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Holly

Hello! I am a third year student at Northeastern University. I am a double major in English and Mathematics, and studying to be a secondary school teacher here in Boston.

I love tutoring and have experience tutoring both on a volunteer basis and professionally. I used to work for a private tutoring company, where I tutored kids of all grades in really all subjects, including some SAT/ACT prep and standardized testing prep. Math and English are my favorite subjects to tutor (of course) but I enjoy teaching and tutoring in all its forms! I also used to be a Coach for Let's Get Ready, meaning that as a volunteer, I conducted an SAT and college readiness course for a class of around 10 high school students. I also helped with editing their college essays and answering all of their college questions.

Currently, I spend an average of at least 2-3 hours per week in Boston Public School classrooms, where I assist teachers and work with students one-on-one who would benefit from extra help. I do this every semester here at school, averaging 30 hours per semester in classrooms, and I love interacting with students!

I also have experience working with younger children with literacy and phonics, through an AmeriCorps program called Jumpstart. Here I was lucky enough to conduct a pre-school classroom with a team of my peers. Not only was it adorable, but it was also tons of fun!

Undergraduate Degree:

 Northeastern University - Current Undergrad, Mathematics and English

ACT Composite: 35

ACT English: 35

ACT Math: 32

ACT Reading: 36

ACT Science: 35

SAT Math: 710

SAT Writing: 790

AP Biology: 4

AP Chemistry: 4

AP Calculus AB: 5

AP English Language: 5

SAT Mathematics Level 2: 710

SAT Subject Test in Biology E/M: 720

SAT Subject Test in Literature: 740

AP Human Geography: 4

AP Psychology: 5

Kickboxing, fitness, reading, writing, painting, books, volunteering

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is CARING! Being attentive and caring to each individual student's specific needs is the most important part of teaching. No one learns the same, and maintaining that you care about each learner individually keeps the student expectations high and morale up. High expectations plus high morale = student motivation to learn.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

Get to know the student, their interests, and their learning styles. I think that since tutoring is such an individual practice (because again, no student learns the same), it's important to make the first impression with the student that you're dedicated to their success and also care about who they are as a person.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

When tutoring, I think it's important to create independent learning that occurs separately from the session by teaching not only content, but also tools for future success that the student can use. It's similar to the "teach a man to fish" metaphor-- kids can use the skills they learn in tutoring throughout their school day and far into the future!

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Enthusiasm! Not to a ridiculous point, of course, but showing the student that you are excited and motivated by their successes (rather than honing in on the failures) drives students to try and repeat that success.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

Figure out what specifically is making the skill or concept difficult, review the skills that the student is having difficulty with in a way that's different than we did before, and guide the student through conquering the concept.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

For students who are struggling with reading comprehension, skills and tools learning becomes critically important. So much of reading comprehension involves knowing what to look for when reading a text. Context clues, keyword searches, main idea sentence identification-- there's a reason we went over those things so many times in school. They really help!

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Showing the student that you care through your time and attention is usually a good place to start. Then, it helps to be friendly and personable with the student too. No one likes a boring tutoring session. Plus, if a student likes you as a person, they're more likely to want to show you how much they can succeed.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

Focus on the successes and relate them to their interests or skills. Students like things more if they feel that it relates to their lives. In addition, making the subject matter relevant makes learning the content more purposeful, rather than just a bunch of boring information. Another big thing is showing that you're excited, too. Students will mirror excitement, at least to some extent. If you're bored, they're sure to be.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Continual checks for understanding. It's something that we learn about in my Education courses-- called continuous assessment. Through prompting questions and repeated checks for clarity, you can assess throughout a lesson whether or not a student is really understanding you or just nodding along to what you're saying.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Bolster it with words, and highlighting successes! When a student gets something right, or succeeds in a way they're proud of, it's important to acknowledge that success and emphasize the student's ability to repeat it. If you communicate to a student that you have high expectations for their abilities, they're more likely to rise to the occasion.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Asking lots of prompting questions, paying close attention to where a student stumbles or has trouble, and asking students where they need help. Oftentimes, students know what they need. And when they don't, close attention and asking other questions can help you to figure it out.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

When explaining things, I make sure to incorporate the student's learning style. If I explained something visually in a prior session and it worked really well, I might try to explain something that way again. I think that when teaching, it's important to try different ways of explaining things (making sure to keep it varied) and keep track of things that worked and things that didn't.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

In person, I typically use pen and paper mostly. I think there's something really valuable to having students write things down as you're teaching it to them. That way, they can go back and review later. Plus, lots of students remember things better when they've written it down. On video chat, there's the whiteboard option that I would benefit from using. I also really like visual aids. The more you can visualize a concept, the better you can understand it. This can be drawings, graphs for math, or even simply writing down what we know. But it's important to keep a visual record of the things you're going over, since sometimes students might miss something that you simply say aloud.