginiative, creative and animated tutor to help them engage the material with an open mind. My philosophy of teaching is one that includes alot of visual materials and making connections to the real world. My goal is to help the student think for themselves rather than telling them what to think. Memorizing facts can be useful but I believe that a student only really knows the material when they can teach it back to me in their own words. I want to help your student achieve great grades but I also want to make sure that they become a well rounded person and not just a good student.
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
I usually start by geting to know the student and their interests so that I can use these things as connections to the material. I also assses their critical reading skills as I believe that almost all learning starts with an ability to read and understand what you are reading. I try to motivate the student to ask questions as they read in order to engage the material. I love visual tools like highlighting, sticky notes, white boards and other creative materials that help them use as many senses as they learn as possible. Once I have a grasp on the students strengths and weaknesses, I work with the student to create a clear learning goal.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have worked as a nanny, family assistant, tutor and teacher for over 6 years. I have taught music lessons, English, writing, swimming and even practical skills like cooking. I have attended YMCA and first aid trainings for working with kids and studied educaiton in school. My students have ranged from six months to eighteen years old and I love working with a wide range of students!
How did you get started teaching?
I started teaching before I even understood what teaching was. As I child I used to line my dolls up in my room while I sat at my mini grand piano and pretended to instruct them. My parents have told me that I used to line each doll up in the hallway with a dish cloth over them every night. I have always had an inclination towards mentoring and teaching which made me a rather "bossy" child but I have learned to embrace my passion for helping others learn. I am a strong believer that you cannot teach someone who doesn't want to be taught but I also believe that it is possible to inspire someone to want to learn when they can connect to the material.
What types of students have you worked with?
I grew up as a pastors kid and we moved alot, working with a wide range of people and I always managed to find my place in the classroom with the kids. This is what inspired me to spend my last two years of highschool gaining hands on experience with kids who never had the oppourtunity to learn until I met them. I worked with students who were already sixteen or seventeen and at a first grade learning level.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
My advice would be to look for a tutor that you can connect with, one that is patient and not afraid to challenge you. If communication does not flow easily and the person cannot keep your attention, it is going to be difficult to learn from them.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
Students need to start by asking themselves what they think their strengths and struggles are. Self awareness is key to learning and the more they can know themselves and the way they learn, the better. They also need to ask themselves what they want from life, from a career and from education. Their schooling now is a stepping stone in a much larger journey to becoming who they want to be. The dreaded "what do you want to be when you grow up" question should be less about a job title and more about skills and character. Someone who wants to be able to work with people needs to know how to actively listen and communicate. Writing, English and History is all about understanding people and learning how to think and speak well.