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Hannah

Hello! Thanks for reading. I have been tutoring youth aged 10 - 18 for nearly a decade, with experiences spanning New York, Memphis, and Baltimore. I received my BA in Urban Studies from New York University in 2009 and obtained my Master's of Science in Public Health Nutrition from Johns Hopkins University in 2013. I currently work as the Food Justice Program Coordinator for a large non-profit in New York City - helping high school and middle school students engage in critical thinking and service learning projects within an afterschool setting. My joy comes from helping children and young adults evolve as learners. There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing a young person's "aha" moment and I strive to reach that moment with patience, humor, and creativity. Every child learns and engages differently, and it is crucial that a tutor be aware of, attuned to and prepared for those differences. I believe that tutoring is about growing minds and forging connections and I believe my long history of successful tutoring partnerships attests to that fact. In my free time, I enjoy reading, writing poetry, taking online Coursera classes (they're a great resource!), hiking, practicing yoga, and exploring new places.

Undergraduate Degree:

 New York University - BA, Urban Studies

Graduate Degree:

 Johns Hopkins University - MS, Public Health Nutrition

GRE: 1370

GRE Quantitative: 700

GRE Verbal: 670

Yoga, Reading, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, Comedy, Running, Hiking, Travel, Film, Cooking, Philosophy

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that each student has a set of unique skills and abilities that aid them in connecting with even the most difficult subjects. I strive to connect not just intellectually, but emotionally with each student I tutor, thereby building trust and creating a deep understanding of their interests and ways of perceiving the world. This aids immensely in the tutoring process, as I am able to then bridge the gap in understanding by illuminating linkages in the student's knowledge that they otherwise may not notice or find applicable. I also believe that humor is a huge asset when tutoring and creating an atmosphere where best effort and critical thinking are at the center of every session.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

I like to spend the first session getting to know the student on a personal level, as well as reviewing the student's previous work in the subject. I aim to speak with them about the subject - what do they find challenging? What do they find easy? What subjects, hobbies, activities do they enjoy? I also like to spend some time speaking with the guardian(s) of the student, to get a full sense of what they hope to accomplish in the sessions and their perceptions of the student's needs.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I believe independent learning is achieved by invigorating the innate curiosity which lay in each of us and pairing it with the confidence and critical thinking skills that enable students to tackle new problems with a sense of wonder rather than dread. My tutoring style focuses on the development of these qualities , and does have transformative effects on many of the students I have tutored in the past.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Motivation lasts longest when it is intrinsic, so I aim to help a student connect with why they want to improve in a certain subject, beyond the next test or paper. What do they see for themselves in the future? What frustrates them about the subject that they'd like to understand? When you link those underlying desires to specific aspects of tutoring, it can engage that deep motivation which helps students remain committed week after week.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

The teach back method is one of the strongest ways to ensure a student understand the material fully. I ask them not only to explain their process in deriving an answer, but to also teach it to me as if I were another student in their class. This ensures that they really "get" the material. Additionally, I will rephrase or rearrange questions (especially word problems in mathematics) to ensure that the student has not just figured out how to answer the pattern of the question, rather than the underlying principles of the content.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

I believe that praising effort, rather than correctness, is a great way to build a student's confidence. They may not be right all of the time, but if you can pick up on the way their thinking is evolving and the amount that they engage with a subject that is difficult for them, it can help take the stigma out of tutoring and difficult subjects in general.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I try to observe over the first few sessions the way a student learns best - are they visual, auditory, or tactile learner? This aids me in the way that I approach difficult subjects. Perhaps, for example, the student needs to arrange sentence diagrams with cut out sheets of paper to see what makes sense. Or they might need to read the sentences aloud to me and then try to reason through which sentence is correct. They may learn best by recopying a correct sentence several times. This is just one example of how I adapt my sessions to a student's needs. I additionally examine attention span, sense of humor, and outside interests to further enrich the pacing and tone of the session.