A photo of Andrea, a tutor from Washington College

Andrea

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I love English because I love to talk, and writing is arguably the best way to hold a conversation. My favorite part of tutoring is helping students figure out who/what they're talking to - is it the teacher, an author, a memory, the whole world, or just themselves? - and decide what the best approach is for this audience. I get a great deal of satisfaction from watching someone learn to articulate themselves and effectively present ideas that automatically become bigger once shared; you can be the smartest scientist on the planet, but, if you can't write down your cure for cancer in an understandable way, everyone is the lesser for it. I think the ability to write a strong essay or speech not only reflects a solid grasp of a particular subject and competent research, it also suggests the writer knows their voice and the value in it, and can declare this conviction with volume (literally and metaphorically). A person who can write is a person who can impact their community.

I developed this philosophy during my time at Washington College, a small liberal arts school in Chestertown, MD, where I graduated in May 2014 with a B.A. in English (Drama minor). During my four years at WAC I wrote five grant applications that together awarded me over $14,000 and gave me amazing opportunities that confirmed my love for writing and introduced me to a new passion: education. Junior year I traveled to Cameroon, Africa, where I collaborated with the PeaceCorps to host a drama camp for village teenagers (all in French). I created the program and called it “Strong Voices" since its purpose was to encourage self-awareness, improved communication skills, and confidence within Cameroonian youth. The following year I brought “Strong Voices” to my college’s hometown and applied it to the juvenile delinquents staying at the detention center down the road from campus. This time I went a step further and helped my students write original poems and autobiographical screenplays as a way to explore and share their various struggles. The success of "Strong Voices" and the amazing students I met through the program make it one of my proudest achievements to date.

Since graduating from Washington College I have continued to apply my writing skills by working for two start-up companies where I helped draft their emails and solicitation letters. I also participated in the development of their scripts, business proposals, general projects, and web content. In my spare time I tutor English, proofread my friends’ creative work, consult on grant applications, and pursue my own writing. When I'm not working I dabble in a long list of hobbies: art, dancing, hiking, discovering new coffee shops, laughing at YouTube videos, and performing stand-up comedy.

My tutoring style is relaxed and friendly but a highly honest one. I continually challenge my students' decisions, opinions, instincts, and results, and I welcome the same from them. While strengths are the first things I look to highlight, weaknesses are all I care about as a tutor and I will make sure you know what they are. Time is valuable, your voice even more so, so I make a conscious effort to tailor my tutoring approach to each student in a way that advances their development as quickly as possible. My favorite saying is "so what?" - why should the reader care? Why does your opinion matter? Get to the point and make it an enjoyable/informational journey there! Tight essay structure and preliminary outlines saves you time, effort, and sanity. Proofread always, re-read constantly.

Let's have a conversation!

Andrea’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Washington College - Bachelor in Arts, English (Drama Minor)

Hobbies

dancing, comedy, hiking, coffee shops, books, and cookouts

Tutoring Subjects

CAHSEE English

College English

College Essays

Comparative Literature

English

Essay Editing

High School English

Homework Support

Literature

Other

Public Speaking

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Summer

Writing


Q & A

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

I like to start with personal introductions so we can know more about each other and get a feel for personalities. I ask questions about their academic background, their strengths and weaknesses, and what kind of teaching techniques work best for them. I then typically follow the student's lead from there.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I work with each student to figure out ways they can set themselves up for success - what methods, goals, and guidelines can we establish now that will keep you focused, encouraged, inspired, and driven, later? I'm a fan of mnemonics, outlines, lists, self-care opportunities, resource options when stumped, study skills shortcuts, quotes, and general theory to remember. I also try to be a tutor they look forward to sharing their independent academic pursuits with!

How would you help a student stay motivated?

When I find it appropriate, I try to identify with a student's challenges by mentioning a past (or present) experience I had with the same issue. It's important to remember everyone had to climb the same steps to proficiency! I also try to make my sessions an experience students look forward to and one that doesn't forget to keep the bigger picture in mind.