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Kelsey

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I am a recent graduate from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, where I majored in American Studies and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. While in college, I discovered my commitment to education and developing pedagogical strategies, or methods of teaching, that are accessible to a wide variety of thinkers. I love learning how different minds process information and communicate thoughts, and I find so much joy in helping students untangle and clarify their thoughts in analytical papers, college application essays, and yes, even in SAT Writing! I am committed to a reflective tutoring model that is motivated by a desire to show students how they think. A reflective tutoring model is best for developing student-specific approaches to and goals for thinking and learning more confidently.

My experience as a teaching assistant and writing tutor, both for high school and college students, first familiarized me with one-on-one tutoring. Since then, I have been passionate about assisting students with brainstorming, conceptual mapping, structuring, and revising essays, while also helping them develop and master strategies for succeeding in critical reading and writing on the SAT. As a writing tutor, my primary goal is to help you find and craft your voice and to assist you in communicating with clarity, without compromising complexity of thought. Whether you are a middle school student writing your first persuasive essay, a high schooler who is writing analytical term papers and college application essays, or a college student writing a senior thesis or a research paper, I am prepared to offer guidance, support, and skill building for a range of writing in the humanities and social sciences. As an SAT tutor, I will nurture your ability to synthesize large quantities of information into smaller, digestible patterns, continuities, and contrasts, a skill that is imperative for standardized test taking and for holistic academic success.

If you think I could be a good fit for you, please do not hesitate to contact me so that we can discuss your tutoring needs and goals and determine how I can best further your academic success!

A special note for college seniors: I am more than happy to tutor you in the process of producing a larger project, like a senior thesis. I recently completed my senior thesis in American Studies and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and received the best thesis award in both departments for my work. Writing lengthy analytical work often feels insurmountably difficult but it does not have to be! I can help you with brainstorming, argumentative arcs, and revisions, while keeping you on schedule!

Kelsey’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Wesleyan University - Bachelor in Arts, American Studies and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Test Scores

SAT Composite: 2210

SAT Verbal: 770

SAT Writing: 790

Hobbies

disability justice, contemporary dance, reproductive healthcare and activism, blogging, cultural gerontology

Tutoring Subjects

College English

College Essays

Comparative Literature

English

Essay Editing

High School English

Literature

Reading

SAT Reading

SAT Writing and Language

Test Prep

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I am committed to a reflective tutoring model that is motivated by a desire to show students how they think and how they might be capable of thinking. A reflective tutoring model is best for developing student-specific approaches and goals for thinking and learning more confidently. We are better able to determine why and how your thoughts get tangled and also, which tactics, depending on your own personal learning style, might be best at getting you "unstuck."

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

We would set intentions and goals, both short-term and long-term. I want my students to learn how to articulate how they want to grow, and then we can develop benchmarks for how to get there.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I will inspire my students to ask questions, not only of me but of themselves. Empowering a student to become a strong questioner, who is motivated to learn rather than fearing what they do not know, is my primary goal.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I set short-term goals for every tutoring session, some smaller and some larger, so that there is an almost guaranteed, palpable "pay off" in each session.

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

I would ask the student questions to determine if this difficulty was the result of a lack of understanding, pent up frustration, exhaustion, or a lack of commitment or dedication. Depending on the reason, I would adopt different approaches for solving the problem. I might want to give them a five minute break, provide positive reinforcement by returning to a simpler concept that they have already mastered (just to review), or attempt to tackle the problem from a different angle after reevaluating my notes on how this particular student learns best.

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

I would encourage the student to mark sentences or passages that they do not understand, identify what it is that they did not understand, try to restate the difficult sentence passage in their own words, and look backwards and forwards in the text to try and address this problem using context clues.

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

It is helpful to use the first tutoring session as a comprehensive intake. I encourage students to set goals, both long-term and short-term, for themselves, and I will adopt and/or build from these student-directed goals when creating some of my own for the student.

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

I would have a conversation with the student about the aspects of the subject that do excite or engage them, and I'd think about how to incorporate this element or topic into our broader study of the subject. I would also try to link whatever engages them to as many facets of the subject as possible.

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

If a student is beginning to master a skill, but we have been doing a lot of heavily guided work, I would gradually scale back my intervening questions and have them demonstrate their new skill sans intervention. I might also ask more questions of the student-- specifically self-reflexive questions about why they are doing what they are doing and how they are coming to their answers-- so that I can get a better understanding of their process and know if and when I should clarify any outstanding misunderstandings.

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

I would affirm the student's gradual, short term successes, and I'd emphasize how these small successes add up and will add up when trying to achieve long-term goals.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I will check in with students at the beginning and end of every tutoring session to get them in the habit of communicating what they need and what they need to work on. I will also take notes on the student's progress after each tutoring session so that I can keep track of the places where they are clearly improving, while also noting the places where they are still struggling. I will then adapt my lesson plan and approach accordingly.

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

By frequently checking in with my students about their progress and their needs, I will adapt my own tutoring methods to best fit their articulated goals and struggles.

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

A whiteboard is extremely helpful for quickly demonstrating sentence level revisions or edits, or for recording the goals for each session. Hard and digital copies of writing that we are workshopping is also a must.