Hi! I'm Marla. I specialize in SAT Prep (Math and Verbal), Elementary and Middle School Math, Algebra, Geometry and Essay Writing. I particularly enjoy test taking and solving tricky math questions. I will help your student learn to enjoy the process, so he or she is better able to excel!
I am originally from Los Angeles and have a BA in Psychology from Pomona College. I'm also a singer and musician and recently went back to school to pursue a graduate degree in Music Education. My long term goal is to become an Elementary or Middle School Choir Director.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Pomona College - Bachelor in Arts, Psychology
SAT Math: 790
SAT Verbal: 710
Choral music, piano, guitar, yoga
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that students learn best when they enjoy the process. I focus on the love of learning, and I make sure each student fully grasps a concept before moving on.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During a first session, I would start off by assessing what the student needs. This may be done by giving the student a practice test and/or through discussion with the student about the subject matter and what areas they struggle with.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By instilling a love of learning! It's a lot more fun than it's cracked up to be. I will also help equip the student with study tools like flashcards and sample tests.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try different methods of teaching the skill/concept (i.e., trying to approach it from various angles or through other examples).
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
The more the student starts to understand the subject, the more they are able to engage in it. I also try to make learning feel like play by creating games and fun challenges.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Additional practice questions are a great way to assess comprehension.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
The more the student is able to understand, the more their confidence will grow. I make sure they have a grasp of the easier material, build their confidence there, then slowly progress to more difficult material.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I discuss the student's needs with the parent and/or student and give the student practice questions.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Some students are visual learners. Others are more auditory. Some need to write everything down and work through the problems on paper. I try to work with each of these styles and adapt to the teaching method that best suits the child.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I typically use practice questions from different online sources.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation is about 1) how much the student is enjoying the process and 2) what reward they see for doing a good job. I work to make studying fun and also to convince the student that their work will pay off down the road.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
In order to understand a text, the student must first understand the vocabulary used in the text. I work first to build vocabulary. We will also go through a given text, sentence by sentence, and discuss what the student does and does not understand. This way, I can assess how best to help the student.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The first thing I do is assess what issues the student is having. I then work to figure out what teaching style will best help the student to learn the given concepts.