I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Middlebury College in Vermont. I majored in International Studies, focusing this interdisciplinary degree on Spanish, and Political Science in Europe (I love history!). I recently completed my MBA at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. I have worked for small, local non-profit organizations and large, public companies. I enjoy tutoring because it’s a way of sharing the tools that have helped me to succeed in school and at work. My greatest strengths as a tutor lie in my ability to empathize with a student’s frustration in not understanding a subject, and my flexibility to try different methods and angles to help reveal a way to learning and understanding. I’m not a math whiz, a writing genius or a history buff. In fact, most subjects in school were challenging for me all my life. Learning and practicing good study habits, investing in hard work, and finding ways to make learning fun enabled me to earn good grades. I look forward to working with students who need a little more help in a subject. I know it’s not easy. But I know that hard work pays off, and I can help to achieve this.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Middlebury College - Bachelor in Arts, Int'l relations (European Studies, Spanish)
Graduate Degree: Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley - Masters in Business Administration, Business
In my free time, I enjoy playing soccer, running, reading, camping, and trying to cook.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that learning is a very personal endeavor, and motivation to learn is derived from a variety of factors, including personality, incentives, and establishing an interest or curiosity in a subject. My teaching philosophy is to understand each student's personal interests and learning barriers, and work to find a customized way that bridges the gap between the material and the student's understanding.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I'd like to learn a few things about his/her personal interests, what they like and dislike about school (and the subject we're studying together), and what their day is like. I want to also see how they plan their work and study time, and make tweaks there, if necessary. Then I'd like to review their first assignment and see where they begin to struggle (if at all). We would end by setting up a plan for the student to follow until the next session, and a way to get in touch with me if he/she needed additional help in between.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I would work on helping the student identify the study techniques that work best for him/her. I would also help them with their problem-solving abilities, which I believe is crucial for being independent at anything (including learning). I'd also work on their self-esteem, and try to help them understand that getting things wrong is not a sign of stupidity, but a part of the learning process.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I'd become familiar with what motivates them. For younger students, it might be something as simple as a treat or free time for video games. For older students, I might be able to establish a link between their learning and how it will help them achieve their long-term goals of getting into college or obtaining a specific job. If the long-term goals are too big to fathom, I would work on motivation for smaller steps (each assignment or working toward each exam). I'd work on inspiring curiosity by connecting the material to their personal interests whenever possible, and helping them to establish their own responsibility for their learning.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I'd back up and try to understand how much of the concept (or previous concepts) that they grasp, since we might have to reinforce previous learning before the new concepts will stick. Then I'd try a few different angles to see whether any of them begin to help the student grasp the concept. I'd try things like pictures/drawings, animations, activities, and analogies.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
We would start with helping them identify when they are not comprehending what they are reading. If they don't know that they aren't comprehending, they won't know how to fix it. After that, I would help them with strategies for comprehension, such as setting up questions for them to answer throughout their reading (like QAR) or learning to summarize what they've read. This would depend on their learning style.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
We need to feel comfortable with each other, so I need some time each session to get to know the student, and for them to get to know me. This varies from student to student, but generally involves some activities together (playing cards, walking, or just sitting and talking). I find that when students are comfortable with me, they can relax and be open to asking any and all questions on a subject. On a practical level, sometimes I also enforce some basic memorization based on the topic we are studying together (such as memorizing the quadratic formula, key relationships, or vocabulary). This can establish a foundation that will help the rest of the concepts for the topic flow.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I would use various online resources that I can find; videos and pictures are particularly helpful. Flashcards are helpful for memorization, so I often bring those (or help the student make them herself). For math tutoring, I like to have extra pencils, erasers, and worksheets for practice.