I recently graduated from University of Vermont with a double B.A. in Environmental Studies and Studio Art. I've been working with young people for over seven years in lots of different settings, but after starting college I realized how much I loved teaching. Most recently, I've been working with students in outdoor education and in other alternative learning settings, and am considering becoming a classroom teacher. My years of education experience have helped me develop some strategies for students who struggle in school and with tests.
My favorite subjects to tutor are science, history, and English. I also work in general homework help, test prep, and organization skills. I like to tutor history and English especially, because being able to have a conversation about a subject really helps me learn. When I begin working with a student, I like to start out by getting to know them and their interests, and trying to pinpoint exactly where they are having trouble in a subject. By finding these leverage points, I can help them develop good habits and new strategies to create success in their schoolwork. I believe that everyone can be successful in school, but it's a matter of finding a custom plan for each individual. In my years of working with students, I know that everyone is different and what works for one student may not work for another. I aim to help my students develop the self-sufficiency, passion, and skills to help them accomplish their goals in school.
When I'm not working with students, I love to be outside--hiking, biking, swimming, and kayaking are some of my favorite pastimes!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Vermont - Bachelors, Environmental Studies
SAT Composite: 1950
Hiking, biking, swimming, knitting
AP US History
College Level American History
High School English
High School Geography
High School Level American History
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe all students can be successful in school but that everyone learns differently. My job is to help students find the learning styles that best suit them and develop the motivation and organization to set and achieve goals.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
When I first meet a student, I like to ask them what they enjoy in school. By understanding their strengths, we can build on them and begin to tackle some of the things they are challenged by.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
For me, positivity has always been the best way to motivate students. By looking at past successes and asking the student what worked the best for them, we can apply those strategies to future challenges. I always try to bring it back to past achievements if the student is feeling low about their current work.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I take note of how the student has learned other concepts--did a visual cue help? Did talking it over, repetition, creating a game, or writing it help? We'll replicate those cues as I try to break down the concept into its parts and use comparisons to help bridge those gaps.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading is such an important and powerful skill to have. When possible, I have the student read their favorite books outside of our time and tell me about what's happened when we meet again. I have a huge repertoire of books for all reading levels that I can recommend, and starting with a book that the student loves helps them branch out into other reading matter.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I always try to get to know the student as best as I can--what do they like about school? What are some things that their teachers have done that they enjoyed or appreciated? Who are some of their personal heroes? I establish common ground with the student to help them feel comfortable and supported before we move forward.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Using my knowledge of the student's own interests and personality, I help them find a piece of the subject or a method of problem solving that really excites them. It can be hard to engage yourself in a subject that you feel is not applicable to your own life--by finding those commonalities and setting goals, the student can overcome those challenges.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
A learning style that has always been effective for me has been discussion-style debriefs and comprehension checks. After we move through a unit or a problem, I talk about it with the students--what were the major themes? What is one thing you admire about the person we learned about? If you were in their position, what would you do differently? What are the functions of the different cell parts? What is your evidence? By asking some of these questions, I can get a better sense of the student's perspective on the material and use that to build onto more subjects.