I graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a Bachelors of Arts and Sciences. While at Washington University, I majored in an interdisciplinary program for philosophy, neuroscience, and psychology, as well as completed the prerequisites for medical school. I served as a residential advisor for two years and have experience tutoring and counseling students in that capacity. I believe taking the time to listen to and understand others is the best way to find out how to help them. I've always appreciated this in my teachers and mentors and have tried to carry it forward in my interactions with others.
Washington University in St. Louis - BS, Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology
ACT English: 31
ACT Math: 31
ACT Reading: 34
ACT Science: 35
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would want to see how the student feels they learn best, what kinds of teaching strategies have worked for them before, and how they teach themselves. I would also ask them to describe where they feel they are having trouble with the subject at hand. I want to understand from their point of view where the difficulty is.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Studying and learning can get overwhelming. In such instances, I find it really helpful to take the task at hand and break it down into as many separate pieces of work as possible. Clear and precise goals serve to not only create a manageable plan, but also to build a sense of accomplishment upon the completion of each sub-goal.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would ask them to lead me through, step-by-step, in the process of thinking through the concept. This might take time, but I believe there's always a crucial step that is misunderstood or overlooked when a student is having difficulty. Having them recognize this missing piece is essential to figuring out how to overcome the problem.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
First of all, I would want to identify where the problem is. Oftentimes with longer or denser passages students can lose track of their organization, so I would help them develop strategies to keep in mind main ideas as they're reading. If it's a matter of advanced vocabulary, then there are resources we can use to develop those skills too. It comes down to recognizing what strategy will address the particular difficulty the student is having.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I've found that understanding how the student learns is essential, and this varies between subjects. A student will most likely not learn scientific material in the same way they learn how to analyze a passage. Teachers have to teach in a way that's best for the greatest percentage of students, but that can often mean excluding students that learn in other ways. Identifying this pathway is crucial.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
For me, overcoming this kind of barrier is a matter of finding satisfaction in the work you are doing. That can mean getting excited to learn about some specific aspect of the subject; maybe it connects to some greater interest in their life. Or, it can be satisfaction when they finally understand something they've been struggling with.