I received my Bachelor's in Honors History from the University of Notre Dame in 2014 and quickly finished my Master's work at the College of William & Mary a year later. My undergraduate and graduate work dealt mostly with history, but with that schooling I became comfortable with many other related subjects and skills. I have a great deal of tutoring experience, across different age groups and subjects. In high school, I worked at the writing center, helping other students with their papers and with college essays. I loved working with students so much that I decided to keep doing it in college. While at Notre Dame, I held two tutoring positions. The first one was with athletes at the university. I helped them out with their history courses and helped them organize and edit papers for courses ranging from peace studies to theology. When I was not on campus, I also tutored at-risk students in the local community. These children were primarily in first through fourth grade, and I immensely enjoyed teaching them reading, writing, and spelling skills.
I have learned a lot from my tutoring experience. It turns out that students teach their teachers sometimes as much as their teachers teach them! My students have made me realize that no two students are alike. They all have different needs, interests, and strengths. There is no perfect model for teaching a lesson. Instead, I strive to recognize what makes a lesson "click" for that particular student. I always ask myself: "how can I get this student interested and confident in this subject matter?" I spend my sessions doing just that: getting kids excited about whatever it is they are learning. In doing so, that student's chance of succeeding in the classroom grows immensely.
Tutoring does not take up all my time, however. Since finishing school and moving back to the Chicagoland area, I have been able to do some things I did not quite have the time to do while studying. First and foremost, it has been so great to be able to see my family consistently. But when they get sick of my lame history jokes, I like to go out and play basketball (poorly), do some woodworking in the shop, or going to see a film with some friends in the city.
University of Notre Dame - Bachelors, History (Honors)
College of William and Mary - Current Grad Student, Comparative and Transnational History
AP US History
College Level American History
High School English
High School Geography
High School Level American History
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
Every student learns differently. Every student has weaknesses. Every student has strengths. By using a student's strengths, I work to mitigate the weaknesses and foster mastery of subjects in which students formerly felt they could never succeed enough.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Students do not gain much from being told the answers. As educators, we need to ingrain within students the ability to grow their own learning. To do so, it is essential to teach them skills rather than facts and figures. With better study, writing, and reading skills, students will be able to do a great deal more than they could have with just their teachers' lessons.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Positive and productive motivation is like a sandwich: on each end you have positive reinforcement, but in the middle, you give constructive criticism. You need to build students up and get them confident.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
As a teacher, you adapt. It is critical to see when something is working, and more importantly, when it is not. So when a student struggles, you need to be inventive and creative, and find a method that gets them excited, not discouraged.