I recently graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a B.A. in Sociology, and I’ve decided to stay on for another year to obtain my Master of Social Work (MSW) degree through Bryn Mawr’s new accelerated program. This past summer, I travelled to Copenhagen, Denmark, where I lived and studied for two months while engaging in ethnographic research of the Danish prison system. I hope to use what I’ve learned to bring positive change to the American criminal justice system in the future. In addition to my research background, I also worked for three years as a professional writing tutor with the Bryn Mawr College Writing Center. In this position, I tutored undergraduates and ESL students in all stages of the writing process, from decoding a prompt to crafting a thesis to adding those last finishing grammatical touches. Though I have experience tutoring all types of writing, I particularly love working with students on writing to which they are personally connected. Hearing about students’ successes after having worked with them on graduate school essays or personal statements and project proposals is what has continued to fuel my love for tutoring in all areas.
Although I’m sure it hasn’t sounded like it so far, I do have passions outside of the academic arena. When I’m not in school or at work, I can probably be found chasing any sign of warmth (I’m a SoCal transplant), experimentally baking, experimentally feeding said baked goods to my roommate, or just curled up with the Harry Potter series for the twenty-sixth time.
Bryn Mawr College - AB, Sociology
Bryn Mawr College - MSW, Social Work
ACT Composite: 32
ACT English: 30
ACT Math: 32
ACT Reading: 35
AP English Literature: 4
AP US History: 5
10th Grade Reading
10th Grade Writing
11th Grade Reading
11th Grade Writing
12th Grade Reading
12th Grade Writing
5th Grade Writing
6th Grade Writing
7th Grade Writing
8th Grade Writing
9th Grade Reading
9th Grade Writing
MCAT Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
Elementary School Writing
High School English
High School Writing
Middle School Writing
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I am a tutor who believes student should be in charge of their own learning process. During sessions, I ask a ton of questions! This encourages students to think more deeply about why they may have picked a certain answer or written a certain sentence. Eventually my goal is for students to learn to ask these questions of themselves and become more independent, self-sufficient learners.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I understand that sometimes assignments just aren't that exciting. It's a problem that can make completing our work difficult. To combat this and keep students motivated, I like to know what excites them about a certain subject or topic. What if you're required to write about the Declaration of Independence, but Native American history is really more your thing? Let's find a way to integrate the two! I've found that there's always a way to infuse an assignment with something you're really passionate about, and that will make the whole process so much more interesting!
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
A good tutor understands that all students learn differently. If a student has difficulty grasping a concept, I would switch gears and try and teach them in a different way. This could be by using visual mediums through the online platform, finding extra resources online or even encouraging the student take a break and come back to the concept a little later. The most important thing is for myself and the student to remain patient and calm. Learning becomes even more impossible when we're tired or frustrated!
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to always lead with the positive. Whenever I work with a student, I begin by complimenting them on what they've done well, or by reiterating their strengths. Starting on a positive note sets the tone for the entire session and establishes a comfortable learning environment where the student can do their best work.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In our first session, one of my main goals is to get to know the student and establish a comfortable, positive relationship. I might ask the student what their favorite subject is, what they like to do after school, and what their career aspirations are. I want to be the type of tutor that students feel comfortable approaching for both academic help and simply advice for the future.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
One of my favorite strategies to use when I struggle with reading comprehension is bullet points! When a student comes across a difficult paragraph (Shakespeare, anyone?) I will encourage them to separate each sentence into bullet points and work on them one by one, writing simple "translations" as they go. If students need more help, they can subdivide the sentences into phrases or words and continue with the process.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Particularly for those students working on papers or essays, I like to encourage writers to "interrogate" their writing. That is, ask the questions "how?" and "why?" after each sentence. In many cases, if you haven't answered those questions in your paper, you analysis could probably be deeper and your argument stronger!
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Everyone has something that excites them, but chances are it may not be Spanish verb tenses or persuasive essays. And that's okay! When I work with a student, I like to ask them what they like and what they're good at. Usually we can draw a connection between a student's interests and the subject at hand to make the work a little more exciting.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
After I teach a new concept, I take the time to ask students if that concept makes sense and if they have any questions. I'll then encourage the student to try out a concept on their own by doing some free writing or practice problems. Another way to confirm a student's grasp on the material would be to "flip" the session and have the student teach me the lesson!
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Confidence is key. Our session won't go anywhere if the student is feeling frustrated, embarrassed, judged or otherwise. This is why I am a firm believer in lots of positive affirmation. I begin and end my sessions by pointing out my tutee's strengths and building their confidence, so that they feel comfortable tackling a subject together, and eventually on their own!