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Rebecca

I am a former high school STEM teacher with a passion for teaching, certified in Secondary Math and Biology. I LOVE math and science, and what they tell us about the world. As a teacher in Detroit, I've worked with students of all ability levels and learning styles, so I have a lot of strategies in my tool belt for tackling difficult concepts. My style as a tutor is to be patient, positive and encouraging. I tend to develop strong relationships with students as a mentor.

Before becoming a teacher, I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Architecture and Urban Studies and worked for several years as an architect in New York. I have always tutored in my spare time, and in New York I worked with students from a range of backgrounds - including ESL learners. I really enjoy getting to know my students, and always look forward to meeting someone new.

The only thing I love more than teaching is learning. Every few months, I try to learn a new skill in my spare time - everything from book-making to driving a stick shift. I love art and design, science and technology.

Undergraduate Degree:

University of Pennsylvania - Bachelor in Arts, Architecture & Urban Studies

SAT Composite: 1460

SAT Math: 710

SAT Verbal: 750

GRE Quantitative: 166

GRE Verbal: 170

Gardening, art & design, architecture, bookbinding, reading, dance

What is your teaching philosophy?

I teach with positivity, encouragement, and most of all patience. I like to present information in multiple ways to access different learning styles. All students learn in their own style and at their own pace. It's also important to establish the foundation of a student's prior knowledge and skills, and build on that.

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

I will get a sense of the student as a person - their interests, goals, sense of humor - and then use strategically selected practice questions to determine what they already know, and where they may have gaps. I avoid spending valuable tutoring time doing diagnostic tests - ideally, students can do this on their own time so that we can make the most of our time together.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

As a STEM educator, it's important to guide students through the learning process rather than "dumping information" on them. The best teaching gives students strategies to attack new problems or questions. Finally, the importance of building a student's confidence can't be underestimated. Most students know more than they think they do.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Teaching high school, I've had experience teaching some students who were seriously lacking motivation. The most effective strategy is encouragement and positive reinforcement - confidence is key. Once students see themselves being successful, it's much easier to stay motivated.

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

Try a new strategy. There are almost always multiple ways of thinking about a concept or problem, and the best teachers can pull different strategies from their toolkit when they identify that a student needs them.

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

Practice, practice, practice. I try to find literature that appeals to that student - even if it starts with a Sports Illustrated magazine - to get the student engaged in the act of reading. In addition, I teach active reading strategies that keep the reader engaged in the text.