A photo of Shannon, a tutor from St. John's College - Annapolis

Shannon

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I am a recent Portland transplant from the East Coast, along with my fiancee and our dog Max. I'm in the process of transitioning into a career in software development, and am currently attending a coding bootcamp downtown. When I'm not wrestling with Ruby and JavaScript, you can find me exploring Portland parks or hanging out reading and playing video games. I think I'm a great tutor because I genuinely love learning, no matter the subject, and I think that kind of passion for learning is contagious

Shannon’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: St. John's College - Annapolis - Bachelors, Liberal Arts

Test Scores

SAT Composite: 2290

SAT Math: 730

SAT Verbal: 800

SAT Writing: 760

Hobbies

Reading, video games, ice hockey

Tutoring Subjects

Algebra

Algebra 2

College Algebra

College English

College Essays

Comparative Literature

Elementary Math

Elementary School Math

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

Geometry

High School English

Homework Support

HTML

JavaScript

Literature

Math

Other

Pre-Algebra

PSAT Critical Reading

Reading

Ruby

SAT Prep

SAT Math

SAT Mathematics

SAT Reading

SAT Writing and Language

Technology and Computer Science

Test Prep


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I went to college and studied the classics, so my teaching method tends to align with the Socratic method of prompting the student with step-by-step questions. When needed, though, I can explain concepts in a brief overview.

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

In the first session, we'll go over what the student's goals for tutoring are, and discuss the student's general strengths and weaknesses with the subject, so I can get an overview and figure out the best approach. Then we'll jump right in.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

All learning is really done independently. As a tutor, my role is to help that process.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I like to try to structure problems into the context of a game, or use tv characters when illustrating examples (ex. so if Stewie is chasing Lois at 5mph, and... ).

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

We'd break down the problem to its most basic pieces and figure out where the disconnect is. Often the best way to do this is to have the student explain to me how they think the concept works (even if they're just guessing). By asking questions, I can figure out what they have down and what they're missing, and we can work from there.

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

It depends on the student, but it helps to have the student practice re-phrasing the sentence or paragraph after they've read it, so they get used to interpreting what they're reading as they read it. From there, we can build on them asking themselves questions about the reading as they're reading it, which is how we can begin to deeply analyze passages.

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

Often real-world examples and applications help students to reconnect with a subject they've become frustrated with. Fractions are boring and confusing, but splitting up pizza slices is fun.

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

Once the student thinks they've got it, I like to have them explain it all to me again, like I don't know anything about it. If they can teach someone how to use the concept correctly, they've definitely got it.

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

Often a student's lack of confidence in a subject comes from a feeling of being overwhelmed by complex concepts. Once we start breaking down concepts into their basic components, it's easy to see the subject as much more manageable, and your confidence begins to grow.

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

I like to get to know the student's goals and, especially if they're older (like high school age), I like to make it clear that I'm not here to tell them what to do, that it's really the other way around. I'm here to help them get the most out of their study time, and I'm relying on them to determine what is and is not helpful for them, and give me feedback as we go. Students who (correctly) see themselves as in charge of the session tend to have more motivation and stay focused longer.

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

Often I'll use the student's material, whether from a class or paper they're working on, or practice tests for an exam they're studying for. When I know a student needs extra practice on a particular concept, though, I'll bring in extra resources as well.

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

With high school-aged students in particular, I find the best approach is to work hand in hand with the student to figure out the best way for me to support their learning. When the student is aware of their own needs, it creates a much more collaborative atmosphere, and by taking an active role in the tutoring, students are positioned to achieve more in the study sessions.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I rely first and foremost on the student's own evaluation of their needs, but I do stay attuned to any needs that may be going overlooked as we continue.