I am a biology geek who has always wanted to be a teacher. I currently teach non-majors biology at Everett Community College and volunteer at the Seattle Aquarium. I have hundreds of hours of experience teaching biology and tutoring standardized tests.
I completed my undergraduate work in biology at Macalester College and earned a PhD in Microbiology at the University of Washington. I am also interested in pedagogy (the study of how students learn and how to teach) and regularly participate in pedagogy journal clubs and conferences. While I don't have any formal training in marine biology, I've picked up a lot of information during my time at the aquarium and love to discuss it. (Be careful, if you ask about octopuses, it may be hard to get me to stop!)
Outside of biology, I likes to make things. My hobbies include crochet, dressmaking, and chocolatiering, though I have my eye on taking up welding as well. I also boulder, do yoga, and have recently taken up aerial silks. In cold weather, I like to curl up inside with a book. In warm weather, I like to curl up under a tree with a book. On vacation, I am usually found curled up somewhere with a book.
Undergraduate Degree: Macalester College - Bachelor in Arts, Biology, General
Graduate Degree: University of Washington-Seattle Campus - PHD, Microbiology
ACT Composite: 34
ACT English: 33
ACT Math: 32
ACT Reading: 35
ACT Science: 36
SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1420
Crochet, knit, sewing, repurposing, welder, yoga, and ariel fabrics.
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
Teaching isn't a one-way transmission of information from teacher to student. My job as a teacher is to provide the resources, help, and supportive environment that students need in order to learn.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Before we do anything else, we need to establish goals and a baseline. Once I know what my student wants and needs, I'm able to direct the lesson plan to help them succeed.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The Socratic method may be an oldie, but it's still a goodie. "Does this look like a question you've seen before?" "How would you go about tackling it?" "Let me point something out. Does that change how you'd try to solve the problem?" "Excellent! What do you need to know to get to the answer?"
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Meaningful, measurable, and realistic goals make it easier for us to assess progress and celebrate milestones. It's also important to step back and remind ourselves why this test or this class matters in the long run.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
What other learning strategies can we use? How else can we approach this? How is this like other things the student has already mastered?
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Read, read, read. Find books in a subject they really love so they can practice reading. Have them read newspaper articles and annotate them as they do for critical reading passages. Keep reading, keep practicing.