I graduated from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC in 2011 with a B.A. in English and Philosophy. After school, I moved to Seattle, WA and began my career in education as a private tutor for high-risk high school students. I loved it so much that I applied for City Year, a rigorous AmeriCorps program wherein I spent a year volunteering at a high-needs middle school in Seattle as a tutor and mentor. City Year was difficult, but it opened my eyes to my professional and personal strengths, and deepened my interest in pursuing education as a career.
When my term with AmeriCorps was finished, I continued to work at the school I had served at as an Instructional Aide to the teachers there, and I was even given the opportunity to teach my own summer course in Filmmaking. I made a cheesy music video for my students and taught them the basics of narrative and film, then gave them their own video cameras and let them create their own films in small groups. It was way too much fun.
I recently moved back to the east coast to help my grandmother transition into nursing care, and was very fortunate to find Varsity Tutors to help me keep my skills sharp. Although I'm passionate about teaching, I consider myself a student of life first and foremost, and I'm always open to learn new tricks, or improve upon skills I already have. My philosophy when it comes to tutoring is simply this: I always strive to improve myself and the lives of those around me.
My primary area of focus is Language Arts, because that's where most of my experience lies, and because writing is my greatest artistic passion in life. I have immense respect for math-minded folks, but I definitely fall much more into the right-brained category. If you're looking for someone to push you as a writer, reader, poet, historian, psychologist, or philosopher, look no further.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Guilford College - Bachelor in Arts, English
Poetry, Writing, Reading, Music, Film, Hiking, Cooking, Video Games, Traveling
10th Grade Reading
10th Grade Writing
11th Grade Reading
11th Grade Writing
12th Grade Reading
12th Grade Writing
1st Grade Reading
1st Grade Writing
2nd Grade Reading
2nd Grade Writing
3rd Grade Reading
3rd Grade Writing
4th Grade Reading
4th Grade Writing
5th Grade Reading
5th Grade Writing
6th Grade Reading
6th Grade Writing
7th Grade Reading
7th Grade Writing
8th Grade Reading
8th Grade Writing
9th Grade Reading
9th Grade Writing
AP US History
College Level American History
College Level American Literature
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Writing
High School English
High School Geography
High School Level American History
High School Level American Literature
High School Writing
Introduction to Poetry
Middle School Reading
Middle School Writing
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
As someone who has worked with all kinds of diverse students--from low-income urban students to wealthy suburban students and everything in between, I believe that all students are capable of great achievements. One of the first things I always stress with my students is that the mindset they bring to our sessions has a serious impact on how much they can expect to improve--those who approach learning with excitement and humility always see the greatest growth. I strive to not only teach my students the content they're looking for, but also instill in them a thirst for learning on a deeper level that will stay with them for a lifetime.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During my first session with any student, I feel it is critically important to assess where the student's ability is before I begin to design a game plan for their growth. Too often, I've seen educators attempt to treat students with scattershot or blanketed methods, which often leaves struggling students feeling helpless and advanced students feeling bored. I strive to meet my students at their current level and then customize a learning plan for each and every one of them that will produce the greatest possible results in the shortest amount of time.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Turning a student into an independent learner does not come by asking them to regurgitate facts. It comes by instilling a deeper, more lasting passion for learning--one that extends far beyond our tutoring sessions and into their daily lives.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
In order to motivate a student, one must first understand their personality on some level. Once I have a sense of their interests, hobbies, and goals, I can then begin to use language that motivates them by reminding them that success in the classroom can greatly help them become the type of person they strive to be.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Often times, the mistake I see educators make is that they try to "beat a student over the head" with one approach several times, shaking their head when the student fails to grasp the concept. This is not the student's fault--it is the educator's. When I see that one particular approach isn't working for a student, I attack the problem from an entirely different angle until one clicks for the student.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
The most common reason that students struggle with reading comprehension, in my experience, is that they have been pressured to read quickly so as to appear "smart" in front of their teachers or peers. Students must understand that slow and steady wins the race when it comes to reading--oh, and rereading is critically important and too often untaught, too.