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Gwen

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I was born and raised in Washington State, and have spent significant amounts of time in the South and in the Northeast, where I currently reside. I have a Masters in 20th Century American History from the University of Connecticut, a Bachelors of Science in Political Science and History (with honors), and I am currently working on a Masters in Business Administration, which should be completed by Summer 2018. I have taught four history courses at the college level, and I currently work as a Head Teacher at a learning center. I have over 6 years tutoring experience, and have been with Varsity Tutors since the fall of 2015! Through this company, I've worked with clients of all ages and I have enjoyed bringing an upbeat and positive attitude to help them meet and excel in their areas of focus.

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Gwen’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Austin Peay State University - Bachelors, History and Political Science

Graduate Degree: University of Connecticut - Current Grad Student, History of Science and Medicine

Hobbies

Cooking, traveling domestically and internationally, reading

Tutoring Subjects

10th Grade

10th Grade Reading

10th Grade Writing

11th Grade

11th Grade Reading

11th Grade Writing

12th Grade

12th Grade Reading

12th Grade Writing

1st Grade

1st Grade Math

1st Grade Reading

1st Grade Writing

2nd Grade

2nd Grade Math

2nd Grade Reading

2nd Grade Writing

3rd Grade

3rd Grade Math

3rd Grade Reading

3rd Grade Science

3rd Grade Writing

4th Grade

4th Grade Math

4th Grade Reading

4th Grade Science

4th Grade Writing

5th Grade

5th Grade Math

5th Grade Reading

5th Grade Science

5th Grade Writing

6th Grade

6th Grade Reading

6th Grade Science

6th Grade Writing

7th Grade

7th Grade Reading

7th Grade Science

7th Grade Writing

8th Grade

8th Grade Reading

8th Grade Science

8th Grade Writing

9th Grade

9th Grade Reading

9th Grade Writing

ACT with Writing Prep

ACT Writing

Adult ESL/ELL

Adult Literacy

Advanced Placement Prep

African History

African-American History

American Literature

AP Comparative Government and Politics

AP Human Geography

AP Research

AP Seminar

AP U.S. Government & Politics

AP United States History

AP US Government

AP US History

ASPIRE English

ASPIRE Reading

British Literature

Business

Civics

CLEP Prep

CLEP American Government

CLEP American Literature

CLEP Analyzing and Interpreting Literature

CLEP College Composition

CLEP English Literature

CLEP History of the United States I

CLEP History of the United States II: 1865 to the Present

CLEP Humanities

CLEP Introductory Psychology

CLEP Introductory Sociology

CLEP Social Sciences and History

CLEP Western Civilization I: Ancient Near East to 1648

CLEP Western Civilization II: 1648 to the Present

College Application Essays

College Business

College English

College Essays

College Geography

College Level American History

College Level American Literature

College Political Science

College World History

Comparative Literature

COMPASS Writing Skills Prep

Creative Writing

MCAT Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

CSAP/ TCAP Prep

Earth Science

Elementary Math

Elementary School

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Science

Elementary School Writing

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Environmental Science

ESL/ELL

Essay Editing

Ethics

Evidence

Evolution

Expository Writing

Fiction Writing

French 1

GED Prep

GED Social Studies

Geography

Geology

Gifted

Government

Graduate Test Prep

GRE Analytical Writing

Handwriting

High School

High School Business

High School Chemistry

High School English

High School Geography

High School Level American History

High School Level American Literature

High School Political Science

High School World History

High School Writing

History

History Of Science

Homeschool

Homework Support

Honors

Human Geography

IB Geography

IB Social and Cultural Anthropology

IB World Religions

Journalism

Latin America History

Life Sciences

Literature

Management

Marine Biology

Math

Microsoft Office

Middle School

Middle School Math

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Science

Middle School Writing

Nutrition

Other

Persuasive Writing

Philosophical Ethics

Philosophy

Physical Science

Political Science

Public Speaking

Reading

Science

Shakespeare

Social Sciences

Social studies

Sociology

Spelling Bee

Study Skills and Organization

Summer

Technical Writing

Technology and Computer Science

Test Prep

The Modern World

TOEFL Prep

US Constitutional History

US History

Vocabulary

World Civilization

World History

World Literature

World Religions

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Every student has the right to knowledge. Anyone who is passionate about learning has the right to learn and deserves to expand their understanding of material if they so choose. As a tutor, I attempt to fuel an interest in the subject matter while also encouraging the student to continue to pursue interests and opportunities as they are presented.

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

In my first session with any student, my top priority is to make sure I get a good understanding about how the student currently is learning material and in what areas they would like assistance. Specifically, I would like to understand how they learn (visually, auditory, hands-on, a combination therein). Understanding how a student best intakes information will assist in all lessons moving forward and will help me as the tutor to give the student exactly what they need to help them succeed.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

As a tutor, it is one of my greatest priorities to help a student become an independent learner. One of the best ways for me to do that is to help teach study skills that are applicable to the subject area. These are skills that can include how to do things specific to the subject (how to read for comprehension, how to write academically) or skills that are broad enough to structure the entire learning environment (how to set up a planner or prioritize homework for a course).

How would you help a student stay motivated?

By making learning fun! No one (myself included) can keep motivated if the passion and drive is absent from learning. While many students do not enjoy certain subject areas, my job as a tutor is to help convey information in a way that is informative and educational but also fun and interesting. As a tutor, I attempt to utilize resources beyond text (videos, music, documentaries, photos) to help present ideas and make the subject matter more relevant and exciting to my students.

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

Everyone has difficulties with skills and concepts at one time or another. As a tutor, one of the goals I have is to make sure that students never feel guilty for having difficulty mastering a skill or concept. One of the first things I do when a student is having a difficulty learning a new skill is to have the student articulate exactly what the issue is, as they understand it. This really helps me to be able to relate to where the student is coming from explicitly. From that point, I assess the situation on a one-to-one basis moving forward. It is important to state that all people learn in different ways and struggle with different things, and I will always attempt (regardless of situation) to find the best way the student has of understanding the material and then work to present the material in that fashion.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Reading comprehension is something that many people struggle with. As a tutor in reading comprehension, I make sure to start off my lessons by figuring out how students are currently reading information. Once I understand where the student is, I am able to introduce new concepts to help them improve with reading comprehension. For example, if a student is having difficulty pulling out details from text, one thing that may help the student is to slow down in their reading. Another thing would be reading over the questions about the passage prior to reading the passage itself.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

The best strategy I have found in my years as a tutor has been to ask what explicitly a student wants from me from the very first lesson. Does the student want me to be an extension of the teacher or do they want me to provide the resources of a writing lab? Figuring out what the student wants from the beginning helps to make the student the happiest.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

If a student is struggling in a subject and they are also not interested in that subject, one thing I try to do is to make that subject both relevant and exciting to the student. If they don't like reading about history because it is boring, but they love art, I would bring art into the history lesson to help explain the lesson in a context that directly relates to the student's interest. Using resources like music, theater, novels, photographs, historical places, podcasts, and documentaries really helps to bring a lot of subjects to life for students who would otherwise not be interested.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

One of the best ways that I have found to make sure a student understands the material is to have the student explain the material back to me. Generally speaking, if you can explain it, you know it. Other techniques that could be used include doing practice problems to show comprehension, quizzing on vocabulary or topics, and writing to show how much the student knows.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Encouragement and support are two of the biggest things that I can give as a tutor to build up a student's confidence. As a tutor, I am the student's number 1 fan and biggest supporter. I want nothing more than for my students to succeed, and providing encouragement and support are essential to success. If a student is struggling in a subject, it can be really hard for them to express concern over that material to their tutor, especially if they are struggling after a tutoring session. I strive to make sure students are comfortable bringing up their concerns and problem areas to me because that allows me to change the way we are learning and looking at material together.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

There are many different factors that play into how I evaluate a student's needs. These factors include, but aren't limited to, grades in the subject area(s) in question, student concerns/questions, parent/guardian concerns/questions, teacher concerns/questions, student's grades in other subject areas. These areas, as a whole or individually, really shed light onto the whole picture: learning. I make sure to regularly ask the student to self-evaluate themselves and where they are at because I find that this is one of the best ways to find the strengths and weaknesses that a student feels that they have.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

Every student is different and everyone learns in a different way. As a tutor, it is my priority to make sure that I adapt my lessons to fit each individual student's needs. I make sure to have the student clearly define how they want their interactions with me to go. Some students prefer a teacher, some a mentor, some an editor. In addition to having the expectation be clear, I make sure to figure out the best learning style of each individual student to personalize the sessions as much as possible.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Depending on the type of tutoring session, I am likely to use multiple types of materials. In addition, I am likely to use public sourced information, online writing guides, practice tests, online media (music, videos, etc.), and print media. If I find that having a print text is what would be most beneficial for the student, I would make the student aware of that fact as early as possible.


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