I earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Georgia State University College of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts in English Composition and Rhetoric from from the University of Georgia with a certificate in Interdisciplinary Writing.
I concentrated my English coursework in composition and rhetoric in many disciplines including everything from Chaucer to Graphic Novel Theory. I can offer assistance in basic to advanced Reading Comprehension, Grammar skills, essay and research development skills and advanced writing and editing techniques. All of these skills are applicable to Reading and Writing SAT test prep, as well as AP English test prep.
I can also offer assistance with general study skills, time management, and problem solving skills. I'm a practiced hand at learning to study, and I was never a naturally successful academic - I had to work at it and teach myself, and figure out ways to be successful, and I can help you do the same!
My teaching strategy as a tutor in any subject makes my students love me because I will go the extra mile for each and every student who truly wants to learn. I challenge my students to think complexly in ways they generally have not been challenged to think before, and I refuse to give answers. I truly believe every student can rise to any challenge given proper guidance, and I feel they can see I truly believe in their abilities. My job as a tutor is to guide my students in their development and show them strategies to become better readers, writers, and thinkers independently, not to show them where commas go.
I am not a boring English teacher who expects students to love everything I put in front of them. I have a very broad base of experience and, believe me, not all of it I found interesting. I love Graphic Novels and Comics, British Literature, and Poets like Wallace Stevens and Eliot. I love to get to know my students and I want to help them find their interests so they can learn to love and understand reading and writing!
In my free time I like to rock climb, watch movies, read, lift weights and hang out with my friends.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Georgia - Bachelor in Arts, English
Graduate Degree: Georgia State University - Juris Doctor, Law
Rowing, Rock Climbing, Weightlifting, Comics and Graphic Novels
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
The student holds the pencil! It's my job to help you learn to learn, not just to give you answers. Digging into the work yourself (with guidance from me where needed) will help you feel more accomplished, and teach you skills that you can apply throughout your life!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Talk and get to know each other. You tell me what you want to get out of our time together. Where you do think you excel? Where do you want to improve? What are your current study habits? I want to get a broad picture of you as a student to see where we're starting, and figure out where we want to go so we can map out a plan to get there together.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By letting you hold the pencil! I'm not a book of answers; I'm a tool to help keep you focused and encouraged, suggest new approaches to problem solving based on my experience, and offer new perspectives and self awareness so that the skills you learn with me can apply far beyond whatever subject we're working on at the moment.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I like to balance a big picture focus and end goals with small, accomplishable pieces, and then track progress. Keeping your eye on the prize and being able to take real steps toward getting there in every session is encouraging! Tackling something new or something you struggle with can be a long and daunting road, but I'm here to walk it with you and show you the way!
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Varied approaches and breaking down the pieces - no two students think or learn the same. Just because I understand something one way doesn't mean everyone else will, too. Everything can be broken down into smaller pieces, and if we can identify the piece that the student is having trouble with, we can focus on finding a way to overcome that piece and start putting it back into the context of the larger skill or concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Start small - let's find something you're interested in and read and talk together about it! Taking the formality and pressure out of reading can do a lot! It's something people do every day without realizing it. So let's start simple, building basic retention and comprehension skills by talking, and then build from there!
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Listening to the student. I find most students aren't used to being asked where they're struggling, or what works best for them, or treating learning and tutoring as a cooperative process. When they can see that I'm a tool for them to use, they are put in control of their learning and experience, which is how it should be! My goal as a tutor is to no longer be needed as a tutor. Putting the student in the driver seat and letting me guide and step in only as necessary has changed so many of my students' entire perspective on school and education.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
By showing them they *can* do it, being understanding that struggling in a subject makes it daunting, or that finding it not interesting is ok - but making it doable, being excited about the students progress (even if not the subject), and keeping a positive, engaged, and "we're in this together" attitude can go a long way to help students keep wading through challenging subjects.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Once I'm confident a student understands the work they're doing - I have them teach it to me! If you can't teach someone else what you're doing (or at least walk them through the steps), you likely don't understand it as well as you think. So we swap roles! This technique can also be very revealing of where a student is truly excelling, and where they may still be struggling.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Talking to them, setting goals, working on problems/projects together, and watching them work.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
The great thing about my philosophy as a tutor is that the whole point is for the student to become a more self-aware learner! I don't go into a session with a new student with any expectations or plans. Let's dig into the material, and through trial and error and experimenting with different approaches, figure out together what works and what doesn't. I won't always immediately have all the answers for what works for every student, but if we can figure that out together, we'll both learn something.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
That depends entirely on the student's needs and the type of learner they are, and what we're working on. For hands-on learners, I'm coming armed with worksheets, problems to solve, books, and whatever is applicable to what we're studying; for visual learners, break out the highlighters and charts!