I graduated from Hiram College with a Bachelors Degree in Integrated Language Arts (English Education) and Theatre Arts. I am also currently licensed to teach English Language Arts for grades 7-12 in Ohio. I have taught High School English, Creative Writing, Drama, and Technical Theatre. I have experience in tutoring students to prepare for PSAT and ACT. I have also helped students of all ages develop and revise their essays. I currently work in the Education Department of Cleveland Play House.
Hiram College - Bachelors, Integrated Language Arts, Theatre Arts
ACT English: 34
ACT Math: 34
ACT Science: 35
High School English
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe every student can learn, though not every student learns the same way.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session with a student, I would establish what sort of help the student needs. This would be assessed through conversation and a few practice items. I would also determine what learning style suits the student so I can plan how to prepare for future tutoring sessions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Helping students become independent learners is all about two ideas: passion and scaffolding. First, it is critical to find out what students are passionate about and to help them make connections between what they are learning and where their interests lie. Second, a good tutor needs to help students learn the fundamental concepts and skills that allow them to succeed on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Our motivation thrives on three principles: autonomy, mastery, and value. First, I would help a student find autonomy and self-direction in our tutoring sessions; when we are given choice in how we learn, we are more motivated than when we are forced into a one-size-fits-all model. Second, I would track the student's improvement. Just like seeing a level go up in a video game or gains made in the gym, we are motivated to keep working hard when we see our efforts pay off. Finally, we are motivated when we find that our work has value, so I would help the student connect the importance of what they are learning to their life beyond the classroom.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
We all struggle sometimes! First, I would flip the table and ask the student to teach me the skill or concept as they know it. This allows me to see their process and perspective. Once I see exactly what is giving the student difficulty, I would help them untangle that knot. Sometimes, it all depends on how we approach a problem.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
This depends on many factors such as age, the complexity of the text being read, and the type of difficulty the student is having. I would determine what the student's primary challenges are (ability to focus on the text, ability to retain information, discerning meaning of unfamiliar words, breaking down long or complicated sentence structure, etc.). After I determine what is challenging the student, I could choose the appropriate methods to practice with them, as well as give them specific advice on action steps to take when reading on their own.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
First, it's important to assess where students are at--their strengths, areas for growth, learning style, depth of knowledge, etc. After these are determined, I find that creating a learning plan in collaboration with students helps them feel a sense of ownership in their learning.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would help students connect the subject to something they are already enthusiastic about. This could be done through the choice of practice materials, to the way concepts are presented, to how their progress is tracked.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Quiz questions are okay, but there are many other ways to measure a student's learning as well. Students show a deeper understanding of the material if they are able to apply what they learned in a different context or in a practical way.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Building confidence in an academic subject is similar to building confidence when learning to ride a bike. We need the safety net of training wheels or the guiding support of someone walking beside us before we feel ready to find our own balance. Similarly, in academics it's important to help students feel successful in what they know before they tackle the more complicated concepts.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I like to evaluate a student's needs through a combination of informal discussion and brief practice problems. It's enlightening to see their perspective of their strengths and areas for growth; sometimes they know exactly what they need help in, and other times they cannot articulate their needs beyond "I just don't understand it."