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Jessica

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As a tutor, I find that if we know a little bit about each other as people, then we work better during sessions, so I'll go ahead and give you some background on myself. I have received a B.A. in English from Truman State University, where I also minored in Theatre. I hope to attend graduate school for Comparative Literature, but for now I work at an after-school nonprofit and, hopefully, tutor you! I have mainly had tutoring experience in essay writing, specifically at the college level, through working at Truman State's writing center; there, I also had ESL training and worked with many students on improving basic English writing skills. I tutor in English/Literature, Grammar/Mechanics, Essay writing, and AP Lit/SAT test prep, as well as taking on ESL/ELL students. I don't necessarily have a favorite subject to tutor, but what I do enjoy most is talking about novels and passages and being able to help a student really break down their writing. My tutoring philosophy reflects this as well, as it hinges mostly on respecting the student's autonomy in their work. I am here as a guide for you, but my goal is never to tell you the answer outright or tell you the perfect thesis statement. I will be looking to aid you in getting to be the best you can be on your own. In my personal time, you can usually find me reading fantasy novels/manga, creating some sort of art, watching cartoons, or playing video games. While I don't consider myself an artist, I do think I'm artistic, so I really mesh with creative people; I'll also talk your ear off about wrestling or football, too, so don't worry too much if the interests I have here don't seem your style. I am all about making each individual session work for each individual student, and we will perfect that process together!

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Jessica’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Truman State University - Bachelor in Arts, English Major/Theatre Minor

Test Scores

ACT Science: 30

SAT Verbal: 750

Hobbies

theatre, fantasy novels, video games, anime


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My goal as a tutor is to always retain the student's sense of ownership over the work. My focus is always what can make the student better, not necessarily sticking to whatever plan I myself have for the day.

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

I will introduce myself and then ask a few general questions to get to know the student a bit better. Then, we will talk about the goals we have for tutoring and the problem areas that we will hope to improve upon.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

During tutoring, I always allow the student to run each question, getting their feedback first to keep them in the mindset of working alone.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

The key for me to staying motivated is to switch up the format of sessions. For example, if we have been working on test prep for the previous two sessions, we might play a vocabulary game on the third one to break up our routine a bit.

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

Take a step back and try to come at it from a different angle. Look at the bigger picture and try to see what the skill or concept is useful for before trying to implement it again.

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

Practice, practice, practice! Reading comprehension involves a comprehension of certain techniques that can be somewhat hard to get comfortable with. I focus on integrating those ground-level techniques.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

I find being a good listener and being super flexible are the most important things. We will take a session or two to really understand each other's teaching/learning style so that, ideally, we will be able to be more and more productive as time passes.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

Usually, the easiest way for me to catch a reluctant student's attention is to try to link the subject with interests they already have.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

A habit I use is ending most statements I have during tutoring with "Does that make sense?" I find that constantly checking in with the student and being certain that the student feels comfortable to answer negatively is key for sessions.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

I try to give regular updates on progress I notice and encourage the student to acknowledge gains themselves. I find that confidence comes with a sense of pride in their work.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

If it's testing, we may do a practice test of some sort. If it isn't, I first ask the student about areas they feel uncomfortable in. Additionally, I will usually keep notes of some kind for myself about a student's needs to make sure I keep myself aware of them.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

This usually comes with getting to know the student better. If I find that a technique really causes breakthroughs in a student, I might utilize it more than one that seems to be doing little good.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

This, again, depends on the student, but I am a big believer that flashcards in a one-on-one setting are very helpful. If we are working towards testing, it is very important to me as well to make sure the student is exposed to the forms/kinds of questions that they will see on the test.


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