I received my Bachelor of Arts degree, with a double major in English and Spanish, as well as a minor in Psychology, from Lawrence University. After graduation, I returned for another year to continue my education, studying Education in their teacher certification program. I completed my student teaching semester at a public high school in Wisconsin, teaching Communication Arts and Creative Writing. Subsequently, I took a job teaching in the inner city of Chicago, at first taking over for a maternity leave as the 5th grade teacher in a self-contained classroom. I stayed on at the school for the following two years, taking on the position of 8th grade homeroom teacher and junior high English teacher. I taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Reading, Writing, and Language Arts. I have helped all of my students improve their reading fluency and comprehension, their grammar and writing skills, and even their public speaking confidence. I have helped them develop a voice of self-expression through writing, and have helped them enjoy and connect to a variety of genres of literature. Calling on both my experience and my passions, I tutor the following subjects: English, Essay Editing, Grammar and Mechanics, Literature, Reading, Writing, Test Prep, ACT English, ACT Reading, and ACT Writing.
Outside of academia, I love to play with my puppy, practice yoga, go for walks, and paint. I look forward to getting to know what each of my student's interests, passions, and hobbies are, so that I can make the learning more relevant and real for him or her. I believe that making personal connections with learning is the best way to make new knowledge and skills stick as well as to make it a positive experience. For example, I had a group of very disinterested 8th grade boys in my class last year who I inspired to be passionate about poetic techniques. I used their passion for basketball and their passion for rap music, and developed a unit that had them begging for more lessons and acing all of my tests! Learning can be more fun than many people realize! I would love to help you to not only turn your struggles into a success story, but also to find passion and joy in the process as well!
Lawrence University - BA and teaching certificate, English, Spanish
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in teaching through relevancy. Making connections makes new knowledge stick.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In our first session, I'll need to get to know you. Understanding what you are passionate about will allow me to better help you and to make the tutoring experience more enjoyable for you in the long run.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can share with you a toolbox of personalized strategies that you can eventually use completely independently.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
We can monitor progress and celebrate improvement. We can also use a lot of creative strategies that make learning more fun than you probably imagined!
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
When we run into a roadblock, we simply turn to a toolbox of strategies until we find one that works. There is always another way in.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I have scores of strategies up my sleeve for working with readers who struggle with comprehension. We will identify the strategies that are most enjoyable and useful to you, and I know you will be amazed at the progress you will soon be making!
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
There is no single, generic strategy that is guaranteed to work with a new student. To guarantee success, I need to get to know you. Adding personalization and relevancy to learning strategies is the best path to guaranteed success.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
We approach the subject from a creative angle. You may be surprised. There is always a way to integrate your own passions and interests into a difficult or "boring" subject.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
True understanding means that a student should be able to apply a concept to a new context. The student should also be able to explain a concept in his or her own words. He or she should be able to explain it back to me, as though the roles were reversed, and I were the student. We will practice various learning strategies until the student reaches this point of confidence.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
We scaffold each learning goal, so that a student achieves many successes as we build up to the big picture. Each success is celebrated and supports the achievement of the next. We learn one step at a time, and we celebrate each step!
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
A student's needs must be evaluated in several ways: conversations, diagnostic exercises, and constant formative assessment.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
All strategies should be adjusted to fit a student's individual needs. Each session will provide me with more insight into how to best tailor strategy to needs.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Depending on the learning goal, I typically make use of materials such as: highlighters, post-it notes, graphic organizers, reading passages, videos, and audio recordings.