As of May 2015, I became a Marist College graduate. Over the four-year course of earning my Bachelor's degree in Communication and my Certificate of Art and Advertising Design, I was able to take classes of all sorts. I had a concentration in Advertising and a minor in Psychology. Aside from standard Liberal Arts requirements, I took many classes in Creative Writing, Journalism, Italian, and Graphic Design, as well as electives in Excel, Photography, Film, Dance, and even Food & Wine Pairing during my semester abroad in Florence.
My choice in courses should reveal many of my interests. However, my life story is also a major part of who I have become, and I would like to share it with you.
I was born in the East Village of Manhattan, where the majority of my father's family resides. Eventually, we moved to the Upper East Side to shorten the commute to my elementary school, the Lyce Franais of New York. My mother grew up in the South of France and moved to New York City when she married my father in the eighties. It was crucial to her that my sister and I grow up speaking French.
At the age of nine, an opportunity abroad was presented to my mother. Athens, Greece sounded like a paradisiac escape. I watched myself gradually become Greekliving peacefully and enjoying every minute of it. I learned the language and adjusted my palate to their foods. I traveled throughout the main land and the islands, meeting people, and learning about their culture and history.
Five years later, it was time to learn about my mother's homeland. Next destinationParis! Although I was reluctant to leave my Greek El Dorado, Paris lured me with her beauty and I found love for her too. I was reminded of my mother's origins, which I had only previously connected to through summers with her family in Nice or Nimes.
Once I graduated high school, having experienced the French school system, which is rather methodic and traditional, I wanted to transfer into an American college to provide me with a more social, creative, and personalized experience. I loved being part of the Marist community, all while spending many weekends in the East Village, where I worked and visited my kith and kin.
In my third year, my desire to travel enticed me to spend a semester studying abroad in Florence, Italy. There, I was able to learn Italian and even got a job as a server to accompany my studies. It was a perfect job to familiarize myself with my clientele, both locals and tourists, of all ages. It allowed me to develop my language and communication skills. Thanks to my job, I was able to save up enough money to spend my summer traveling Europe. This was an unforgettable experienceI traveled with friends, in groups, and even alonenot even a cell phone. I craved the true local experience but also enjoyed meeting backpackers and other travelers.
I started tutoring friends in languages at the age of 12 and eventually became an independent tutor before tutoring at my university. Now that I have graduated, I would like to eventually teach languages abroad.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Each student varies in strengths, weaknesses, and learning paces. It is important to adapt teaching styles in accordance to the individual student. Also, learn because you want to and have some fun with it!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Find out what their reasons are for learning a new language, and find out a little bit about them and their experience with the language and culture. This way I can cater to their needs.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Make the class interesting!
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Explain it a different way until they get it.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Show them their improvements.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I think passion is key. If there is no passion, a student will have a harder time finding the incentive to learn. We need to find a way to connect the material to the student's interests and make it relevant and interesting. This way, he/she will have the curiosity and desire to further his/her knowledge.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
The answer is very often in the root of the word. With the help of context, if you learn to decompose a word, you will often get a sense of its meaning. This is one of my favorite ways to confront reading comprehension difficulties.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
When working with students, I've learned to never stick with the same strategy. Everyone is different, and therefore everyone deserves their own learning strategy.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I like to dedicate a portion of the session to their interests if I get a sense that the student lacks passion. For example, if I am teaching French and know that the student is interested in sports, we will study some sport-related vocabulary.