My passion is to help students learn in the best way possible for their individual needs. I adapt my tutoring sessions to fit the unique learning style of each student. I have been tutoring students since 2004 and formally teaching as an adjunct professor for over 3 years. I received my B.A. in Biblical Studies with a concentration in Jewish Studies from Gordon College in 2008. For graduate studies I decided to focus on the History and Geography of the Middle East and thought there was no better place to do so than in the Middle East itself. So I moved overseas and earned my compound M.A. in Historical Geography from Jerusalem University College in 2010. My diverse academic background allows me to tutor a wide variety of subjects including; History, Geography, Earth Science, English, Environmental Science, ESL/ELL, Essay Editing, Hebrew, Languages, Politics, Reading, Religious Studies, Social Studies, Study Skills, and Writing. Outside of my academic interests I enjoy working as an actress and musician, writing, playing tennis with friends, kayaking, and traveling the world!
Gordon College - BA, Biblical and Theological Studies: Emphasis in Jewish Studies
Jerusalem University College - MA, History and Geography
AP US History
CLEP Western Civilization I: Ancient Near East to 1648
College Level American History
College Political Science
College World History
High School Geography
High School Level American History
High School World History
IB Theatre HL
IB Theatre SL
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy is to teach to each student's learning strengths. Every student learns in a different way, I help them utilize that way and improve all-around!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Depending on the age of the student, I do a get-to-know-you activity so that the student begins to feel comfortable with me and I earn their trust. Then, I talk to them about their thoughts on whatever subject I'm tutoring them for. Also, I assess their needs and their learning style, and begin writing a personal learning plan for them. Last but not least, I have the student write down their goals so that we have something to work towards.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I help students become independent learners by giving them confidence in themselves, by giving them study skills to take with them for the rest of their academic careers, and by helping them find their learning strengths and encouraging them to use those in all areas of academics.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would have the student set little goals for each week. Each week is a stepping stone to the overall goal. Also, I keep students motivated by making learning fun. I pull in topics that interest them and link their homework topics to things they care about. All things are related, you just have to find how they relate!
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would explain it in a different way. This could mean re-wording it, drawing it, or even watching a tutorial video. Every student learns in a different way. Some teachers only teach in one way, which does not help the students who don't learn in that same way. I am not one of those teachers; I cater to the learning style of each student.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
My reading comprehension students generally don't enjoy reading. So first, I get them reading a subject they are interested in learning about. Then, as they read, I have them underline what they think is most important in each paragraph. We then go through and find what is and is not important and see how they did with the selections. From here, we talk about what makes something important in a paragraph or story. We make a list of those things for the specific story we are working on at a given time. I teach these students how to do this on a consistent basis, with underlining the most important fact in each paragraph for all of their homework, using the "important list" we created. This helps students understand the overall concept rather than the little details, which is why most students struggle with reading comprehension.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found it is best to let them get to know me first and ask me questions. Creating a line of trust helps them to learn from me and apply the things I teach to them. I also find it to be most important to make things fun and cater to each student's learning style. That is why I spend my first session assessing and writing a personal learning plan for each individual student.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I connect whatever subject it is to a subject or topic that they love. For instance, if Bobby is struggling in math but he loves basketball, I help him learn about geometric angles by drawing him a basketball court and talking about how his favorite player can score from different positions on the court. Or another example is how Tracy loves horses but struggles with writing. She has to write a biology paper about Carbohydrates, but she has no interest in researching or writing this paper. So, I connect carbohydrates with performance levels of racehorses. And yes, this is a valid connection! There are carbohydrate stores in muscles and racehorses need not deplete that storage or they will start using up their own muscle protein and slow themselves down on the race track. I know that everything can connect to anything. I'm a geographer, making those connections is what I do. So I do that for my students to draw their interest to subjects they otherwise would throw out.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I go through the process of explain, guide, and observe. I first explain the concept. Then I guide the student in completing the concept. Then I have the student do it on their own while I observe. They are allowed to ask for help if they need to the first time. But the second time I observe, they have to do it on their own and reserve their questions for after they finish the task. This reinforces that they know the steps and gives them confidence when they get it correct on their own! It also allows me to know for sure that they understood the lesson.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I point out what things the student is good at in the given subject and have them focus on that and utilize that to strengthen the areas in which they struggle. Furthermore, I encourage students by pointing out a positive any time they get something wrong. For example, if they got an answer wrong on a math question but they did two processes correct, I stress that those two steps were correct and that they knew how to do that without any help. Then, I connect from what they did right to where they started to get confused and help them see either the smaller picture or the bigger picture, whichever they struggle with the most.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I spend my first session getting to know the student, watching the student work, and feeling out what the student's learning style is. I have a hands-on approach for assessments. I don't give them an exam or just take the parents or teachers at their word. I work with the student and make note of what confuses them or where they take an extra minute to think through things.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I first assess the student's learning style. I then cater to this style. I write a personal learning plan for each student. I take their personal goals into account and pave a way for them to reach them. I also check and re-check the personal learning plan along the way.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Materials really depends on the age of the student. For younger students, it is much more hands-on. If they are struggling with math, we might use Legos or building blocks. Or, we might draw in different colored markers. If it is an older student we might use highlighters, a note-pad, or an I-Pad, if available. I try to make it fun, easy, and effective!