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Margaret

I love learning, and it's my joy to pass that love along to my clients as they learn to read and write, improve their grades, supercharge their study skills, and prepare for a successful college experience. I am a Princeton grad with a Bachelors' Degree in Art & Archaeology. As a social worker for a foster family agency, I worked with kids for three years. I have a master's degree in Counseling Psychology and I worked as a Graphic Designer at Disney Channels Worldwide for 10 years. I am currently getting my Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. I look forward to helping you and your family make school, standardized tests, and college applications open the door to your best future.

Undergraduate Degree:

 Princeton University - Bachelors, Art & Archaeology

Graduate Degree:

 Vermont College of Fine Arts - Current Grad Student, Writing for Children and Young Adults

Young Adult Literature, Snowboarding, Broadway Musicals, Cycling, Running, Triathlon, A Capella Singing, Graphic Design, Photoshop, Zen Tangle, Graphic Novels, Art History, Travel, Italy, France

ACT Aspire Prep

AP Economics

College English

College Level American History

Conversational French

Conversational Italian

French 1

High School English

High School Level American History

Homework Support

Other

Social Sciences

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Summer

US History

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that learning is meant to be fun. With a little bit of elbow grease, lots of patience and some perseverance, every student can improve their grades and their scores, and gain lasting study habits that will carry them forward to wherever their hopes and dreams lead them. I'm here to provide support and accountability, and open a world of happy learning to my students.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

I want to get to know the parent and the student, to hear what their goals are, to get to know their preferred learning style, and set up a contract that both of us sign so that our partnership will yield desired results.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Any student who learns first-hand that learning is not only doable but also fun will become an independent learner. The key is to get to know the student and tailor the learning approach to their learning style, then give them direct experience of their own success. Once they know its fun, and doable, then it's about breaking each task down and doing it one action step at a time. That's where study skills come in.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

The key to motivation is to remember big picture goals as well as the short-term goals. Any big dream requires you to jump through small hoops along the way. It's really important to celebrate small wins along the way, and to picture how good you'll feel once you've jumped over that next hurdle.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

I would find a different way to approach that skill or concept that fits with that student's particular learning style. There's always another way to look at any problem. There's always a workaround that can lead to success. The thing is to keep trying.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I start with what the student does understand, then break down the passages, phrases or words that don't feel as clear, asking questions about what it those bits might mean. This technique is a way to help the student build on what they do understand, and gradually connect the dots. Once a student sees how this works a few times, they can try it on their own.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

It's so important to build rapport and learn what a student enjoys in their free time, to know what they feel their strengths are, and their hopes for the future. It's vital to know a student's natural learning style so that you can meet them where they are strongest, no matter the subject.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I would find a way to weave in a subject the student likes. Multiplication Rock added music to math to make the multiplication tables fun and easy to remember. The same can be done with any subject a student finds challenging. There are ways to turn any subject into a game to that it feels friendlier.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

I would ask them to explain it to me, pretending I was their little sister or brother. That way they would have to break it down to the simplest terms and most important concepts.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Give the student smaller tasks within that subject that are easy to accomplish so that they start to feel successful and get a positive feeling about their ability. Meet them where they are.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I talk to the parents, and the teacher, and then do worksheets or mini-quizzes with the student and then talk about the results, about what went well, and what was harder.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I make sure I pay attention to non-verbal cues as we work together, then I ask questions and make sure I listen to the student. It's a matter of always adjusting to the student's communication, of being creative with teaching style.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

I use worksheets, books, drawing materials, flash cards, and I might even use a Ted Ed video, or a Crash Course video, or music, if it relates to the subject. The Varsity apps are great tools for learning and studying, too!