I am a graduate of Wellesley College and was a Jewish Studies major there; my concentration was in Hebrew language - both Biblical and modern. My academic interests centered around the study of Tanach (Hebrew Bible) and the ancient world - specifically the birth of rabbinic Judaism and the Jesus movement out of first century Palestine in the Roman Empire - but my course of study was very language-heavy: by the end of my time there, I was taking Biblical Hebrew, modern Hebrew, and German simultaneously.
Wellesley College - BA, Jewish Studies
SAT Writing: 790
High School English
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
My purpose as a tutor is to go beyond promoting mastery of the subject matter to fostering an excitement for lifelong learning and the acquisition of skills that will aid the student in future coursework.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Talking to the students about their own goals often originates real motivation. Those goals can be as simple as making a certain grade on a test, for example, and, once they are identified and set, goals become more discernible, and motivation easier to sustain.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Real learning occurs when a skill or concept is attained by multiple approaches - visual, kinesthetic, aural, verbal, and so on. As a tutor, I provide individualized opportunities to tackle concepts in various ways, which allows the student and I to discover which approach or approaches work best for her or him.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Making brief journal entries after readings or taking notes aid in the development of reading comprehension skills. For students who are naturally more social, the best approach tends to be conversation; simply holding conversations with the student about the chapters she or he has read encourages absorption of material.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I always engage the student first by asking questions unrelated to the subject matter: how her or his week has been, etc. Next, I make sure I know what is going on in her or his classroom: what the teacher is like, where they are in the subject matter, how they have been learning the material, etc. Keeping up to date gives me a better idea of how to connect and be most helpful to the student.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
If the student can make even the smallest connection to the material, they have a huge advantage. My task is to help them find that connection.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I am a believer in testing. One of the great things about tutoring is the low-stakes environment; a student can be relaxed being tested by a tutor in a way not possible in the classroom, where the test counts towards her/his grade. Tests, in a low-stakes context, become more like games, and the student can settle in and enjoy the learning experience.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Having the student explain the material back to me inspires incredible confidence. Sometimes, the students are unaware just how much they know until I ask them to explain a concept. The results are always remarkable!
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I take a holistic approach to my analysis of a student's needs. The obstacles a student must overcome must first be identified during a process of getting to know and working with the student over several sessions; once identified, a plan must be enacted towards the eventual overcoming of such difficulties. Say a student has trouble articulating her thoughts in German; over the course of a few sessions with her, I might discover that her professor has an intimidating personality. It is then my plan to create a safe and predictable environment in which the student may comfortably voice her thoughts.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
As a tutor, I can be flexible and adaptable where teachers cannot. I can cater to one student, providing individualized attention. This sort of attention allows me to detect needs and plan lessons accordingly. For example, maybe the student's teacher takes a purely rote approach to vocabulary, but the student wants to discuss etymology and the 'why factor,' which the pursuit of oftentimes aids memory and provides mnemonic devices. As a tutor, I can accommodate this need.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I primarily use worksheets, excerpts from literature and textbooks, and journals/notes. If the student has another source she or he would like to use, I am particularly excited to do this.