I graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina with a BA in Community Development based on my involvement in Community Service. Since then, I lived and taught Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle, and High School students in Thailand and Taiwan, and ESL and GED adult students here in the United States. I have worked with students from over 70 different countries in the world, of all ages, and all levels. I believe that learning should be fun and interactive. Everyone learns differently and I think my job as a tutor and teacher is to discover how an individual learns best and build on their strengths.
Outside of teaching, I love to read, spend time at the beach, and play silly games with my 3 year old daughter.
Davidson College - Bachelors, Community Development
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that learning should be fun, interactive, and that it is a process.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, I think it's important to discuss goals, as well as fears, for learning.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
One of my most favorite questions to ask when working with students is "why" because I think being able to think out loud helps students understand how they think and how to organize their thoughts.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Learning is hard, no matter what the topic, and that is important to remember when a student is feeling frustrated.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I like to play games with students because I think it's a great way to learn while also have fun. Sometimes making a difficult topic or skill into a game can help ease some of the stress of learning.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I think one of the most important things for reading comprehension is talking it out. Sometimes something might not make sense, but you talk about it, and it can help understanding. I also love using pictures and graphic organizers to help put ideas and concepts into a visual representation.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
As much as possible ,I try to relate what we are learning to an experience or situation that might be more familiar to a student. It's also important for me as a teacher to try lots of different ways to learn and figure out what works best for the student.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I love to play games to help making learning difficult things more fun. I also think it's helpful to use lots of different techniques, for example visual representations, physical movement, listening, and others.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I always ask simple Yes/No questions to check if a student understands material. This is a low pressure way to see if the student is getting it, and if not, then I know I need to go back and try to explain it a different way.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I like to keep a check list/agenda of topics for the day that we check off as we go along. I think it's helpful to see what a student has accomplished.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
With adult students, it's important that they are involved in learning as much as possible, so I constantly ask what they want to do next or how they want to practice. And with children and younger learners, there are lots of questions that I can ask to get a sense of their needs.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I think, as a teacher, one of my main jobs is being able to "read" a student and see how they are feeling or doing, and adapt as needed. Again there are lots of different types of learners, and being willing as a teacher to try different methods and styles is really important to me.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
It depends on the topic, student, and level. I usually like to use a combination of a relevant game, worksheet, and practice activity.