What I enjoy most is understanding how things work, and then sharing that information. It makes me happy to connect what seem like disparate pieces into a new understanding. I've tutored continuously for the past two years (as well as while I was in high school), and I've found that helping students see these connections vastly increases their curiosity and engagement. Cooking is probably my biggest hobby, and while it may seem unrelated to traditional academics, the topic has helped me teach about chemistry, biology, botany, ethics, sustainability, history, language, and more. It is this sort of approach that I find is most effective, highly adaptable, and enjoyable for my students and myself. Teaching in this way not only helps with retention of subject-specific information, but also improves the experience and thus the results of tutoring in general, even on standardized tests.
In most circumstances, students are not excited about taking standardized tests, and many are intimidated. Instead of reinforcing that fear, I aim to help students understand standardized tests as the puzzles that they are. By emphasizing connections between the contents of the tests and students’ interests, I am able to highlight the patterns and rules that the tests operate under. High standardized test scores unlock a world of educational possibilities, and while they are not an absolute metric, students must be able to demonstrate their mastery of these puzzles. Whether in the ordinary academic curriculum, or in preparation for a larger evaluation, I have found that making learning not about rote memorization, but about seeing patterns and asking questions, results in students’ success.
Oberlin College - Bachelors, Neuroscience and Philosophy
ACT English: 35
ACT Reading: 31
ACT Science: 33
Elementary School Math
High School English
What is your teaching philosophy?
I learn by asking myself two questions: how does this work, and how is it connected to things I already understand. In this way, I can retain information and have multiple routes to share it. While tutoring, I have found this method to be enjoyable, and it also helps students own the material.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Becoming an independent learner is all about finding what you are passionate about and then turning that passion into curiosity. Once you become curious about one thing, the connections it has with the rest of the world light up.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By making whatever progress they can make. Success is not about overtaking the highest scorer in the district but doing better than you did yesterday.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would make it real for them. Whether that means finding applications in everyday life, a relevant story, or an experiment. Additionally, I would provide different paths to the same solution until one clicked.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
To help with reading comprehension, you need to figure out where the breakdown is. Is attention wandering? Are certain skills missing? Is confidence lacking? Is the book simply too hard? Usually it is some combination of these and other factors, all of which need to be addressed on an individual basis.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Learning about their interests and hobbies. In this way, I can make material relatable quickly, while also making the setting more comfortable.