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Jennifer

Hello, I look forward to working with you! I have been an English educator for 17 years, teaching English for grades 9-12. I have taught AP English and ACP English (dual credit courses) through Bloomington, Indiana, and presently help every Wednesday evening with peer tutoring. I first taught in a traditional bricks and mortar setting for thirteen years before making the virtual leap to an online academy in 2012. I do believe in the power of individualized/customized instruction for each student I encounter. Student learning styles are as vast as one's shoe size. Not every student wears a size 10 shoe and not every student learns by lecture.

I believe in building a rapport with students and recognize that some come to Varsity Tutors with anxiety. I enjoy working with both the lively and quieter students who typically get overlooked or lost in a traditional classroom setting. It makes no difference whether a student chooses to use a microphone or webcam during our session together. Most of the students I have taught do not. All I require is for my students to talk by way of the chat pod, which is the equivalent of texting or instant messaging. My goal is to meet you, the student, where you are most comfortable.

Words that best describe me as an educator are: supportive, hardworking, motivating, and creative. Be assured if I see a student struggling, I will do all that I can to develop a system that works for him or her.

Undergraduate Degree:

 Purdue University-Calumet Campus - Bachelors, English Education

Graduate Degree:

 Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis - Masters, Language Education

cooking, dancing, singing, walking

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is that there is no learning without laughter. I feel learning should be palatable, not painful. For this reason, I try to get down to the student's level, and not only listen, but laugh when the time is right.

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

Typically, I jump right in when I meet with a student. I don't want to waste my student's time or mine. If there is work to be done or a question to be answered, I say let's get right to it.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

In our virtual world, being an independent learner is paramount to their success. That comes naturally for some, but certainly doesn't for all. For those that struggle, I devise lessons to help students develop critical-thinking skills that they can forever house in their toolbox. I teach students how to interact with the text, questioning as they read and making text to text, text to self, and text to world connections as they go along.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

To a certain degree, a student must come hungry to learn. In other words, the student must be willing to meet me in the middle and accept what I have to offer. Yet, I also go out of my way to make the student feel comfortable, and also help the student recognize and celebrate successes as those achievements present themselves.

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

When a student is experiencing difficulty learning a certain skill, I either vary my instruction and/or reword things. I often try to make parallels that I feel will help the student visualize. Making connections really can help with comprehension and retention.