I have always been passionate about helping others, whether through volunteering, working as an EMT, or coaching youth lacrosse. Tutoring, however, is one of my favorite outlets to help others because it is a journey that involves my students and I to work together to achieve their learning goals. I started tutoring in undergrad at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, where I graduated with a B.A. in Biochemistry. At Wheaton, I developed the philosophy that learning should be fun. In my tutoring sessions I like to take time to get to know the student before we jump into the material. Even as we work through the session, it is not uncommon to joke around and laugh. Currently I am tutoring Biology and Life Sciences which are my favorite subjects because they can be observed in everyday life! After receiving my MBA in Healthcare, I have had more time to spend on hobbies. In my newly acquired spare time, I enjoy being active outdoors, reading fiction, playing sports, and training for a triathlon.
Wheaton College (Massachusetts) - BA, Biochemistry
Simmons College - MBA, Health Care
High School Biology
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that learning should be fun. As we work through the session, it is not uncommon to joke around and laugh. As a teacher, I believe in breaking down the material into smaller pieces until it's easier for the student to understand. We will also approach the material from a variety of viewpoints, whether it be through reading, pictures, or discussion.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first part of the session will be focused on getting to know the student, including their likes and dislikes outside of school. Then, we will talk about trouble spots in the material, whether it's everything or just a specific concept. The goal of the first session with a student is to get to know one another.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner by having them explain their thought process. I do not want the student to think that I am interrogating them when I ask questions about their process. Instead, I frame this discussion as a way for them to teach me the way they see it. If they are incorrect about a concept, I do not correct them; rather, I will ask probing questions to get them back in the right direction.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
In my experience, motivation is cultivated when there is an attainable goal in sight. In order to help a student stay motivated, I will help them create goals that are small, attainable, and realistic for a short time frame. Winning often is more fun than disappointment!
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I would try several things. First, I would break the material down into very small pieces. Then, I would have the student explain the material and their thought process. Finally, I would try new ways of presenting the material. For example, if the student didn't understand the material just by reading about it, then I would verbally explain it or use a picture.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The strategies I have found to be most successful as a tutor are listening more than I speak. I like to have the student learn by doing, whether they are teaching me the material or explaining their thought process while completing a problem. I do not want to lecture the student during the entire session but only when they need to hear the concept explained.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
In order to become excited/engaged with anything in life, there must be a personal connection. This also applies to getting a student to be excited/engaged with a subject they are struggling in. I work to get to know the student in the first session so that I can help the student see the personal connection between the material and themselves.