I have a BA in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a certification in Litigation Paralegal, with honors, from Loyola University Chicago. I'm at present a graduate student at DePaul University Chicago where I'm studying for a Masters of Art degree in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse. My emphasis is on Teaching Writing and Language. I have come to Varsity Tutors with a variety of experiences in secondary and higher education, and other professional work skill-set that I have acquired. My work runs the gamut from substitute teaching, supporting mostly middle, junior, and high school students in general education classrooms and self-contained settings, and serving as a writing tutor to undergraduate and postgraduate students. As I work with students of different sort, I have come to the realization that every one of them is in need of writing refinement and need ideas on how to achieve this for any given assignment. Currently, I work at Wilmette Public Schools in Wilmette, Illinois where I have assisted mostly middle and junior high school (and still continue to) special education students with IEPs and students with 504 accommodations in the classroom. I like assisting students with academic college assignments in the liberal arts and sciences, assisting students in general with homework/project completion, and guiding persons on how to write good papers.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Illinois at Chicago - Bachelor in Arts, Philosophy and Political Science
Graduate Degree: Loyola University-Chicago - Masters, Litigation Paralegal
Other than academics, I like soccer (my favorite sport), swimming, jogging, and sightseeing.
High School English
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is helping persons to reason with facts, logic, and the experience they bring to writing and research.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
After exchanging formal greetings and pleasantries with the student, I usually like to understand the scope of the project assignment or paper the student is working on, see how the student is complying with the assignment instructions, find out his/her struggle with the assignment, and set a tutoring plan for the assignment with the student.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I think in other to help students become independent learners, tutors must understand where the student is coming from by actively reading the student assignment draft or actively listening to the student discuss the struggles he/she is having with the given assignment. More importantly, the tutor must be skillful, having knowledge or a set of experiences in teaching or tutoring that subject. The tutor should endeavor to establish a two-way conversation with the student, asking open-ended or closed-ended questions when necessary during such dialogue. Once the just-mentioned foundations are there, I believe that the channels of communication between the tutor and the student will be smoother and easier to navigate; the student will easily pick up on clues as to what his key responsibilities are in the assignment and take more control over his assignment.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I help a student stay motivated by praising him/her when I see signs of improvement and when he is becoming more familiar about commonly made errors. I think it is also essential not to overstress their weaknesses but to find the right balance by emphasizing their strengths.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I may inquire from the student where he or she is having problems with the concept. I may inquire if there is any learning disability he/she thinks I should be aware of. I would adjust my teaching style to the student's level of comprehension. I may seek to employ various teaching strategies and learning styles into our tutoring sessions to find the right approach to the student's learning style.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I think reading comprehension struggles in students may be rooted in a learning disability they are having, or the approach the student brings to reading. Regardless, I think teaching the skills of active reading, summarizing, paraphrasing, and note-taking are some of the best means of helping such students.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Here are some strategies that I think are very helpful: having the student explain the main crux of the assignment to you, reading the student's assignment instructions or guidelines (if there are any), and evaluating any draft or outline the student has on the assignment.