While I'm still a student at UW law, I've always enjoyed teaching others what I know. The opportunity to impart my knowledge to others and see it lead to success is a great motivator. I've had many jobs in my life, but I'm finally certain that I know what I want to do.
My motivation for pursuing a legal career stems from a story I once heard about a hard-working engineer and his experiences at a large corporation. Specifically, the story focuses on his desk. He worked in a cramped office with other engineers, pouring over plans and specifications on an old, shaky, dented, metal work desk. The liability that came with the job meant he found himself at times in various lawyers' offices. He recalled the stark differences between workspaces, exemplified by a rich mahogany desk, polished and intricately carved.
Inspiration can come from the most unexpected sources, and this became mine. Not for the creature comforts that luxury items provide, but the vastly different perceptions of meaning and import between the two desks. I discovered that, although I had enrolled in the UW's Construction Management program, I would always feel like I settled for less if I didn't strive for that greater goal. Not the shabby surplus desk where cost estimates are made for contractors, but the powerful and dignified desk where documents are drafted and signed which make positive change in the world.
Throughout my professional and scholastic experiences I've always strived to work towards that positive change through service and leadership. That drive is what inspired me, after earning my AA degree, to become a corrections deputy with the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office. The opportunity to provide public service and influence inmates towards better, more enriching lives seemed ideal. During that time I learned much about the criminal justice system and had direct exposure to the effects it can have on individuals and families. I sought every opportunity to improve and enrich the operation of the facility and the lives of those within.
I am interested in becoming an attorney in order to extend my influence into the legal field. I crave the challenge that legal study demands and the satisfaction of providing guidance to those in need. I am driven to succeed in any specialty that may present itself. I believe my law enforcement experience, my construction management experience, and my passion for providing solutions to complex problems will allow me to succeed and flourish in both the study of law and in tutoring others. I am committed to realize my goals of earning the degree, the job, and finally, the desk.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Washington - Bachelor of Science, Construction Management
Graduate Degree: University of Washington - Juris Doctor, Law
SAT Math: 710
Computers/Technology, Fishing, Sports, Debate
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
You can't judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree. There is no universal method of explanation that every student can easily follow. If I can zero in on the right learning method, it becomes fun for everyone.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Evaluate and ask questions! Getting to know the student's mastery level and best learning methods are the foundation of any course of instruction.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Explain the logic behind the steps rather than just train the student to repeat what was taught in study.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Small and achievable goals to measure and reward short-term progress.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Switch up the method of teaching! It's no good sticking to what doesn't work. It's far better to find a new method that inspires better information retention.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
If the issue is with vocabulary, focus on contextual clues. If the issue is understanding, focus on breaking the passage down into distinct identified parts.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
An analysis of their approach to a problem BEFORE I show them my own can allow me to tailor my lesson to address what specific issue they have trouble with, rather than to keep hitting on topics they have already mastered.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Change the approach. It's hard to be excited with a difficult subject, but if you can relate the lesson to their unique interests or learning style, they can get that "foothold" of understanding that I can build from.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Retesting. I primarily teach test prep, so that's the simplest and most informative approach. I also guide students through problems and then have them solve some while explaining to me what they're doing. I let them finish, then review at the end any areas where the wheels came off and errors started appearing.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Work with simplified versions of actual problems to rebuild understanding of the material. Each successful correct answer helps to build that confidence, and I introduce more complexity at a pace the student is comfortable with.