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Nikki

I am a senior at Washburn University, studying Political Science and Spanish. I am currently applying to law school. I have worked privately as a tutor since I was a junior in high school. During my freshman year of college, I worked for a tutoring company, working with college and high school students. I have worked with grade school, middle school, high school and college students, as well as English as a Second Language students, non-traditional students, and students with learning disabilities. I enjoy working one on one, but I have also worked with small groups of students. Although I am comfortable tutoring many subjects, Algebra is my personal favorite. I believe all students are unique and learn in different ways. As a tutor, I work my hardest to relate to each student individually and understand how to best serve that student. Developing a consistent tutor-student relationship is one of the most beneficial ways to help a student improve in the long run. I work to build trust and develop an understanding of what each student needs. I am an avid reader and like to spend my free time being active with family and friends.

Undergraduate Degree:

Washburn University - Bachelor in Arts, Political Science and Government

SAT Math: 700

SAT Writing: 740

LSAT: 167

Politics, law, reading, music, exercise

College English

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing

High School English

HSPT Language Skills Prep

HSPT Math Prep

College Math

Middle School

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Science

Middle School Writing

Other

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Summer

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

I believe a quick assessment with each student is important to gauge where the student is at and plan for the entirety of our time together. Then, of course, we should begin working as soon as possible.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

Each student learns in his or her own way. Familiarity with a student helps me to tailor my teaching to his/her style, but sometimes it is not that simple. If a student is not understanding a concept, then a different approach is necessary. Asking what a student does know or understand about the topic is always a good place to start.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Asking questions is the most effective way to gauge a student's understanding. To be able to explain his/her answer and the reasoning, a student must have a thorough comprehension of the material. By asking a student to explain, I can determine whether the student actually knows why the answer is correct.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Positive encouragement and support from a tutor are essential. I help students to see their own progress in the subject, and believe they can improve even further.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I ask questions. A student's ability to answer questions about his/her solution or thought process gives me the best idea about his/her needs.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I help students to form their own thought processes for a subject. Repetition and asking students to explain their processes helps them to remember what to do when they are on their own.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Positive encouragement is important for all students. Students need to believe they are capable of improving to want to work towards improvement.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

I begin with all students by laying a solid foundation of understanding where a student is at. I ask all about their academic history, their strengths and weaknesses, and priorities/goals for tutoring.

What is your teaching philosophy?

Many students are uncomfortable or disengaged with a subject area that they lack a solid foundation of understanding in. To address this, I often give students a "crash course" in that subject area. Once we are using the same foundation of content, they are able to use the vocabulary, understand the questions, and generally, grow to appreciate the subject more.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I regularly assess a student's comprehension and understanding during sessions by asking the student to explain a concept or answer in their own words. This helps me to determine what teaching methods are most helpful to the student, as well as what content they truly understand.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Practice tests, questions from the tutoring company site, test prep books, online materials and content from the student's classes.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

For timed tests, a student needs to learn to speed read. Online resources and tools can train a student to read much faster and with higher levels of understanding and accuracy. I encourage students to practice with these tools outside of sessions, and teach students how to focus and what to focus on, during sessions.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

Many students are uncomfortable or disengaged with a subject area that they lack a solid foundation of understanding in. To address this, I often give students a "crash course" in that subject area. Once we are using the same foundation of content, they are able to use the vocabulary, understand the questions and generally, and can grow to appreciate the subject more.