I am a graduate of Baldwin Wallace University, having double majored in both German and Film Studies. I walked into our Study Abroad office sometime during my first semester at BW to grab any and all information related to studying in Germany, Switzerland, or Austria. This dream came true two years later when I was accepted into the University of Osnabrück. It was there that I spent my junior year of college living and studying in Germany. Upon returning, I spent my senior year tutoring German to students across all ages, ranging anywhere from 4 - 30 or more years. Having started learning the language my freshman year of high school, I have ten years of German studies under my belt.
Currently, I work as the Media Director for a non-profit summer camp and retreat center, managing all digital and print publications. It is through that particular job that I have learned the secret to not only tutoring, but being successful in anything at life: cultivating relationships. As a tutor, I believe it is of the utmost importance to build that relationship with the student, meaning understanding their goals, how they learn and understand concepts, knowing what drives them, and above all else encouraging them to always go one step further than they think they can.
When not finding any and all opportunities to practice and refine my own German, my hobbies including photography/videography, adventuring in the outdoors, rock climbing, long-distance running, reading, and writing.
What is your teaching philosophy?
As a teacher, I believe that knowing your student is the best road to success. How can I successfully communicate concepts if I'm unable to step out of my own frame of mind and understand theirs? If that means testing out multiple ways to help teach a subject, I will gladly do so until the student and I come to that beautiful "Aha!" moment. I must first know where they are at, how they learn, and where they want to go before attempting to guide their path.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session with the student, I will do two things. First, I find getting to know the student important. In addition to building rapport and creating a low-stress environment, it helps me get to know them and how to teach in a way in which the student will be receptive. Secondly, I will go through a couple language exercises to get a feel for where the student is at in their own ability. These will vary depending on what level of language tutoring they request!
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
In order to become an independent learner, the student must know how to go about learning on their own. In a lot of ways this means the student must know what they're interested in and also how they learn. I'd help the student get started by showing them different resources to take advantage of, whether through language learning games, native bands, news outlets, or even movies filmed/dubbed in the language they are learning. It's all dependent on the student and what they respond to best!