I've known since I was very young that I would become a teacher. Drawn to working with children when I was a young teenager, I babysat, taught swim lessons, worked as an assistant counselor at summer camp, and supervised kids at the daycare of our local fitness center. In college, as a Resident Advisor (and later as Lead Resident Advisor) and Student Tutor in French and German, I interacted essentially as a mentor to a sizable population of young adults, helping them develop interpersonal skills and navigate the challenges of college life. I will be attending graduate school beginning in Fall 2016 to earn a Masters in Education, in preparation for a career as a high school foreign language teacher.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Chapman University - Bachelor in Arts, French, Minor in German Studies
ACT Composite: 31
ACT English: 34
ACT Reading: 34
Reading, Hiking, Swimming, Writing, Baking, Singing, Playing Guitar, Learning foreign languages
AP US History
College Level American History
High School English
High School Level American History
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy revolves around positivity. If a student knows the adults in their life believe in him or her, they're halfway down the road to success. While I believe it's important to note areas of growth, I will make sure that each student acknowledges their achievements, particularly in subjects they are struggling with. I rely on the Socratic method while teaching. Asking questions that guide the student to finding the answer themselves encourages them to develop independent learning skills that will help them far beyond their tutoring experience!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I view a first session as an evaluative time, both academically and personally. I'll spend most of a first session listening to the student, trying to gain an understanding of what they might be struggling with, what their goals are, and what kind of a learner they are (visual, kinesthetic, etc.) The first session is a great time to start building trust- an important foundation for successful learning- between a tutor and a student. Knowing more about a student (what they like to do in their free time or what academic subjects they excel in, for example) helps me figure out what teaching methods might work best to develop their skills. Each student is unique, and the more I can get to know them as an individual, the more effective our following tutoring sessions will be!
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Whenever possible, I use the Socratic method with my students. If they ask me a question, my first response is almost always, "What do you think?" I find that most often, students know the answers already, but lack the confidence to voice them. By asking them to take that leap of faith, they learn to work through problems independently. Of course, if a student is truly stumped or doesn't understand a concept, I'll happily walk them through it. After I've explained a concept or broken down a problem, I'll have the student explain it back to me. The act of teaching something to someone else truly cements the material in a student's brain, and gives them the tools necessary to walk themselves through difficult concepts in the future.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I've found that positivity is the greatest motivator. Highlighting a student's strengths is a great way to keep them motivated through the rougher patches. If a student is struggling with a concept, I might suggest a five minute break to work on something I know they excel in. This boosts of confidence and change of focus for a few minutes is often enough to reset their train of thought and help them get through the more difficult material. However, how each student is motivated depends on their own individual personality. I might challenge a more competitive student to try and beat their previous scores, whereas a student who has trouble focusing might be best motivated by getting to play an educational game each time they achieve a goal.