I am currently in my senior year at Texas State University, seeking a Bachelor of Art in mass communication with minors in art and English. I tutor a variety of subjects, but I specialize in those concerning writing, literature, and the English language. I am certified by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA), and have worked in education for eight years with students from a wide variety of ages and backgrounds: preschool children learning state curriculum, English language learners writing journals for publication, and college tutors training for their certifications. My passion for teaching English stems from my firm belief that exceptional communication skills, both oral and written, provide a multitude of avenues to success. When I’m not tutoring or studying, I’m likely either reading, filling my sketchbooks, or watching Fringe on Netflix. I love many, many books, but my all-time favorite book is East of Eden. My favorite artist/human hero is Frida Kahlo, and my favorite dessert is peach cobbler.
Texas State University-San Marcos - Current Undergrad, Mass Communication
SAT Verbal: 710
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is based on flexibility. The ability to adapt one's teaching techniques to suit a student's individual learning style is pivotal to the success of a lesson.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
My first-time sessions usually include several things: introductions and some get-to-know-you conversation, questions to gauge where the student stands as far as subject interest and comprehension, and a discussion of the student's goals.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Autonomous learning begins when students learn to form and trust their own ideas concerning subject material. My personal approach to helping students reach this level of independence involves equipping them with information and strategies that they can refer to outside of sessions. This can include simply encouraging students to take notes, providing them with physical handouts and exercises, or referring them to online resources.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
When students are having trouble in a certain area, I usually have a diagnostic session where we outline what, specifically, is giving them difficulty. Once that's determined, I give students a set of exercises over the particular material. After its completion, we have an in-depth discussion over each answer, and I address any questions about the exercises or their answers. Since repetition aids comprehension, we'll continue with different variations of these exercises until the student has the ability to answer and explain each of these concepts.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I typically address comprehension troubles by relating material to something the student finds more familiar or interesting. When students are struggling to discern the events of a reading, I ask them to read a particular passage they find troubling and explain why they find it so, and we begin from there.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
This varies with each student. Aside from a general setting of goals, I try not to have any expectations about which direction a new student's session will take -- I think an open environment provides greater opportunity for the student's needs to be expressed.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I make an effort to set incremental goals in addition to long-term goals. This allows for a shorter time between achievements. Focusing on and successfully reaching short-term goals keeps the atmosphere positive while working toward a more distant overall objective.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I usually try to conduct student-led sessions, where we approach the tutoring subject from the student's point of view. By leading with student perspective, we can form strategies around clients' specific strengths, opinions, and interests, and work in the direction with which they are most comfortable.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I consider a student to be well-versed in the material when they can teach it themselves -- successfully, clearly, and without any assistance.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I focus on keeping a positive atmosphere in my sessions by supporting students' efforts and acknowledging the originality of their ideas. Although we discuss and work through weaknesses, the emphasis is always on what the student retains and accomplishes well.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
During our first meeting, I evaluate students' needs by administering a diagnostic exercise and discussing their personal feelings toward the subject. When working with returning students, I re-evaluate the client's needs based on the rate of progress toward our long-term goal.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
During tutoring sessions, I often use worksheets, style guides, outlines, handouts, and textbooks. I also use a variety of other materials, depending on the student's personal learning style. For example, if brainstorming with an auditory learner, I might simply record their ideas while they speak out loud, rather than asking them to immediately write their thoughts down.