I have worked in education for as long as I can remember. My parents were both educators, and I began volunteering at a local elementary school shortly before I graduated from high school. I???ve worked as a substitute teacher, teacher???s aide, music teacher, private tutor, ESL teacher, reading interventionist, and group leader. I have extensive experience with elementary aged children, and believe in the benefits small group/personal instruction can provide. I try to create a fun, supportive space that allows the student to tap into their innate ability to succeed academically, along with providing skills in time management, and organization.
I am an electronic musician, and I participate in the underground scene in Boston, as well as teach Yoga at The Breathing Room in Cambridge. I have a colorful background in the arts, and try to include this creativity into my teaching style. I am a solution oriented person, and try my best to find ways to help my students access the material, with things they are interested in.
While most of my work has been with elementary through high school aged students, I have also worked with ESL students at the college level and above, and native English speakers who want to learn Spanish. I have a diverse cultural background (American, Panamanian, Italian) and it helps me to connect to students who are trying to learn a new language as adults.
I am excited to be part of the Varsity Tutors team, and look forward to making new connections!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Florida State University - Bachelor in Arts, Latin American Studies
Music, art, anything creative
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in supporting the student by trying to understand where they are coming from. What is preventing them from learning a specific subject? There are so many possibilities for why someone may not be able to access material, as a teacher it is important to figure out why, and go from there.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would ask a lot of questions and assess the way the student approached the material. The age of the student makes a huge difference; adults possess a different kind of self awareness and can help you understand where they need help. In younger students, much of your information comes from watching and trying to work through the material.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
After the initial session, it is important to set up systems that the student can follow and learn to do every time they approach the study material. For instance, a junior high student who gets overwhelmed with all the homework material they have to finish might write out each subject on a separate piece of paper with a rectangular box next to it. As they progress, they color in a portion of the box to help themselves from becoming overwhelmed. Self-timing with a timer would also work. It would depend on the learner.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Creating fun supplemental incentives that are based on the material and things the student likes can help with motivation. Creating an incentive system that includes the parents can give extra support. It is important for the student to know that the work they are doing is supported by, not only the tutor, but by the people who care about them.