Meet our heroes: Dr Kristi-Lee B

Today, we're excited to introduce you to the delightful Dr Kristi-Lee, an incredibly experienced and qualified teacher on Learnmate. Kristi joined Learnmate in October 2023 and, when she's not rehabilitating kangaroos (more on that below!), supports students via online tutoring for English (across various curriculums and levels), Literature, Science and to prepare for NAPLAN.

Dr Kristi-Lee's experience extends over 25 years, from teaching English to grandmas in Japan, to teaching maths to toddlers in the desert! She holds a Doctorate in Education (EdD) and has specialised knowledge in learning theory, science, English, humanities and social studies, human biology and geography. Her breadth of knowledge and experience is truly incredible and we can't wait for you to learn more about her!

1. Tell us about yourself, Kristi!

I enjoy living in the bush, surrounded by nature and wildlife. I am a wildlife carer who spends a lot of time working with animals, particularly kangaroos, to rehabilitate them and release them back into the wild. I’ve been a classroom teacher for 25 years. I mainly teach (humans) online now, because the flexible work hours suit my role as a wildlife carer. I don't like "chalk and talk" (transmission) teaching. I prefer to have students work on problems and engage in critical thinking. I follow a structured schedule, but I am also completely flexible if necessary!

2. What inspired you to become a tutor?

I realised early on that a good education has a significant impact on people's lives, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. I became a teacher to help others live their best lives so that they can go on to make a difference in their communities and the world.

3. How do you tailor lessons to meet individual student's needs and keep lessons engaging?

Once I've gotten to know my students, I incorporate topics, games, and challenges that inspire and pique their interest. I apply the multiple intelligences theory to identify a student's areas of strength and weakness, and I use learning strategies from each intelligence to meet the student's needs at the time. There’s always someone willing to perform an interpretive dance or "sing it out!"

4. Can you share a memorable success story from your tutoring experience?

Apart from all of the interpretive dances?!

Success takes many forms. Sometimes it's being able to make a student smile despite the fact that they just failed a test, or seeing their confidence grow over time as they become accustomed to using new words and skills to do something new. I enjoy seeing students gain confidence and participate in activities they would not normally try, such as space yoga or public speaking.

In terms of online learning, I am astounded by how different today's students are with technology than when I first started teaching. I never imagined that my students would know more about computers than I did, but I believe that day has arrived! So success for me right now is ensuring that kids understand the difference between real and fake, as well as how to navigate their way to the "truth" when mining the internet for data. I define success in an online learning environment as encouraging students to ask questions and challenge themselves and others.

5. What is one piece of advice you would give students struggling with their studies?

Since every subject has its own metalanguage, you need to know the lingo! Find a way to memorise subject specific words, and post them everywhere you go throughout the day—on the mirror, in the car, etc. Have fun and play games with the words! Words have power!

6. What can families expect from you if they engage you as their tutor?

  • Dependability: Consistently at lessons on time.
  • Flexibility: Able to adjust dates and times to accommodate family needs when necessary.
  • Effective Communication: Respond to emails within a day and offer comments following each class.
  • Personable: I get to know your child and establish a positive rapport with them.
  • Reliability: I possess all relevant credentials (including an EdD) and licences.

7. Any other words of wisdom or thoughts you can share?

Be brave and give it a shot! Lots of people give up before they’ve really given it a good go. Challenge yourself and you will be surprised by how far you can go!

If you want to talk to Kristi or are looking for a tutor like her...

You can visit Kristi's profile on Learnmate by heading here (subject to her ongoing availability).

Alternatively, you can search for more tutors like Kristi directly on Learnmate.

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