I'm currently finishing my final year at ASU's Honors College with a major in Creative Writing. I've worked in teaching and tutoring positions with everyone from first graders to college students. I just returned from spending my last semester studying in Prague, Czech Republic, travelling extensively and broadening my perspective. I also received the Flinn Scholarship, a prestigious full-ride award given to 20 of the best and brightest students in Arizona out of a pool of nearly 600.
My tutoring style is 100% student-first. I want to make sure we're operating exactly at the level and pace where the student feels comfortable, and using educational techniques that work for this student in particular. I want my relationship with my students to feel like a friendship, and ideally, I want us both to have some fun.
I'm a huge arts fanatic, particularly for music; ask me about my favorite albums of last year and I could probably give you a top 200. I've also been a guitarist and lyricist in several rock bands, and I'm currently working on putting together a hip hop album. I love watching movies, backpacking, reading, and conversing.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Arizona State University - Bachelor in Arts, Creative Writing
ACT English: 34
ACT Math: 34
ACT Reading: 31
SAT Composite: 2230
SAT Math: 760
SAT Verbal: 700
SAT Writing: 770
Music, film, the outdoors, books, podcasts, dancing
High School English
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in developing a friendship with my students and working together in a way that we both find productive and enjoyable. I'm willing to consistently shift my teaching style to meet the needs and abilities of my individual students, while still remaining firm on work ethic and homework requirements.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would begin by getting to know my student on a personal level and sharing details about myself, making sure we develop a friendly relationship right off the bat. I would then test the student to discover what information and skills they already have mastered, and which ones need improvement. I would work with my student to discover study methods and teaching styles that work best for them.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Forcing work on a student will get the work done, but it won't create a work ethic. I believe you need to find some way to really invest a student in their work for them to become an independent learner. This may be through finding ways to enjoy a particular subject, setting an external or internal goal, or developing an interest in general self-improvement; it varies by the individual student.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would find a different method to teach the concept. If I've been simply describing the concept verbally, I might draw charts or give examples to illustrate it. If I've only been describing it theoretically, I might have them work on an example.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
A few options I might use: -Remind them why they signed up for tutoring and what they hope to accomplish through studying. If necessary, set additional goals. -Help them come to terms with other parts of their life that may be drawing them away from their studies. -Find ways to present the topic in an entertaining manner, or demonstrate how seemingly uninteresting subjects may lead to exciting end results down the line.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I practice walking them through individual problems and explaining the method behind comprehending difficult concepts. I appropriate the exercises to stories that they already enjoy reading. I assign practice problems for them to do for homework.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Adjusting my lessons based on their current abilities and their desires, and making sure we're on friendly terms with one another.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Almost every subject can be appropriated to something cool. Literature leads to all books, movies, poetry, plays, video games, and everything with written language. Physics makes space travel possible, and some more advanced theories sound like complete science fiction. Biology makes all life possible. History contains some of the most baffling and hilarious stories out there. Math can be applied to almost any skill you could want to learn, from playing an instrument to building a computer. But so often, studying the basic concepts of these subjects seems too far away from these interesting ideas for a student to see or appreciate the connection. It's important to demonstrate the potential implications, and the surprising additional dimensions to what they're learning, at any given moment.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would present a series of increasingly complex problems within whatever skill we've been studying. If they begin to struggle as the problems become more difficult, I would work with them to show the exact way that the new concepts are used and how to apply them to this new challenge.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I believe positive reinforcement is important at every stage to make sure a student doesn't feel like giving up on a subject. It's worth celebrating even small victories, while still remembering what needs improvement.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I like to establish, right off the bat, what styles of teaching and studying work best for each student, both by testing various methods and by simply asking them what habits have worked in the past. I also consistently test them on what subjects need additional work and which ones are sufficiently mastered, reviewing at the start of every lesson.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I base my teaching methods around what strategies tend to work for the student, and what subject areas need the most improvement. I try to adapt whatever we're studying to something the student already enjoys in some way.