As a Seattle native, I am a University of Washington Husky at heart and currently finishing up my Bachelor of Science in Biology. Before my time at the UW, I attended Seattle Central Community College where I was lead biology tutor and worked with a vast diversity of students. It was during this time I really found my love of sharing and communicating the wonders of science with people, whether they are fellow students or those just looking to expand their knowledge base.
I moved on from SCCC to the UW and became further engaged in the education aspect of science as a tutor-mentor for struggling students, particularly those on the health sciences career path. In addition to providing academic and psychosocial support, I also attended a weekly seminar directed by professors and academic support faculty. There, I was introduced to a variety of pedagogical theories and techniques that augmented the tutoring skills I had acquired at SCCC.
As a student myself, I empathetically understand the difficulties of dealing with the comprehensive nature of science courses, as well as the critical thinking required to truly grasp the concepts. In the words of Carl Sagan, “Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.” Accordingly, I believe there is no such thing as a bad or unintelligent question and that learning science is a collaborative effort between all who are part of the process.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Washington - Bachelor of Science, General Biology
Reading, knitting, swimming, soccer
Anatomy & Physiology
Elementary School Math
High School Biology
High School Chemistry
Middle School Science
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Teaching and learning are two sides of the same coin, and you have to be willing to do both to do well.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First sessions are all about recognizing that someone has had the strength to reach out for help and admit they're having trouble for any number of reasons. A good tutoring relationship needs to be based on trust that there is no judgment, and the acknowledgment of that strength to seek help.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Learning (with or without a tutor) should be an exercise in how to think, not what to think. As tutors, it's our job to present the material in a variety of ways so the students can learn which way best helps them understand it and interact with it dynamically.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation is tough, especially when you've just struggled on a test or assignment. It often comes down to perspective and remembering it's not the end of the world, but ultimately a tiny blip on life goals. We've all been there, and as a tutor, it's proof that we've come back from it and can make the best of it.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
There's never only one way to do or learn something, and not everyone thinks the same. Tutoring requires flexibility and a willingness to present material in a variety of ways and should always be interactive, not a lecture. If a student doesn't get something, have them teach it to you to see if they've simply misunderstood, or are missing parts of an explanation.