I am a great lover of language. As a writer, I am inherently an avid reader, and came to studying Classics because of my desire to get as close to the roots of the words I use as possible. I strongly believe in the continued study of Greek and Latin, not as esoteric and archaic subjects, but as tools that fundamentally inform our relationship to language, history, and thought. Learning the languages allowed me to read texts in their intended form, which is a deeply enriching experience. I am also a great lover of poetry, and love to teach writing, both of creative and academic forms.
I believe that subjects should be taught in a way that does not force students to approach in ways that bore or pain them, but help them find a way to love the learning. I have attended a wide variety of schools with drastically different educational philosophies--from Steiner schools to private school to charter school, to public school to Sarah Lawrence College, which is famous for its alternative education model--and know first hand that different students benefit from different teaching methods. If a student finds a way to enjoy learning a subject everything else will follow, and as a passionate learner, I am passionate to teach in a way that instills that kind of love for studying.
Sarah Lawrence College - Bachelors, Classics
SAT Composite: 2050
What is your teaching philosophy?
To help guide students to answers they are confident they arrived at through their own knowledge and process, and to instill a love of learning.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Ask them what aspects of a subject they found enjoyable, and which they found most challenging.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
First, to help them find ways to enjoy studying. Secondly, to give them the tools that suit them best, and to encourage them to try new methods.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Give them challenging but reasonable benchmarks to achieve, and test them in fun ways.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Ask them where they are having difficulty until we can get at the root of the problem. While figuring this out, make sure they are being given the proper encouragement and validation so that they don't resort to frustration and a loss of self-confidence.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Ask them fun, unusual questions about the text so that they can learn to engage with the material from lots of different angles.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
To establish a trust and then work from there, really listening to what a student claims are their difficulties.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
There is always a different angle with which to approach learning--if writing is the problem, we can do a close reading of someone else's essay to get ideas. If a particular verb conjugation is impossible to remember, we can come up with a fun song to remember it by. There are thousands of different methods to be tried.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
To have the student explain the concept to me a few different times, in order to make sure they have synthesized the material and can explain it in varying, nuanced ways.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
To always be supportive and encouraging, but also take them and their learning seriously. A student knows when they have worked hard and deserve praise, and a tutor should be mindful of how a student's relationship to a subject changes over time, and praise the smallest leaps just like the large ones.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Every student is different. The evaluation of their needs is not a one-time event, but a process that is developed over working together. That being said, students generally know themselves pretty well, and can explain what it is that they have a hard time with.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Good tutoring is just like having a good conversation, and maintaining a healthy relationship--it requires attentive listening, honest communication, and a willingness to adapt. I take a student seriously and listen to what they need help with, and then approach this need with what I believe is the best method. If that method doesn't end up feeling right either to me or the student, we will try the next one. As long as we are open to trying new methods, the perfect approach is always possible.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Pen and paper.