I am currently a first year graduate student working on my master's degree in occupational therapy at Washington University in St. Louis. I am interested in many subjects, however, I am most passionate about foreign languages and science. I currently hold a BS and a BA from Colorado State University. I love to teach. In addition to tutoring peers while I was in college, I volunteered to tutor at-risk youth, for which I received a community service scholarship award. As a future therapist, I especially enjoy helping people to set and reach their goals. I also have experience and training in working with individuals with varying abilities and learning styles. I would love the opportunity to work with individuals of all ages and diverse backgrounds toward increased understanding of subject matter and overall academic success.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Colorado State University - Bachelors, Nutrition & Spanish
Graduate Degree: Washington University - Masters, Occupational Therapy
My hobbies include running, yoga, rock climbing, swimming, cooking, and volunteering.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
A good teacher understands that it is as much their job to teach as it is to inspire.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session with a student I want to learn about what they are studying, gauge their interest in the subject, and set some initial goals. My goals during the first session are to get a sense of the student's learning style and to find out if there is a way I can apply the information to increase the student's interest, understanding or confidence in the subject.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
There are a couple of ways to help a student become an independent learner. One way is to ask questions instead of giving out answers. Let the student solve as much of the problem as they can before offering assistance. When the student is stuck, ask them what a good resource would be for the information they are needing, and encourage them to find the answers on their own. If they don't know initially, show them the steps you would take to get to the answer, and then have them try on their own with a different problem.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
There are many ways to help a student stay motivated. One way is to talk to them about their goals initially and them write them down as a reminder. Another way is to use the student's interests as themes for the lessons. Its important to reinforce that the goal should be gradual improvement and never immediate gratification.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
There are always different ways of explaining concepts if a student has difficulty learning it. Different learning styles include visual, auditory and tactile, for example, and each of these would call for a different teaching style. If the student still has a hard time with the concept, sometimes it is best to skip it for a while and come back to it later. This way the difficult concept does not become frustrating and draining.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
The best way to improve a student's reading comprehension is to practice reading different passages while analyzing them for content and meaning. With practice, it becomes easier to focus and gather relevant information while reading.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found that the most successful strategy while teaching is to focus on positive feedback. Usually, if you can create an environment that encourages effort and progress, the student will be encouraged to work on the more difficult subject areas and will eventually succeed.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Sometimes when students get frustrated it is easy to become disengaged. If there are any parts of the subject the student grasps well, it's good to go over those first. This will help to build confidence, and then all there is left to do is fill in the gaps. If possible, I always try to make the subject relevant to the student's interests.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Once a student has demonstrated they understand the material they have been working on, it is helpful to use other sample questions to see if they can correctly apply the same concept to other types of questions.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I like to use positive feedback to make sure I am rewarding the student for how well they are doing and not criticizing them for struggling. If the student is stuck on a concept temporarily, it is good to work on some problems that are easier for them for a while and then come back to the more challenging problems little by little. This decreases burnout.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
There are multiple factors that help determine a student's needs. These include feedback from the student and the student's parents (if applicable) and guidance from the class curriculum.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt my tutoring to the student's needs by setting realistic goals and by always looking for feedback from the student about my teaching style. If something I am doing isn't working, then I need to adjust my method to help the student.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use all types of materials while teaching. Sometimes, it is a book and a pen and paper. Other times, it is relevant media clips, diagrams, mnemonic devices, etc.