I am a recent graduate (May 2015) of Liberty University of Lynchburg, VA with a Bachelor's Degree in English. I grew up in a Christian, military, homeschooling family, and I am a life-long lover of language, learning, and discovering the world through literature and science.
Coming from a Home Schooled background myself, I have enjoyed numerous benefits from having individualized, one-on-one learning relationships with my teachers (in my case, my parents) all through my K-12 experience. The personalized instruction that I received has continued to be of great value to me as I have pursued and achieved high honors in my Bachelor's of Arts in English, and it is my hope that I might be able to provide those same advantages to any student that I have the privilege of assisting.
My teaching experience largely comes from my hands-on practice in helping my younger siblings learn under a variety of subjects and curricula, as well as informal tutoring-style instruction for the benefit of classmates and acquaintances all through my college career. My instructional style emphasizes clear communication and adaptability, depending heavily upon student feedback for what works and what does not work, which I use to tailor my communication style and teaching approach to the individual's needs as best I can. My hope is to be able to apply my educational experience, my comfort with a wide variety of subjects, and my ability to learn and adapt quickly to benefit both students and parents as I seek to serve their needs.
Undergraduate Degree: Liberty University - Bachelor in Arts, English
SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1400
Reading, Writing, Fountain Pens
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy of teaching emphasizes the lesson "under" the lesson, or, stated another way, in learning the "why" behind the "how." In my experience, each subject teaches, in addition to the "surface" subject matter, a certain "way of thinking" that can be applicable to a surprising extent of other fields and circumstances. In this context, the most important thing about learning, whether it be math, history, science, or literature, is not the mere facts and figures associated with that field, but rather the pattern of problem solving and the approach to challenge that is taught by that particular subject. Perhaps the single most important of these "under" subjects lies behind the entire learning experience as a whole--and that is, quite simply, the ability to learn. In today's fast-moving world of emerging technologies and changing culture, it is the ability to learn that will last longer than any other skill, because learning will always open up new skills as they become important in a person's life.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session with a student, my entire focus is on learning about this student as a unique individual and coming "up to speed" with their learning styles, current approaches and attitudes toward learning, and difficulties with the subject in question, as well as ensuring that I have a base of understanding in that subject to be able to help as effectively as possible. My interest is not in teaching a student to get correct answers on an exam, but instead in helping that student to truly understand the subject matter that they are struggling with, at which point simple things like test questions and exam grades will be far less intimidating. In order to assess a student's understanding, however, I must first see to my own understanding, which would be a focus of every tutoring session, but would especially be a focus of the first.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Learning is always a function of the individual being willing to encounter and comprehend new information. As such, it is actually impossible for one person to force another to learn. "To teach" cannot be considered a single-subject verb, with the student a passive recipient, but rather "teaching" and "learning" are two sides of the same coin. In one sense, the process of teaching is the process of making the learner capable of teaching him- or herself. In today's age of instantly available information via the Internet, with Google and Wikipedia on smartphones and raw information perhaps never so abundant, it is the ability to understand that becomes most important. By fostering a student's ability to sift through and process information, a teacher can enable a student to be self-teaching. this is also done by encouraging active reading, critical thinking, and the ability to check one's first impression by testing it against more evidence. In any case, the teacher's most valuable function is the positive encouragement of good habits and the tactful discouragement of negative ones, all of which will make the learning process easier and more productive for the student. It is, in the end, the student's own motivation to learn that the teacher encourages, not the teacher him- or herself that causes learning to occur.