I have my BA in English from Boston University and earned my teaching certification in Secondary English, first in Florida and then Colorado. As a child, I lived abroad in four different countries until the age of 16, attending a total of three different high schools. I remember all too well the various challenges of being student, while also trying to navigate the people and world around me.
As a teacher, I have taught both in brick and mortar and online schools. Each came with their own challenges, but my favorite experiences always involved getting to know my students as individuals. Literature and writing have always been passions of mine, and I love working with students to help them discover their own strengths in these areas, especially when students realize the power their words can have. There's no greater feeling as a teacher than witnessing a student's "Ah-ha!" moment and knowing that that moment will continue to propel them in their learning.
I look forward to meeting and working with you on your own "Ah-ha" moment!
Boston University - Bachelors, English
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy as a teacher has always been that any student can learn, even when they believe they can't. It is my job as a teacher/tutor to lead students to discover their strengths and help them propel themselves to excel in their own individual ways.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
My goal in a first session would be to get to know my student. What do they love to do? What intimidates them? What do they think they're great at? I'd also want to know if they had any questions for me. I believe that building trust is very important in helping students, since asking for help often makes students feel vulnerable.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By asking them questions and providing them guidance above all. It is not by giving students the answers that they will learn. Self-discovery not only provides students the ability to learn more fully, but also gives them the confidence to continue doing so.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By emphasizing their achievements. Students often focus on the areas in which they feel weakest, instead of their strengths. It is my job as a teacher/tutor to ensure students do not forget that they always have something to offer.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Identify where the disconnect might be. Perhaps we need to approach the skill/concept in a different way. It is my job as a teacher/tutor to ensure a student is confident in what they're learning, so if they're struggling, I know I need to make some adjustment(s).
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
By taking things slowly and identifying where the struggle is stemming from. Perhaps the student is struggling with the vocabulary or the overall reading level of the work. Students often need strategies for how to comprehend what they are reading - such as writing a quick one sentence summary after each paragraph or page. Reading comprehension is a skill like any other that must be practiced with the proper tools.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Honesty, starting with the positive, and asking lots of questions. I believe in working with students as a team to help them in their learning, which requires building trust and having an understanding of where they're coming from.