A photo of Cornelia, a tutor from American University

Cornelia

Certified Tutor

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Education is my passion. I believe it is the single most important element of societal mobility. One may be born into status, but with education they can navigate their network and privilege. One may be born into destitute circumstances, but with their education can rise above their situation. One of the only things that a child should not have to earn is their right to knowledge. Education is a human right. Every single child should be fully equipped to chose their own path in life. Every student under my tutelage will be given access to the best I have to share so that they can make their own future.

Cornelia’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: American University - Bachelor in Arts, Communication

Graduate Degree: Lesley College - Masters in Education, Education

Hobbies

Reading history, Cooking, Watching films

Tutoring Subjects


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Even though it is not my first time teaching it, it IS that child's first time learning it. Therefore, I must approach each child as a blank slate.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

Learn more about who they are. I want to know their interests and their fears. I want to know the things they are already proud of and what they wish to accomplish.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Gradual release of responsibility. Exploring the concept with the child, engaging them in the activity, and allowing them to discover on their own.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

It's important to find out if a student is intrinsically motivated or extrinsically motivated. Once that has been established, we can use their goals to help them create a ladder of success.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

Every skill is made of multiple smaller components. It is my job to find out which piece the student is struggling with so that I may add it to their tool box. Once a student's toolbox has all its pieces, they can solve or fix almost anything!

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Comprehension is the ultimate goal of reading. First, I have to find out if the difficulty lies in stamina, vocabulary, content, fluency, etc. Once I know the specific dearth, I can help them develop that piece in such a way that it contributes to their overall understanding of the text.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

1) Getting to know the student so that they understand that your personal success lies in their growth. 2) Helping them to understand what they are working towards; giving a bigger picture that is appropriate for the age group. 3) Creating a relationship with the family.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

Every subject has fun components. Math has cool shortcuts, reading has hilarious texts, science has its fascinating experiments. Due to time constraints, students are often exposed to monotony. As a tutor, I have the chance to go beyond the classroom so that the student can become fully engaged in the subject and see a different perspective.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

I would never shut down a technique because each child is different and needs different things. I am a fan of slowing down, bringing in other subject materials, using online resources, songs and dances, and repetition. The list goes on. When it comes to learning the material, no technique is off the table until I've tried it.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Students feel success when they can accomplish something on their own. I have to find the point where the student starts needing my help. But it's important that while I build them up, I also continually allow them to feel successful with what they already know how to do!

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I always like to ask questions. Many students are very aware of their needs. Informal assessments are also a great way to evaluate. An informal assessment may be a self-made quiz or having a student narrate their thought process as they do their work so I can hear their thinking.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

As a classroom teacher, my style is always evolving. Some days I can be quick and challenging; other days I have to be very methodical and use a slow approach. It all depends on how my student is responding to the subject matter.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

I always have my own notebook and writing utensils. If I have a folder on that child, then I will be sure to bring that. I bring extra work, both challenging and review. I usually also have my computer and cell phone in case I need to look something up.