A photo of Heather, a tutor from College of William and Mary

Heather

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Teaching has been a passion of mine for many years. I love everything to do with English, including any kind of writing or reading, and helping students develop their skills and interests in these subjects is something I care deeply about. In the last five years of working as an English teacher, I have enjoyed using many methods to help students better understand the complexities of writing essays, reading literature, and communicating their thinking. Each time I see a student reach a goal, or understand something he or she did not before, I remember how much I love to teach.

I know the feeling of struggling with a subject. I know that when you don't understand something, you can feel cut off, unheard, and sometimes hopeless. I also know that when you get help from someone who can really listen and understand what you need, it is such a relief. If you want an experienced, patient tutor who will really listen to you, then I am a great choice for you!

Heather’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: College of William and Mary - Bachelor in Arts, English

Graduate Degree: George Washington University - Masters in Education, Secondary Education

Hobbies

I like dogs (I have 2), hiking, going to the gym, riding bikes, reading, and I am learning to cook.

Tutoring Subjects

College English

College Essays

Comparative Literature

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

Gifted

High School English

Literature

Other

Public Speaking

Reading

SAT Reading

SAT Writing and Language

Special Education

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Test Prep

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that all students can succeed, and that it's important to focus on a student's individual strengths and interests.

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

First, I want to hear what the student wants to gain from the tutoring. As the teacher, it's important to know what the student has struggled with and what his or her specific goals are moving forward. I also want to know what has worked and not worked for the student in the past. From there, we can outline a tutoring plan designed for the student's specific needs.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I help students become independent learners in a few ways. First, I teach students how to think about their own understanding by assessing themselves at various points in the learning process. I also give them the tools they need for their own learning. Providing students with specific, explicit instruction in reading skills, for example, helps students to monitor their own understanding as they read text and after reading. The same can be done with writing and revising skills, study skills, and more.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

It's important to break learning into chunks so that it doesn't become overwhelming--that alone can help maintain motivation because the student is able to focus on the learning. I also help the student to develop specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals, which helps to develop internal focus and drive.

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

First, I have to understand why the student has trouble with the skill. For example, if the student is having trouble with reading, I want to know if it's because they have trouble with the vocabulary or comprehension of the ideas. I would use an assessment to determine the particular source of the struggle. Then, I would find some targeted strategies for that particular issue based on the student's strengths. For example, if the student loves art but has trouble with vocabulary, I would help them learn how to create visual representations of different word meanings.