I recently graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. During college, I was part of DreamCatchers, a non-profit organization that provides free after-school tutoring to underprivileged students. I worked one-on-one with a middle school student for the entire school year to support their academic work and help them see and believe in their potential to thrive in school and beyond. I also had two years of private tutoring experience, especially in High School Math and SAT preparation. For me, a tutor serves a different role than teachers and parents that puts them in a unique position to support students. I believe personal relationships are foundational to student’s success because when a tutor listens and spends time building a relationship with students, the tutor creates trust and respect and can truly personalize the learning experience. Seeing my students succeed give me tremendous joy and satisfaction.
I’m also a world traveler and a serial gummy bear eater. During my free time, I love to go biking and to create new recipes for my food blog.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Stanford University - Bachelor of Science, Biology, General
SAT Math: 760
SAT Writing: 700
Traveling, Biking, Cooking
10th Grade Math
11th Grade Math
12th Grade Math
1st Grade Math
2nd Grade Math
3rd Grade Math
4th Grade Math
5th Grade Math
6th Grade Math
7th Grade Math
8th Grade Math
9th Grade Math
Elementary School Math
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
In order to encourage a student to become an independent learner, I let the student do their own work and allow the student to answer their own questions. When the student gets stuck and needs help, I ask them questions to help them head in the right directions. In addition, I provide the student opportunities to use resources other than myself such as referring to their notes, textbooks, and online resources. My second strategy is to give students constructive and formative feedback that help students get a clear sense of what they need to do to improve. Effective feedback motivates students to be independent by allowing them to take control of their own learning.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In the first session, I usually get to know the student so I can learn more about their background, learning style, and expectations. Do they learn better by seeing, reading, doing or listening? What do they expect to accomplish during the sessions and what areas do they want to concentrate on? Depending on their grade level, I also give the student a short assessment (e.g. multiple choice questions or a few word problems) at the first session to evaluate their skills and knowledge of the subject. My goals are to assess a student's strengths and weaknesses so I know where to begin instruction and personalize a learning plan. In addition, I always incorporate the student into lesson planning so they become an active part of their own learning process.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
How would you help a student stay motivated?
In order to help the student stay motivated, I always try to give them a sense of control by allowing them to freely express their opinion and have some choice over what happens in each session. For example, allowing students to choose the type of assignment they do or which problems to work on can help them stay interested and motivated. Furthermore, I usually suggest the student to make a list of expectations and goals that they want to achieve daily, weekly, and monthly. By having a tangible list of objectives and being able to check them off, the student feels responsible and motivated to work harder to achieve those objectives. In addition, I talk with the student to help them find their own personal reasons for doing class work and working hard (whether it be that they find the material interesting, want to go to college, or just love to learn).
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would identify the lack of understanding and determine whether we simply need to review or to take a different approach to the lesson. I would also reflect on my teaching style and modify appropriately to best serve the student's interest. In addition, I would try to give examples and connect them to real-life applications to help make the skill/concept more clear and relatable.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would encourage students to read more slowly and highlight words or phrases that they don't understand so they can revisit for clarification. It would also be helpful to teach students how to monitor their comprehension as they read. For example, I suggest students to summarize in their head the main ideas of the text after each paragraph.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
It always begins with building a relationship with the student and getting to know them as a person and a learner. I believe personal relationships are foundational to student's success because when a tutor listens and spends time building a relationship with students, the tutor creates trust and respect. I get to know the student's interests and motivations, both inside and outside of school, so I can truly personalize the learning experience. Moreover, I communicate with the student's parents to gain insight into their learning style as well as the parents' expectations.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Not all academic work needs to be a game or a good time, but I try to make students see our tutoring session as a place where they can have fun while learning. I often incorporate fun activities into my teaching to help keep them excited and engaged. In addition, I usually start with easy problems and then increase the difficulty to avoid discouragement while keeping the student challenged and motivated. I also give them praise when they are heading into the right directions and help them keep track of their progress (e.g. their improvement in scores) so they feel rewarded and accountable for their own learning.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
In order to ensure that a student understands the material, I give students new and different problems to solve on their own without help, and I have them explain their approach to me afterward. Most often, these problems are a little bit more challenging than what the student has encountered but still highlight the same material and are meant to test whether they truly understand the underlying skill/concept.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I work with the student to help them figure out their own strengths and weaknesses in a subject so I can create opportunities for them to succeed by building on their strengths. I also help the student set high but attainable goals from the start so they can look back and see how far they have grown. Moreover, I offer the student praise and acknowledge their progress and accomplishment. I always start with a positive statement and add on by referring to what they can improve on.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's needs through both oral discussion with the student and regular academic assessment. I communicate with the student regularly to make sure their needs are known and being addressed. I also give them regular assessments (e.g. short multiple choice or word problem tests) to evaluate them on what they have learned from our sessions and what they still need to work on.