I am an energetic and passionate tutor, who is very much in touch with her inner child. I would describe myself as a bit of an eternal student: I completed my bachelor's degree (or college degree) in biological anthropology focusing on primates, finished my master's degree (another two years of classes and research) in anthropology, again focusing on primates, and am now working towards yet another master's degree in environmental sciences. For this latest degree, I am studying how gold mines in Peru may alter biodiversity.
I have loved teaching ever since middle school, where I volunteered in classrooms in the grades below me. I think growing up with a teacher for a mother has really made me love and respect teaching and learning. I have worked in kindergarten all the way through university students. I have worked on reading skills with first graders and essay writing with second year college students. I have worked as a substitute teacher in elementary school, a teaching assistant for introductory college courses, a mentor to high-school students, and more. I love teaching and helping others. Education has been a large part of my life and I want it to be a large part of my future.
Before switching to studying biodiversity and conservation on a larger scale, I studied primates. I've studied primates in Costa Rica, Bolivia, and Peru. I also volunteered at a zoo with orangutans, gorillas, gibbons and siamangs, macaques, and lemurs. Some of my favorite monkeys include orangutans, capuchins, and marmosets.
In my free time, I enjoy dancing, cooking spicy foods, hiking, reading about the latest science discoveries on the internet, and spending time with my friends and family. I love Harry Potter, chocolate, watching Disney movies, and would describe myself as a dog-person.
George Washington University - Bachelors, Biological Anthropology
University of Victoria - Masters, Anthropology
Elementary School Math
High School English
What is your teaching philosophy?
Having struggled in school at times, I am a firm believer that educators should be compassionate and open to working with students with varying learning styles and abilities. This means being accepting of different cultures, values, educational methods, and learning disabilities. I believe educators should be patient, enthusiastic, creative, and always trying to improve their own teaching.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would help a student remain motivated by setting achievable goals, praising students for their hard work, and trying to make learning and assignments fun! I believe relating the material to the student's own life or career goals is very helpful and can motivate students. I would also chart out an overall plan or path for the semester or year so that the student can visualize his/her progress.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would first ask the student why he/she thinks the subject is a struggle. Then, I would ask the student what methods he/she has tried in the past, and I would come up with new ways of teaching the material, trying to find one that works best for the student. For example, maybe the student would benefit from drawing a flowchart or an image of the science problem. I would try to identify the source of the struggle and then adapt my teaching to make the material more accessible and teach it in a different way.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would first try and find readings that were related to the student's interest, and then I would work with the student reading through the writing so that we could read together. I would have the student underline key concepts or phrases as he/she reads and I would have the student make an overall outline of what has been read. I would suggest the student read as much as possible (practice makes perfect), and I would encourage the student to think about the main ideas, the conflict, the main characters, and so forth while reading. I would also try to determine where specifically the student is struggling and then adapt my strategies to fit the individual student.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I like knowing my students, so I would ask why the student is seeking tutoring, what the student wants to get from these sessions, anything the student needs from me as a tutor, and so forth. I would also ask the student to describe teachers that he/she has liked and disliked to try and understand what teaching methods seem to work well for the individual.