I am a graduate of The University of Michigan-Dearborn. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a certificate in writing. While studying at my university, I held a position as a writing consultant, helping students write and edit their schoolwork. I worked extensively on research essays, narratives, personal statements, descriptive papers, and several dissertations.
In addition to working with Varsity Tutors, I now work as a private writing and reading coach and freelance journalist, as well as in Oakland Community College's Academic Skills Center as an English tutor for college students. I have experience aiding students in improving papers of many different subjects, including literature, the social sciences, film, art, composition, and science, among others. The University of Michigan-Dearborn and Oakland Community College have honored me with several awards for my writing over the past few years.
I believe that for a student to achieve improvement in a tutoring session, the goal must be a collaborative effort of the student and tutor. I try my best to communicate to my students that the more we work together, the more effective their sessions will be.
In my spare time, I enjoy writing, reading, scrapbooking/art projects, music, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
University of Michigan-Dearborn - BA, Journalism
Elementary School Math
High School English
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
To work collaboratively with students to help them succeed where they are struggling so they can feel good about their achievements.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
At the first session, I will usually spend a little time talking with the student so he or she gets comfortable with me. Then I will give the student some assignments at several different levels to assess skills and where he or she is currently at.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I help students become independent leaders by teaching them to work problems out for themselves. I help them develop the necessary skills to succeed independently.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
If a student is having trouble staying motivated, usually I will find a way to excite him or her about what we are doing. For example, often we will play a game relevant to our learning or try to race against the clock.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, often, we will try a different avenue to learn it if the one we are using is clearly not working for them. Sometimes, we will come back to the concept later too.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I find that for students struggling with reading comprehension, sometimes the best thing to do is to play a reading game. The information is retained better if the student is having fun AND learning.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The most successful strategy I have discovered when I start to work with students is to engage them with activities that will be rewarding to them and make them feel successful.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would get a student excited/engaged in a subject that they are struggling with by finding out what they like and trying to relate that to the tutoring (e.g. a reading book on a subject they like or a spelling game that is fun for them).
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
To make sure a student understands the material, I would usually go over it again with them after we worked on it, and test their understanding of the concepts we had just worked on.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I build a student's confidence in a subject by verbally affirming his or her good work, and sometimes by bringing small rewards for positive reinforcement of good concentration and success with the material.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I usually evaluate a student's needs by testing him or her at our first session with several different levels or material to see what the skill set is.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt my tutoring to the student's needs by assessing the student's personality throughout our sessions to see what is necessary for him or her. I then adjust how I work with the student accordingly (i.e. does the student need more affirmations, does he or she need incentives, what is the student's learning style, etc.).
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
At a session, I typically use workbooks or printouts, flashcards, learning games, blank paper for writing, and pencils. I also use any homework or other work that the student brings in to me. If a student brings in work, that usually takes precedence over what I bring.