My goal is to enrich the lives of students through a type of education that is both accessible and engaging, and to offer support and encouragement to students (and parents) in the areas of study skills and time management. I have a B.A. in English from SMU where I graduated with Honors, and completed over 45 hours of natural sciences in the pre-medical program. I have worked closely with learning specialists and others to enhance my educational strategies and techniques, as well as my time management and organizational skills. I am skilled at evaluating student's needs as well as teacher expectations and testing styles to ensure that the student not only learns the information but can reproduce it successfully in the format necessary for the class. Above all, I am creative and great at listening and communicating, so I can adapt my style to your needs.
Southern Methodist University - BA, English
Anatomy & Physiology
High School Chemistry
High School English
High School Physics
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy begins with listening. It is important to me to understand what my students need, even if they can't tell me explicitly. While I have plenty of lesson plans from years of experience, education is best when it is adaptable. Each time I use an example or edit an assignment, I take note of which things work (or don't) for my student, so our time becomes more productive, and my tutoring more tailored to the student with each session. I spend time coming up with examples and exercises that are creative, interesting, and relevant to my student's lives. If you ask me, I can teach you tricks to help you memorize a ton of facts for a test, but I'd rather help you process and learn the material so you can retain it and use it for years to come.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During our first session, I will ask you what your immediate and long-term goals are for your class(es) and our time together. I will help you set reasonable goals, and create a schedule based on the demands of your assignments, your confidence with the material, and how much time you are willing and able to commit. I will also spend a little time asking you about your previous classroom experiences, as well as your interests and hobbies, to get an idea of your learning style, strengths, and weaknesses. After this initial evaluation, I love jumping straight into the material to get you started as soon as possible. We will begin slowly, so I can get a good sense of your current understanding of the material, and I will increase the pace as needed. At the end of every session, I will help you edit your goals and set a schedule for the week to make sure you can meet those goals.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I teach my students formulaic approaches to solving problems, studying for tests, and writing papers, so they know how to break down future assignments into simple steps. I also coach students with how to set up a schedule to complete each of these steps in a timely and efficient manner. Beyond these basic techniques, my method of teaching is to adapt the material to the individual student and I will teach the student how to do this for him- or her-self as well. The key to success in the classroom is being able to take the material as it is given and convert it into a format that makes sense to you. I help my students figure out their learning styles and teach them study techniques and tricks for that particular style. By working with my students' strengths and their natural tendencies, I help them build habits that will make learning, studying, and planning easier. Although I would love to continue working with my students, almost all of my students have gradually become independently successful in their current and future classes and projects.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By breaking assignments and study sessions into smaller tasks, projects and classes become less overwhelming, and each step is an accomplishment that can be checked off. I encourage my students to set reasonable goals for each day, week, and month, while still scheduling in free time, exercise, and hobbies. I also pay attention to my students and try to make sure they take time to stand up and get water when they need a break, or even shorten the session if it's becoming unproductive. Additionally, I will spend time coming up with a fun, active, or silly study technique, like acting out complicated biological processes and drawing funny animations for vocabulary words, to break up mundane sessions.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Change things up. Ask the student what they do understand, or what they think is happening during each step or part of the assignment, to evaluate what aspect s/he is struggling to comprehend. Once I establish what the student needs, I will explain the concept using a new vocabulary and new metaphors, even drawing pictures, diagrams, or charts to provide visuals and connect concepts. I also know how to find helpful videos and animations online for further help. If applicable, I will also switch up the order in which I present the material to build the concept up, starting with the student's strengths or what s/he already understands. I will move slowly through my explanations, checking with the student to ensure comprehension with each step and analogy before moving on. If any piece still doesn't make sense to the student, I keep trying new approaches until it does. Often, working through a difficult task is where I am best able to assess a student's learning style and determine what works best for him or her, which helps me better adapt my teaching for future sessions.