Helping students through private tutoring is something that is very important to me, because the confidence students acquire through mastering academic material is so rewarding to see. In addition to proof-reading and helping rewrite numerous papers for friends, roommates, and my younger brother, I have tutored students in Social Psychology. I graduated high school from Wichita Collegiate School, and I am currently pursuing my undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Kansas. I am also a member of the University Honors Program, as well as the LEAD program, an accelerated program designed to help students reach law school faster. I am currently tutoring all sections of the ACT. These are my favorite subjects to tutor, as I am not far removed from high school, and I understand the incredible impact a solid ACT score can have on the college process.
My tutoring style is laid back and relies on much student involvement to attain the highest level of understanding for each student. Outside of school and tutoring, I love to sing, dance, rock climb, and knit, and I am an avid Boston Red Sox fan.
University of Kansas - Current Undergrad, Psychology
ACT Composite: 32
ACT English: 34
ACT Math: 31
ACT Reading: 33
ACT Science: 30
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in encouraging and instilling confidence in students by approaching subject matter in several different ways, including having students create their own practice problems after establishing a certain level of comfort with the material.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First, I would assess how comfortable the student feels with the material, and then discuss ways to manage any anxiety or time management concerns. I believe conquering fear of the ACT is crucial to successful testing.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Encouraging students to build in a block of time to study each day or each week is something that has proven very valuable. By allowing the student to take charge of their own learning and instead bring questions to tutoring sessions, rather than expecting a simple overview of material, students are much more able to achieve their academic goals.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Giving students manageable tasks is a great way to get the instant gratification feeling that is often lost during test prep. The length of tutoring sessions is also a great way to make sure information is clicking, so students leave feeling confident rather than confused by new material.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I have found it beneficial to apply real life situations to the concepts with which a student is struggling in order to increase understanding. By using situations or ideas that are already understood and familiar to the student, the concepts become less daunting and easier to grasp.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Learning to read with intention is something that often improves reading comprehension abilities. While reading quickly is often encouraged for the ACT, learning to read with the intent to find information needed will be beneficial in the long run.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I find that students produce their best work when they feel most comfortable with their tutor and when they know that tutoring is a place that is free of judgment. Tutors are not here to criticize, but are here to help students achieve their goals, and when students understand this, they are much more likely to be motivated to do well.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Increasing confidence with the material is an easy way to begin excitement for a subject. Getting questions correct in an area in which a student struggles is one of the greatest things for a tutor to see, because it is so rewarding for a student to see their hard work paying off.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would first go over the basics of the material so the student understands the objectives toward which they are working. I would then have students complete practice problems, and have them explain either why they got it correct, or I would help them understand how to achieve the correct answer the next time. Lastly, when a student feels confident, I would ask them to create practice problems for themselves. Mastering all three areas ensures a great deal of mastery in the subject.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I have found that slowly introducing more challenging concepts as students work toward mastery in a subject is the best way to foster confidence. Students are much more likely to engage in difficult material if they feel confident with the less challenging concepts, rather than flooding students with concepts of varying difficulty from the start.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
A student's needs become clear in many different ways. First, students communicate their needs to their tutor. After that, I pay close attention to the areas in which the student has the most and least success, as well as the ways they go about solving various problems, as that is a good indicator of mastery in a subject.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Adapting to a student's needs can happen in various ways. I often find it useful to see how students respond to individual work compared to working together to solve problems. Seeing what benefits a student more or whichever method a student prefers is often the first step in adapting my tutoring style to meet student needs.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I typically use practice problems and ACT workbook problems, but I have found that having students create their own examples and practice problems is often most effective.