I have been actively studying Spanish for ten years now and I have loved every step of this journey. Studying Spanish has brought me on a mission trip to Ecuador, a study abroad program in Chile, and now, a tutoring position. I am currently finishing my third year at North Central College in Naperville, IL and am pursuing my Bachelors of Arts in Spanish and Global Studies, with a concentration on developing states. After graduation, I hope to continue my education and receive my Masters in Spanish Translation and enter the field of international nonprofit work.
I love tutoring Spanish, especially in preparation for traveling abroad. I've had the opportunity to use my Spanish internationally, during a four and a half month study abroad program in Chile. I took Spanish language classes, conducted an independent research project, traveled all throughout Chile, and lived with a host family. Because of this trip, I have practical experience using Spanish in a real-life setting and feel comfortable preparing students to use their Spanish in daily life or an academic setting.
While Spanish is my primary subject, I also enjoy literature, English, and writing and have excelled in these subjects in my own academic experience. I currently tutor Spanish to fellow students at my university and have also tutored a wide range of subjects while I was in high school. I teach based on three main principles - patience, persistence, and practice. I believe in the importance of being patient and empathetic when tutoring because certain subjects do not always come easily to students. However, by approaching a topic with patience and empathy, students will see progress. I also believe that persisting even when a subject becomes confusing is key to mastery. I hope to support students with lots of practice - I aways emphasize the real world importance and application of each topic and use lots of examples and practice problems to guide students through confusing material.
When I'm not studying, I love to spend my free time reading mystery and travel novels, going on long bike rides, trying new foods, playing with my cat, and practicing my newfound interest in yoga!
North Central College - Current Undergrad, Spanish; Global Studies
ACT Composite: 34
ACT English: 35
ACT Math: 33
ACT Reading: 36
ACT Science: 31
AP English Literature: 4
AP US History: 5
AP World History: 4
AP Environmental Science: 4
AP Spanish Language: 4
AP Psychology: 5
10th Grade Reading
10th Grade Writing
11th Grade Reading
11th Grade Writing
12th Grade Reading
12th Grade Writing
6th Grade Reading
6th Grade Writing
7th Grade Reading
7th Grade Writing
8th Grade Reading
8th Grade Writing
9th Grade Reading
9th Grade Writing
ACCUPLACER Reading Comprehension Prep
ACCUPLACER Sentence Skills Prep
ACCUPLACER WritePlacer Prep
CLEP Analyzing and Interpreting Literature
CLEP College Composition
CLEP English Literature
CLEP Social Sciences and History
College Application Essays
College Level American Literature
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Writing
High School English
High School Geography
High School Level American Literature
High School Writing
History Of Science
Introduction to Poetry
Latin America History
Middle School Reading
Middle School Writing
SAT Subject Test in Spanish with Listening
Technology and Computer Science
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, I would begin by reviewing what the student already knows so I have a clear understanding of the foundation we're building upon. Then, if we are working on a specific assignment for school, I would review the assignment directions with the student and begin reviewing any key concepts needed to move forward. Finally, I would ask the student to brainstorm possibly answers for the assignment and work with them to find the strongest one.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
One way I like to keep students motivated is by explaining the real-world applications of whatever we're working on! For example, in Spanish it can often be frustrating to try to memorize irregular conjugations of verbs. However, if I can remind the student that by learning these topics, they'll be able to travel somewhere and speak Spanish or understand a Spanish song, the material becomes more relatable and the student can understand its importance in the real world.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
One of the best ways for a student to demonstrate knowledge in a certain subject is by thinking of their own examples or ways to relate the material to their own life. For example, when working with a certain type of sentence structure in Spanish, I may teach the student using examples I make up. However, when I feel the student is ready, I will ask them to come up with their own examples of how to use certain grammar techniques.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
When a student has difficulty learning a certain concept, I like to break the concept down to its very foundational building blocks. I work with the student to understand these building blocks and assess their mastery of each one. Once the student understands all the pieces of a certain concept, I explain how the pieces relate and have the student try to connect the pieces on their own. Finally, we move back to the original concept and see if the student can explain the concept using the building blocks we discussed.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
The best way to show your confidence and mastery of a topic is when you're able to teach it to somebody else. When I tutor, I do so with the goal of my student being able to teach the lesson back to me, or to another student. I work slowly with students with great patience and encouragement. I use lots of examples when I tutor so that students are practicing application of the concepts we're working on. As the lesson progresses, I have the student explain the topic to me so that I can guarantee they're fully comprehending the lesson. When a student is able to take the material they've learned and successfully convey it back to me, I believe that creates high levels of confidence because the student is then sure that they've fully mastered a subject and feel confident being able to explain the newly-learned material to somebody else.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
When I begin working with a student or teach a new lesson, I start at the very foundations of the lesson. I start with these foundational basics to help both myself and the student. By beginning with the basics, I am able to figure out what the student already knows and where I should begin teaching or reviewing certain concepts. For the student, when they are able to demonstrate their knowledge of these more basic, foundational concepts, it builds their confidence as they've already mastered some parts of the lesson. For example, if I was teaching a Spanish lesson on conjugating subjunctive verbs, I would begin by making sure students knew how to conjugate present-tense normal verbs, as this is foundational knowledge one must have before learning the subjunctive. If a student can demonstrate to me that they know how to conjugate the normal verbs, this increases their confidence in the subject matter, and I know where to start our lesson.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Before I begin looking at concepts with a student, I ask them to tell me what they want to work on and what they find challenging and easy about the concept. By hearing the student tell me themselves what they want to work on, where they're struggling, and where their strengths are, I'm able to gauge their knowledge on a certain concept, as well as the types of learning they struggle with. For example, if a student writing a paper is skilled at writing an outline but struggles in writing the actual paper, this makes it clear to me that we need to practice using transitions and writing strong introduction and conclusion sentences. However, if a student can write a great body paragraph but has no idea how to write an outline, I know that we need to focus more on organizational and structure ideas. The strengths and weaknesses that a student has with each topic alert me to the specific needs of that student with regard to each topic.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
If a student comes with their own materials, I prefer to use those, as that is what the student is most comfortable with. Otherwise, I prefer using web-based materials so a student doesn't feel a need to purchase any new materials. I have several online Spanish dictionaries and conjugation tables I use. I also use apps as a fun way for students to practice Spanish skills outside of our sessions. For subjects such as ACT Prep, I have a study guide that I use, as well as the online guide provided by the tutoring platform. Finally, for writing I prefer to use an MLA site to review proper formatting for papers with students.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that with practice, patience, and persistence, students can learn and excel at just about any topic they want. I do not believe that students are limited in the knowledge that they can gain. I believe in lots of encouragement, confidence-boosting, and patience in teaching because encouragement and gentle guidance praise the student for what they do well, kindly guide them through parts they struggle with, and build their confidence. Students are capable of anything they put their mind to. My job as a tutor is to find the best way to guide them through this process, with empathy and kindness.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I believe that guiding students towards becoming independent learners begins with independence during the tutoring process. I do not believe that a tutor should just give students the right answers. As I teach or review a lesson with a student, I work with the student to arrive at the correct answer, but I make sure that they guide the process rather than me. I correct mistakes and give suggestions or advice, but the student is leading the process. On a test or quiz in school, students will not be given an answer, so I believe this should be mirrored in the tutoring process. I also have students teach topics back to me - after we've spent time reviewing a topic, I ask the student to explain it to me so they are independently taking control of the topic and proving their mastery of it. Finally, I use lots of examples when I tutor, whether it be Spanish sentences or attention-grabbers for writing papers. I provide the students with examples to work through, but I also ask students to use what they've learned and create their own examples so that they are showing me their independent thinking skills.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
When students struggle with reading comprehension, I begin by having them skim a passage and tell me all the main ideas they can think of. This tells me right away where their comprehension of main ideas is. I have the student write down all the main ideas and then read the passage again more carefully. At this point, we write down more main ideas that were missed the first time as well as any important supporting ideas. If students are still struggling with figuring out the main points of each passage, I teach them how to use context clues. We look for words that may signal important ideas, such as "First, Second, Third" or "Overall."
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
When I start to work with a student, I find it best to let the student guide where we begin. I ask the student what they need to work on, what they feel strong on, and what parts they struggle with. I then ask them where they want to begin. I've found that by letting students decide where we begin each session, they become more invested and take more control over their own learning.