I completed my undergraduate degree at Old Dominion University in Geographical Information Systems and Environmental Resource Management. I am currently attending graduate school at George Mason University for a Master of Science in Peace Operations with a concentration in Infrastructure and Development. I am currently studying both Spanish and French.
My passions are culture and geography, as well as travelling. In my spare time, I volunteer in community outreach through my employer - assisting in the rehabilitation of elementary schools, veteran housing and refurbishing of local parks. Over the last decade I have led how-to clinics (weekly and monthly), instructing new hires as well as performing managerial training to employees.
My training/tutoring style would be encouraging, thorough and tailored to the client's personality and needs. I'm relatively flexible in my ability to adapt my methodologies on a case by case basis.
My hobbies include - photography, kayaking, camping, hiking, rock climbing, paintballing, painting, gardening, running and anything outdoors. I'm very outgoing, energetic and a problem solver at heart.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Old Dominion University - Bachelor of Science, Geography
Graduate Degree: George Mason University - Master of Science, peace operations
Photography, hiking, camping, kayaking, rock climbing, movie, videogames paintballing, snowboarding, running
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
The teachers I have had who stand out in my memory have some attributes in common: they presented their subjects in a way that caught my interest, clarified difficult topics and led me through complex areas, and put knowledge into context so that its relevance was apparent. These role models have influenced my approach to teaching. I view myself primarily as a facilitator of learning, rather than as an expert who simply delivers information to students. I am always conscious of their different learning styles and rates, what they have already learned, and what they will need to learn in the future.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would try to get to know the student's likes and dislikes, hobbies, strengths, and weaknesses. I would also answer any questions they have about me in order to build a good peer-to-peer relationship and develop a model for tutoring around that.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I would learn what the student's strengths and weaknesses are within the curriculum, and then design a tutoring method that would help encourage independent studying habits on a progressive timeline until the student felt comfortable and confident in studying independently and effectively.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would try to make learning fun and entertaining. Perhaps I would introduce a reward or praise type system directly stemming from their achievements from test scores, homework scores, or final grades, to encourage their success as they progress within their studies.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Show the student real-world applications of the subject or topic they are trying to learn. Sometimes students can grasp concepts better if they can relate them to significant things, people, or events in their day-to-day lives. Try different methods of delivery of information, such as flashcards, trivia, word problems, step-by-step examples, and practice.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I try to have them read the section or problems, help identify key parts of the section, and have them try to explain things in their own words of what they think it means. I then correct or agree with their assessment and explain why the answer may differ. I try to find alternative questions that are parallel to what the student is struggling with to see if they may grasp new wording mechanics of the same information.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Always keep an open mind about different methods of helping students. Each student has their own pace of learning, and has success with different teaching styles.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would explain that millions of students struggle with these subjects, and there are ways to get through difficult or uninteresting topics. I would also share a story of my own personal struggles with certain topics and how I was able to overcome those problems. I would try to emphasize and incorporate things that the students do enjoy within the subject. For example, if a student is passionate about creating music but dislikes math, we could discuss creating music and becoming an artist, including mathematics concepts related to the idea of owning a music business.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would have them answer questions in the textbooks or quiz them on specific details of subjects in order to ensure they understand concepts and not just facts.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Acknowledgement and praise towards any and all improvements of comprehension and application of the subject matter. Setting tangible goals for the student in order to achieve milestones prior to test scores and final grades.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Initially I would ask the student what they believe their strengths and weaknesses are within the subject matter. I would then examine their current approach to the subject matter and address problems with that approach or offer suggestions to strengthen their methodologies.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Whether the student is having difficulty learning verbally or visually will determine how I change my tutoring methods. I will do my best to accommodate and change my techniques as necessary in order to address the student's needs.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Textbooks, flashcards, related articles to the subject, premade quizzes or worksheets, pencils, pens, markers, paper, videos, and anything else that may provide a better way of comprehension.