I received my BA cum laude in Anthropology???with a minor in History???from the University of Florida. Now, I am embarking on the challenging journey of earning my MA in Conflict Resolution from the University of Georgetown. During and after my time at the University of Florida, I worked not only as a tutor, but also as an EMT-Paramedic, a lifeguard, a martial arts instructor, and a swim instructor. I have been fortunate enough to travel to several different countries in Central America, South America, Africa, and the Caribbean. I have done medical aid work in both Nicaragua and Haiti. My teaching experiences outside of academic instruction include 8 years of teaching Kenpo Karate, several years of swimming instruction for noncompetitive swimmers and triathletes, and four years training college and graduate students at annual disaster response training exercises for the Consortium for Humanitarian Service and Education. I apparently aspire to have a resume similar to The-Most-Interesting-Man-In-The-World's.
As a teacher, I try to "guide learning" rather than just reciting facts or "teaching at" a student. I believe that discovery is the most exciting way to learn as well as the best method for producing long-term recall; it also tailors every learning experience to the individual student. I was most inspired to pursue this Socratic style of teaching after taking several courses in college from a professor who had perfected the technique. The majority of his class-time revolved around asking us questions that led us to the points he was trying to make. While not everything can be taught purely in this fashion, I try to make my lessons focus on principles and processes, creating a deeper understanding of the facts presented in class or in the textbook. I find that this technique works very well with math and physics, where understanding the theory is often the key to being able to see a problem and find the right path to a solution. I also try to apply this method to test preparation, so that students aren't just following a test-taking strategy because they were told to, they are using that strategy because they were encouraged to discover it for themselves and they understand why it works. Ultimately, I enjoy teaching because both the student and I can simultaneously improve in a process that never ceases to make us better.
When I'm not teaching, I enjoy pretty much any activity that gets me outside, especially if that outside happens to be in the woods or near the beach (I am from Florida after all...). While outside, I usually find myself running (again, in the woods if possible), reading, or attempting to channel my inner-Ron Swanson by building things from wood (I am at the table- and chair-level, definitely not the canoe-level. Yet).
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Florida - Bachelor in Arts, Anthropology
Graduate Degree: Georgetown University - Master of Arts, Conflict Resolution
SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1520
SAT Math: 740
SAT Verbal: 770
SAT Writing: 710
GRE Verbal: 170
Trail Running, Handstands, Backpacking/Hiking, Swimming, 80s TV Shows, Art, Reading, Building Things/Carpentry/Using Power Tools
10th Grade Math
10th Grade Reading
10th Grade Writing
11th Grade Math
11th Grade Reading
11th Grade Writing
12th Grade Math
12th Grade Reading
12th Grade Writing
1st Grade Math
6th Grade Science
7th Grade Math
7th Grade Science
8th Grade Math
8th Grade Reading
8th Grade Science
8th Grade Writing
9th Grade Math
9th Grade Reading
9th Grade Writing
AP US History
College World History
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Science
High School Biology
High School Chemistry
High School English
High School Physics
High School World History
High School Writing
IB Mathematical Studies
Middle School Reading
Middle School Science
Middle School Writing
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I like to get a sense of what the student's goals are and where they want/need to be academically within a time frame. After the first lesson, we should both have a good idea of what material we need to cover and what benchmarks we need to hit over the course of the semester/school year/other time frame.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I try to approach problem-solving and complex concepts from a variety of perspectives when a student is struggling. Not everyone sees things the same way, and I've found that using several examples and exploring alternate ways of looking at the problem can help different students with different learning styles master even complex material. Once we find the best way to convey information, we can improve our lessons' productivity and streamline the learning process.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in "facilitated learning" as opposed to rote "teaching." I try to guide the student to the answer--using guiding questions and connecting concepts--on their own. Discovering the information rather than simply having it told to them makes it more relevant and helps the lesson "stick" in their minds. It also improves problem-solving, extrapolation, and critical thinking.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Teaching a student to draw conclusions from what they have learned in class, think critically about information, and apply the subject knowledge to relevant problem-solving helps them to become independent thinkers. Paired with training study techniques and time management, these skills form the foundation any student needs to be successful and make the most of their education at any academic level.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I've found that keeping information relevant to the real world and each student's individual interests is usually the best way to motivate reluctant students. Sometimes, however, a student may be completely uninterested in the material or subject. This situation can be trickier and may require motivation to stem from an understanding that even if they absolutely loathe the subject matter, performing well in that class is necessary for whatever future plans they have, even if very indirectly.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Evaluating the specifics of why the student is struggling is the first step. After that, training specific techniques for slowing down reading speeds, summarizing information after each paragraph, underlining/highlighting important words, or even reading paragraphs in reverse order can all be used to boost reading comprehension.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Looking at information and concepts from different perspectives and using different techniques to solve problems at the start helps me and the student to learn how they assimilate information and solve those problems the best. This allows me to teach to their strengths and find the best approaches for their problem-solving preferences.