I love tutoring Latin, Greek, and English. I strive to be attentive to how my students express themselves and always aim to present material in a way that is in sync with how they learn. This has allowed students I've worked with to feel comfortable opening up about their interests and frustrations with me so that I can make a subject more relevant to them and create more motivation to learn. I always try to gear the way I teach to my students' learning styles and make them feel less self-conscious and more confident about making mistakes and explaining their thought process. I am good at convincing my students that they will see more rewards from their persistence. I have worked with several students who were scoring in the seventies on tests and quizzes when I started working with them who then began to see dramatic results with scores in the nineties in a fairly short time.
I make use of various tools like mnemonic devices and English word derivatives to make vocabulary and form-memorization easier. I also have students draw charts showing the patterns and similarities among various noun and verb endings they need to know so they can truly master these fundamentals of the language.
Though I went on to earn a degree in Latin and Greek literature in college, I really think my passionate interest in this subject was nurtured and allowed to thrive because of the extremely solid foundation I received in Latin grammar from one outstanding high school teacher. I hope to emulate his outstanding teaching ability and allow others to succeed the way he allowed me.
I've tutored students in Latin and Greek for over 10 years. I received a perfect score on the National Latin Exam and Latin SAT II and am familiar with preparing students for these exams, as well as for AP Latin.
Some highlights of my educational and teaching background are that I've graduated from Reginald Foster's demanding program in Rome for the practice of oral Latin and daily sight reading and obtained my B.A. with honors in Greek and Latin literature. I also did post-graduate training with Dr. Stephen Daitz, the foremost scholar on the classical pronunciation of ancient Greek and Latin. I received an award for being the highest ranking student in Greek and Latin Literature in my college's classics department. I am a former member of the American Classical League and have attended some of their national conferences and seminars on the teaching of Latin. I also have experience creating educational materials for intermediate students of Latin online for a website that publishes full length texts in foreign languages and uses editors to write different types of explanatory material and educational glosses to aid students' reading.
I look forward to helping you meet your specific goals.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University at Buffalo - Bachelors, Greek and Latin literature
SAT Verbal: 720
cooking & baking, gardening, fermenting, movies, travelling and couchsurfing, art history, bowling, working out/weight training, alternative economies and prefigurative politics
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I like to be attentive to how my students express themselves, and always aim to present material in a way that is in sync with how they learn. This has allowed students I've worked with to feel comfortable opening up about their interests and struggles with me, so that I can make the subject more relevant to them and create more motivation to learn. I always try to gear the way I teach to my students' learning styles, and make them feel less self-conscious and more confident about making mistakes and explaining their thought process. I am also good at convincing my students that they will see more rewards from their persistence. I have worked with several students scoring in the seventies on tests and quizzes when I started working with them, who then began to see dramatic results with scores in the nineties in a fairly short time. One even went on to minor in Classics. I use various tools like mnemonic devices and thinking of English word derivatives to make vocabulary and form-memorization easier. I also have students draw charts showing the patterns and similarities among various noun and verb endings they need to know, so they can truly master these fundamentals.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Give the student wide-ranging examples to assess what her strengths and weaknesses are, and ask the student to tell me herself, i.e. give a self assessment. I would also like to start to establish a rapport by asking about and sharing interests, hobbies, and personal backgrounds.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can give the student techniques to study more effectively, and to tackle repeatedly difficult topics on her own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would try to relate the subject to something he/she is interested in, and work on making the subject feel less arduous by tracking the student's points of struggle in understanding.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would seek alternate explanations, both from other texts and my own knowledge, and provide constant reinforcement in the form of targeted exercises.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
First, I encourage students to become aware of how much of a passage they understand, and which particular sentences or sections they find difficult, by asking them to summarize the passage and answer other comprehension questions. I also ask them to tell me their areas of difficulty, and through repetition of this practice encourage the student to become more aware of her comprehension level as she is reading. Secondly, I teach the student to hone in on key thematic words, and words of emotion, that signal the author's tone as keys to helping understand a reading passage. I also emphasize that having a strong grasp of the passage's vocabulary, i.e. knowing securely what every word in the passage means, aids in understanding the passage as a whole. Likewise, I explain common literary devices such as metaphor and hyperbole that appear in a reading passage, and explain what effects they are commonly used to achieve so that the student may be able to identify them on her own in the future, and use this knowledge to aid her overall understanding of a reading.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
It has been useful to me to find out about a student's interests, and attempt to relate the subject I'm tutoring as much as possible to those interests (something fairly easy to do with another language because you are studying another culture, and with that, the wide range of interests and activities humans engage in). Clear and transparent communication is also extremely important to me. I want to know from the very beginning what your expectations are for your tutoring sessions, and discuss with you what we both need to do in order to meet them. I like to have this conversation in my very first session. I also like to know what your expectations of me are so that I have a complete opportunity to meet them rather than operating in the dark. Lastly, I think monitoring your strengths and weaknesses, as well as your progress, should and can begin with our very first session. I will start to give you feedback at the end of our first session, and continue at the end of every session after.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Firstly, I will strive to provide you with strategies for making the subject less of a struggle through the use of mnemonic devices, form charts, and alternate explanations. I will also relate the subject to your interests as much as I can, and find additional information outside the text you are working with to do that.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I ask students to summarize material in their own words and relate different concepts to each other. I also provide reinforcement exercises on the same topic to assess comprehension before moving on.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I like to build student confidence by acknowledging the difficulty of certain concepts and explaining that I didn't master them overnight myself, despite being a tutor, and that they'll be rewarded by their persistence. I also like to use positive reinforcement and call attention to your strengths and learning improvements.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's needs by keeping records, i.e. creating data, on the types of questions or concepts someone struggles with, and by asking a student herself what she feels she needs the most help with.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt my tutoring by being receptive to an individual student's learning style. This can take the form of using more mnemonic devices with you if you are a stronger auditory learner, or more charts and diagrams and inspiring visuals if you are more visual. What's paramount, though, is for me to actively listen to you and heed your feedback when you indicate your needs, whether directly or indirectly.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I love to use word comparison charts, mnemonic devices, examples of Latin and Greek in modern culture, English literature in modern culture, and striking or impressive pictures of art. I also draw upon students' knowledge of English vocabulary to find English derivatives of Greek and Latin words.