While I have a lot of admiration for school teachers and the work they do, I think personalized, private one-on-one tutoring is the best way to teach and learn. Happy students and happy tutors make the best results. That's why I am a tutor!
First and foremost, I think it's very important to create a welcoming, respectful and relaxed learning environment that fosters communication and trust between tutor and student and one in which the student feels empowered. I'm a very patient and considerate person but can also be highly competitive and these attributes of my personality come through in my tutoring style. So while it's rewarding to teach children, introduce students to a new subject or help them improve at intermediate or advanced levels, if a student comes to me with a specific request such as helping them ace an exam, I will do my very best to help them reach that goal. I'm always open to questions and discussion, I listen to my students and I pride myself in providing helpful insights and finding fun, innovative and effective ways to teach and help students retain information. I want to help my students distinguish themselves!
Growing up I wanted to be a history professor and continue to have an abiding interest in history. I graduated from Rice University in 2006 with a Bachelor's degree in History and in French Studies and then attended the University of Southern California where I received a Master's in Broadcast Journalism and documentary. During my free time I enjoy photography and film production, watching and playing sports, reading about history and health and speaking Spanish.
Rice University - Bachelors, History; French
University of Southern California - Masters, Broadcast Journalism, Documentary Film
What is your teaching philosophy?
I like to create a welcoming and respectful learning environment in which the student feels empowered.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
After spending the first few minutes getting to know one another, I'll ask the student what he or she wants to accomplish in the session. I'll also inquire about their study methods and learning strategies and whether they find any of them particularly effective so that we may incorporate them into our own.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By imparting fun and effective study habits that payoff in the classroom and relating their study material to the real world.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Sometimes students have difficulty staying motivated when faced with a big project or difficult test. I think it helps to break things down into manageable parts that give students a sense of progress and accomplishment upon completion.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would be patient and reassuring with the student. If it's a specific concept they're struggling with, for example, I may come up with a mnemonic device that associates concepts together to make learning more fun and creative and less of a memorization exercise.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Beyond asking them to identify nouns, main ideas, and conjunctions as they read, I find a very effective way to help these students is to ask them to close their eyes, take a few deep breaths, and eliminate any distractions before beginning their exercise.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I always ask the student if they have any study techniques or learning strategies that they find particularly effective. Establishing trust is also very important.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would try to relate the material to a real world situation or perhaps a television show or movie that might interest them.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
At the end of a tutoring session, I often quiz them in the form of a competitive game that not only allows me to see their retention level but to also quickly address any deficiencies.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I always offer students support and encouragement. Often, when they start receiving better grades, their confidence increases and they begin to like what they're studying.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
This requires communication with the student. Even if a student can't tell you, over the course of a few lessons, deficiencies become evident.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I like to meet students where they are and set an appropriate learning pace that won't overwhelm but that also provides a challenge.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use flashcards, trivia, games, textbooks, mnemonic devices. Also a learning tools website.