I am a William Smith graduate with a BA in Latin American Studies and minors in French and Russian. Ever since middle school, I have had a passion for languages and communicating across cultures. I tutored elementary school students with America Reads in college, and taught children from ages four to fourteen to play piano in high school. As a sophomore in college, I studied abroad in Mendoza, Argentina, and studied abroad a second semester in Ecuador and Peru. I have advanced Spanish and French skills and know Russian to an intermediate level. I love to play piano, travel, and meet new people. I love foreign languages and understand that knowing one is really a key to another world. When I tutor, I hope to show students how languages are fun and worthwhile.
Hobart William Smith Colleges - BA, Latin American Studies
What is your teaching philosophy?
Teaching others should encourage students to want to learn, to be excited about the subject matter, and spark connections to their personal interests.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, I would ask the student what they like most and what they like least about the subject. I would ask them which are their preferred subjects, so I could make strong connections in order for them to understand the material more clearly.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Teachers and tutors should never give students answers; rather, they should lead them to an answer and allow them to think for themselves. It is important to expose students to different forms of thought so that they can adapt their way of thinking or adopt various trains of thought.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Learning should be fun and worthwhile. No student should be treated the same way; I will connect subject matter to the student depending on his/her interests and explain subject matter in multiple ways.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
With learning a language you must adopt a new mindset. It is important to include cultural examples and explanations of tradition to comprehend the trains of thought people of that culture follow. I will explain the subject slowly, offer different memorization techniques, and apply them to real life situations (perhaps by finding online articles from different countries to read and discuss).
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension can be difficult, especially if there is a lack of phonetic learning or use of phonics. I would review basic grammar and phonics and find the student materials they enjoy reading. Then, I'd have them practice reading often.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Connecting with a student is extremely important so you can connect their life with the material. Having multiple ways to explain grammar or different problems is important as well because the student will have personal learning preferences.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would give examples of people using the subject in real life. Especially with foreign languages, I would talk to them about my own experiences abroad in multiple countries and make them aware of all the opportunities one is offered with the knowledge of an extra language.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would make assessment sheets for the student to see if they have mastered the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Building confidence means practice. I would give them short assessments often and show them the difference from start to end.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I would ask the student to try speaking the language with me and gauge what level they are at. Then, I would give them an assessment and ask that they show me what their school or test requires of them.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
My tutoring should change slightly with every student. I would ask them what they think they have the most trouble with, give them assessments to pinpoint problems in the subject, and focus in on how to solve them.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Small assessments and have the students take notes. Not many materials are necessary.