Growing up under the guidance of two Ph.D. parents in Los Angeles, CA, I have cultivated a great appreciation of education in all forms. After attending middle and high school at Harvard-Westlake, I matriculated to Carnegie Mellon University, where I received my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with a minor in Hispanic Studies. Since graduating from Carnegie Mellon, I went back to school for pre-medical post-baccalaureate studies, and have recently completed the MCAT.
While I have the most experience tutoring elementary and middle school math, I tutor pre-algebra and Spanish as well. I have been studying the Spanish language and culture since the seventh grade and have a great enthusiasm for it!
Regardless of the subject, I take a very personalized approach to tutoring, because I understand that everyone learns differently. Furthermore, I am not limited to one method/approach of teaching. If a student has difficulty understanding a concept presented in one manner, I will try to approach the material in a different way that may be easier to comprehend.
In my spare time, I enjoy practicing yoga, cooking, reading, and watching Spanish TV!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Carnegie Mellon University - Bachelor of Science, Psychology
Yoga, Cooking, Reading
1st Grade Reading
2nd Grade Reading
3rd Grade Reading
4th Grade Reading
5th Grade Writing
6th Grade Reading
7th Grade Reading
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Writing
Middle School Reading
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Ziana believes that education is a journey, and that full comprehension occurs only with time and practice. With focus, hard work, and identification of weak areas, she trusts that any student can achieve educational success!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, I would spend the beginning few minutes getting to know the student and vice versa. Subsequently, I would have the student take a diagnostic in the relevant subject(s) to identify his/her weak areas, which would be further developed in later tutoring sessions. The last few minutes of the session would be dedicated to any further questions the student and/or guardian has.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
A student can be taught to become an independent learner by providing him or her with proper study habits, learning tools, and test-taking strategies. In this way, a student will feel more comfortable in dealing with and understanding novel, and somewhat daunting, concepts.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I would try introducing it in an alternative form that may be easier for him or her to understand (for example, by setting the skill/concept in a realistic hypothetical situation).
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
1. Positive Attitudes! 2. Early identification of weak areas. 3. Continuous practice by the student both inside and outside of tutoring sessions. 4. Creating a set schedule/syllabus, so that the student and tutor can come prepared to each session.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
To help students struggling with reading comprehension, I recommend: .Active reading outside of tutoring sessions, to become familiar with different genres. .Dividing the reading passage into sections. .Limit notes to a max. of 5 words per passage section and a 1 sentence passage summary.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in by re-introducing the subject matter using real-life examples that incorporate the student's hobbies, thus refreshing their interest and focus on frustrating material.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
To assure that a student understands the material, I would test him/her on it at least twice throughout our sessions. One test would occur in the session following the one in which the material was discussed. The final test would occur during our last tutoring session.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's needs on the basis of how they perform during independent practice/ assessments, and by their feedback.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
During a typical tutoring session, I require pencils, a lot of paper, and a source from which to generate problems, along with other fun and interactive practice methods.