I would like to be the one to help you improve academically and grow to meet your potential. I know from experience that academics can be challenging, but with the right support and encouragement every student is capable of excellence. Together we can work towards improving your test-taking skills and strategies, as well as increasing engagement by relating material to your personal strengths and interests.
History and Literature are two of my greatest passions, subjects I studied at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. Though these subjects can at times be difficult to engage with, I am confident that together we can uncover new perspectives and learning strategies that will reinvigorate your relationship to the material and improve your grades dramatically. Sometimes all that is necessary for an academic breakthrough is seeing old material from a new vantage point!
I know the importance of developing a strong and functional rapport with students. During my time as a Substitute Teacher and as a one-on-one Guitar Instructor, I have learned techniques and strategies for successful and patient engagement. I will create an individualized instructional plan that capitalizes on your strengths and is tailored to your personality. So let's hit the books!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of North Carolina at Greensboro - Bachelors, Humanities and Social Sciences
SAT Composite (2400 scale): 2250
SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1540
SAT Verbal: 800
SAT Writing: 760
Music, hiking, photography, creative writing
10th Grade Reading
10th Grade Writing
11th Grade Reading
11th Grade Writing
12th Grade Reading
12th Grade Writing
1st Grade Reading
1st Grade Writing
2nd Grade Reading
2nd Grade Writing
3rd Grade Reading
3rd Grade Writing
4th Grade Reading
4th Grade Writing
5th Grade Reading
5th Grade Writing
6th Grade Reading
6th Grade Writing
7th Grade Reading
7th Grade Writing
8th Grade Reading
8th Grade Writing
9th Grade Reading
9th Grade Writing
College Level American History
College Level American Literature
College World History
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Writing
High School English
High School Geography
High School Level American History
High School Level American Literature
High School World History
High School Writing
Introduction to Fiction
Introduction to Poetry
Middle School Reading
Middle School Writing
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Everyone has their own unique learning style. The problem with classroom instruction is that a teacher does not have time to fully engage with each student and tailor instruction to their individual needs. I believe students learn best when they feel that they are being heard and understood on a personal, one-on-one level. I love tutoring, because it allows me to engage with students on that level and help them see ways of relating the material to their own interests and experience.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I feel that it is very important to spend some time getting to know a student. I want to know what they are struggling with academically, but I also want to know about who they are, their interests, aspirations, and outlook on life. Developing a more personal rapport with students helps me to give them the kind of individualized attention that leads to greater progress. Of course, many students are looking for a limited number of tutoring sessions and are working with deadlines and upcoming tests or assessments, so it is also important to me that we make a good deal of progress in the first session towards the student's learning goals.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
One of the greatest values of tutoring is that it can serve to equip students with learning skills that last for a lifetime. Whether I am helping a student prepare for a specific test, improve their writing, or helping them progress in a certain subject, I like to try to focus part of our time on broader strategies that will be of use to them throughout their education and beyond. I believe that the most important thing that a student can do to become an independent learner is to learn how to engage with the material on a personal level. Sometimes this can be difficult to accomplish, but once a student is able to find connections between the material and their own interests and experience, it becomes much easier for them to forge their own path going forward.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Sometimes it takes work to find the motivation to excel in a subject. It doesn't always come naturally. But motivation is the difference between forcing yourself to memorize information and really engaging with the material. When working with students who have problems with motivation, I believe it is crucially important to discuss short and long-term goals and establish a plan of action towards achieving those goals by means of incremental steps. When the student can pause to see the progress they have made, step by step, the learning process becomes more manageable and motivation comes more easily, because it is clear that we are moving together in the right direction.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
There can be a variety of reasons that a student is struggling with a particular skill or concept. In my experience, though, the two most frequent problems are that the student is not receiving enough personal guidance in the classroom setting, or they are unable to relate to the material. This is why we have tutors! In a one-on-one setting, I am confident in my ability to help students work through their difficulties by drawing connections between the material and their own personal interests and experiences. Once these connections become apparent, I find that students are more open to the material and are typically able to make the kinds of breakthroughs that don't happen in a crowded classroom.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
When working with students who struggle with reading comprehension, I find that a good first step is to slow down and take the pressure off. It is easy for students to become flustered and anxious when facing a difficult passage. But students who learn to take their time, breaking up the material into smaller segments and methodically identifying key structures and ideas, come to find reading more manageable and more fun. This may initially slow the process down, but once these techniques are mastered, both speed and comprehension are improved.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
When starting work with a new student, I like to spend a little bit of time getting to know them. On a personal level, I like to get some details about their interests, hobbies, and background. In terms of the material we are addressing, I like to get a clear picture of where they are presently and what they want to achieve over the course of our time working together. With this information, I am able to establish a good rapport with the student and formulate a plan for the most effective use of our time. Of course, I also feel it is very important to dive into the material as soon as possible, so that the student can begin to see progress and results. I like to really try to pack a lot into my first session with a student, because it tends to set the tone for the rest of our time together.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
It can be hard for a student to be excited about a subject, when the material feels foreign or detached from the context of their personal experience. For this reason, I always seek to help students to identify connections between the material and their own lives. Once a student sees how a subject intersects with their interests and experiences, they are often able to approach the material with renewed engagement and enthusiasm. I have seen students go from complete disinterest in a topic to passionate engagement, simply by broadening their perspective!
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
My goal in tutoring students is to make real, lasting progress. So, it is important to stop at regular intervals for review and reinforcement. I like to begin each session with a brief discussion of what was covered last time, in order to lay a foundation for new material and ensure that the progress we have made is sticking. I also feel it is important, particularly when preparing for standardized testing, to work with practice materials that can allow us to evaluate where a student stands and determine whether we need to double back and review.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
A lack of confidence can be a real stumbling block for many students. I try to address this issue by working with students to establish not only an overarching goal they are seeking to achieve, but also smaller objectives they can accomplish along the way. That way, students have benchmarks they can look to as a evidence of their progress. Clear evidence of the improvements they have made can help students gain confidence in their ability to succeed at larger goals.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
There are a number of steps involved in getting a good idea of what a student needs. It is of course important to dialogue with the student and their parents about where they stand with the material and what they would like to achieve. It is also useful to see work samples or practice tests so that I can evaluate where the student may be struggling and identify what techniques and strategies we should focus on. I think it is very important to thoroughly evaluate a student's needs in the very first session so that our time together can be as effectively spent as possible.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
The wonderful thing about tutoring is that the learning experience can be customized to the needs of the individual student. In a one-on-one tutoring setting, it is possible for me to identify exactly where a student is struggling and zero in on those facets of the content. But my attitude is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every student I have ever worked with has been different, and each one has helped me to broaden the tools and strategies at my disposal. I work hard to customize instruction for each individual student based on what they are struggling with, what their goals are, and how they view themselves and the world.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Before a tutoring session, I like to find out what materials the student already has. We can usually work with those materials, although for SAT prep I prefer that the student has a copy of either a popular test prep book. Beyond this, I like for students to have a dedicated notebook for our sessions so that they can easily look back on what we have covered and keep track of the progress they have made.