I am passionate about helping others break down barriers in order to achieve success. This passion is the basis of my teaching philosophy: teachers and students must work together as an engaged unit to find the best learning solutions for the student. My past teaching and tutoring experience has prepared me to work with varying age groups and cultural/academic backgrounds. While in high school, I volunteered to be a companion for young children with Cerebral Palsy. During my years at Rhodes College, I tutored adults in ESL and aided them in their job search and was a Teaching Assistant for fellow Anthropology majors. For the past three years, I was a Kindergarten teacher at an international, bilingual school in Dakar, Senegal and a private SAT/ESL/TOEFL and College Prep tutor for middle school and high school students of varying nationalities. I am currently in my first year in Boston University’s Pardee School Master of Arts in International Affairs program where I will also receive a certificate in African Studies. Outside of academia, I enjoy exploring where I live, spending time with new and old friends, and reading. Just as my personal interests are diverse so are the subjects that I teach. However, my favorite subjects to teach are SAT Math and TOEFL because I have had great success in breaking down the material for past students.
Rhodes College - Bachelors, Anthropology/Sociology
Boston University - Masters, International Affairs
ACT Composite: 32
ACT English: 35
ACT Math: 33
ACT Reading: 31
ACT Science: 30
SAT Composite: 2010
SAT Math: 750
College Level American History
Elementary School Math
High School English
High School Level American History
IB Mathematical Studies
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
Every student, no matter their background, will be successful with the right method of teaching. As an experienced teacher and tutor, I believe that a teacher is responsible for finding meaningful and enjoyable ways for the student to learn. At the same time, the student is expected to be open to learning. With both of these elements present, a solid relationship between teacher and student may be formed, giving the student the best chances of succeeding in their goals. Effective teaching necessitates an engaged partnership between the teacher and student.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, I always take time to get to know the student: their academic goals, extracurricular interests, and reasons why they (as the student) would like to be tutored. I share details about myself in order to connect with the student and establish trust and credibility. Afterwards, I begin assessing the student's level in order to plan how to help them reach their objectives.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
With past students, I have created an individual schedule of weekly (sometimes daily) objectives. These small objectives help the student learn to pace themselves to achieve the overall goal. While I plan the schedule, they are solely responsible for completing the work as best as possible and on time.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Students may become demotivated because they don't feel like they are progressing or become disinterested in the material. I help students stay motivated by using varying media in sessions, teaching them tips to go through problems faster, and showing interest in their activities outside of sessions. By remaining updated with their personal interests, I can create lesson plans specifically tailored to the student that helps keep them motivated.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
My first solution would be to go back to "square 1" and break down the skill or concept to its basic parts. In this way, I can determine exactly from where the difficulty or confusion is coming. Then, examples, examples, examples. Giving the student varying examples of different context, level, and media will not only help the student stay motivated, but will help me determine the best way in which the student learns and allow the student to thoroughly understand the skill or concept. After I present examples to the student, the student will in turn create their own examples to show their understanding. They key to all of this is to positively reinforce what the student knows to help them remain confident in their ability to overcome the difficulty they are experiencing.