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Laura

Holding both a Bachelors in History from Connecticut College, and a Masters in Teaching History from University of Illinois Chicago, I have a wide breadth of content knowledge available to help students. Two years of teaching at Evanston Township High School has given me excellent experience working with students and helping them through challenges. I especially enjoy tutoring students in US History, World History, and Civics/Political Science. As a passionate writer, I also have experience coaching students to improve their writing and editing skils, for college essays or their own coursework. When not teaching, I can be found singing in a choir, practicing figure skating, and reading fantasy and science fiction.

Undergraduate Degree:

 Connecticut College - Bachelors, History

Graduate Degree:

 University of Illinois at Chicago - Masters, Teaching History

GRE Quantitative: 153

GRE Verbal: 164

Figure skating, Singing, Writing

College Application Essays

College Level American History

College World History

High School English

High School Level American History

High School Political Science

High School World History

High School Writing

IB History

Other

Political Science

Social Sciences

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

I would inquire what it is about the subject that doesn't engage or excite the student--other than the fact that they are having difficulty with it. Then I would plan a lesson that approaches the subject from a different angle, frames the skill in a different manner, and hopefully in a way that demonstrates that the subject not only is important to the student--in that they want to succeed--but that it is relevant to the rest of their life.

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that all students can be successful, and that struggle is a sign that a student is engaged and working towards success. Every student has the potential and ability to achieve--it is a matter of working on the skills and approaches necessary to achieve at the desired level.

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

In a first session, I spend most of the time engaging in discussion with the student--finding out what their goals are, how they struggle, and how they define success. I explain my approach to them, and check that they are on board with my methods and willing to try them. Then we outline the steps that we would take to begin to reach the student's goal, and talk about what kind of commitment it will take from them.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I believe that the best way to coach students to become independent is to emphasize skills over content, and have frequent metacognitive conversations with the student to make those skills clear, so that students can easily make connections between skill usage, even when the content is drastically different. Developing the ability to see the skills involved in a task allows students to break down the task independently, rather than feeling intimidated by the enormity of the assignment.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

A slump in motivation often connects to a few things: a lack of clarity of the student's goal, a present struggle that seems overwhelming, and/or a crisis in confidence. Any of these situations would require a conversation where I'd try to figure out what the student is struggling with, psychologically, that's causing them to lose motivation. Then we'd talk about how we can help mitigate against the loss of motivation--through determination, persistence, or modification of goals.

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

After covering material, I would implement an informal assessment that would use the same skills or content that the student was working on. This assessment would measure whether the student is able to take the knowledge they claim to understand and apply it in a slightly different way.

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

A lack of confidence in schoolwork or a certain subject is often brought on by years of struggle, perceived failure, or other negative experiences, and cannot be fixed quickly. I build a student's confidence through careful and diligent persistence and praise. Only through time and practice can I demonstrate to a student that they in fact have the abilities to be successful--they just needed some assistance with some of their skills.