Throughout my time as a college student I was always the kid who all my friends (and friends of friends) would come to for homework help when it came to all things with an ENG in the heading of the paper. Whether it was my peers in the education program putting together lesson plans for their elementary age students, or my contemporaries in the multi-semester analytical-intensive english courses on medieval literature, I always felt like I had an advantage in breaking down any kind of subject matter into an easily-digestible format. Before too long, I began tutoring to pay my rent, however I soon realized that this was simply an extension of what I had been doing since long before I tried to get paid for doing it. I LOVED english, literature, poetry, theatre and history and I knew I could foster that passion into a helpful energy for others.
In my courses, I was always the student who was taking part in class discussions and was constantly raising their hand, even when the material was at its driest. I always found something interesting and provocative to pull out of the lesson.
Beyond all of my concrete exploits listed above, I believe my ultimate strength in being a tutor is the fact that I was never personally an exceptionally strong student in school. In fact, I would describe my performance (particularly in high school) as largely being a struggle. In addition to being a preternaturally curious student, and one who consumed all forms of literature and writing voraciously, I was often distracted, bored, listless, and "hyper". For this reason, I take special pride in my history of tutoring younger (elementary and early HS age) students who may be a year (or less) away from being the type to "check out" mentally from school entirely. If it wasn't for a few powerfully bright students and professors and of course, for some truly mind-blowing reading experiences with literature from all over the world, I believe I would have been one of these students who tacitly accepts their designation as a "bad" or "challenged" learner. I believe that school is a challenge, but the content involved should be a tool, not a roadblock for a student's success.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Keene State College - Bachelor in Arts, English Literature
Sports, Martial Arts, technology, blogging, video games, movies, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Netflix, Computers, Information Technology.
10th Grade Reading
10th Grade Writing
11th Grade Reading
11th Grade Writing
12th Grade Reading
12th Grade Writing
7th Grade Reading
7th Grade Writing
8th Grade Reading
8th Grade Writing
9th Grade Reading
9th Grade Writing
College Level American Literature
High School English
High School Level American Literature
High School Writing
Introduction to Poetry
Middle School Reading
Middle School Writing
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Embolden the capacity of the student, not the material.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Discuss their interests, both academic and recreational. I believe the understanding of one facilitates understanding of the other.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Instead of just drilling the importance or "meaning" of the material, drill the skills and techniques to use as tools to adapt to any manner of material-- With or without the tutor present, and for the rest of their academic career.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Encouragement, encouragement, encouragement. Adapt the session to enforce the student's natural strengths, not break them down.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Re-visit the concept privately, and game plan alternative strategies to tackling it.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Change up the material to something fresh that also deals with the same themes and concepts.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Brainstorming and thought-experiments. See what the student can display conceptually, and then put it to action in the work.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Identify the nature of their struggle, and tackle that problem first. Assure them that not only do we never stop learning, but we're constantly re-learning HOW to learn.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Quizzes, creative writing projects, and opportunities to demonstrate the ability to speak extemporaneously in a casual, unrestricted format on the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Baby steps, demonstrate how even the most fundamental concepts are at play in not just basic material, but at the highest level as well. Build upwards from wherever they fall on this spectrum of understanding.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Pre-tests, and casual conversation. Ask where they feel confident, where they would like to be more confident, and why. Connect their strengths to their weaknesses and foster development in both.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Encourage constant feedback and discussion. Establish a back and forth "rhythm" of teaching that adapts my tutoring just as much as I'm enhancing the student's skills/understanding.