I am thrilled to offer tutoring services because I deeply enjoy helping students find ways to personally connect with given subject matter. Working one-on-one with students allows me to tailor my approach to individual learning styles (aural, logical, verbal, visual, kinesthetic, or, as is most often the case, a combination). Not only does focusing on learning style lead to effective learning and retention, but it also helps students recognize how they best learn so that they can utilize those strengths and methods in other scenarios as well. My goal as a tutor is not just to see students through one class or one specific assignment, although, of course, those situations do come into play. Rather, my overall mission is to help students build skills, confidence, and self-awareness so that they can continue to succeed and evolve as learners for the rest of their lives.
As a teacher with a background in the humanities, I specifically bring to the table in-depth knowledge of how to structure and execute written compositions and public presentations. I love working with students to organize their ideas so that they can present their thoughts, insights, and opinions in the best possible light. Very often, a students difficulty with writing papers or preparing presentations has nothing to do with a lack of information or ideasit simply has to do with not knowing how to arrange or communicate those ideas. As a tutor, I can help students develop techniques for creating outlines and structuring their thoughts so that they are able to handle composition and presentation assignments with confidence.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Reed College - Bachelors, Theatre Arts
Graduate Degree: Towson University - Masters, Theatre Arts
dogs, reading, jewelry making, hiking/walking, theatre, directing
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Find a way to make it fun!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
We'd get to know each other by asking questions, set a reasonable goal for what we want to accomplish in that session, talk a little bit about what we might want to accomplish overall in our time together, then dig in and get to work!
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Everyone has their own way of thinking and learning. I believe that identifying your way is the key to becoming an independent learner. Why should you learn like someone else--you should learn like you.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Sometimes work is hard. Sometimes it's boring. Sometimes it's frustrating. I think acknowledging that, and not trying to sugar coat it, is important. If we push through those parts, though, there's always something on the other side. Maybe it's a break (yay!), or maybe it's an insight that you never would have gotten to without putting your head down and slogging through.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
We all have stuff that's hard for us. When we hit a skill or concept that doesn't seem to make sense, it can be useful to take a second and see if there's a different way to approach it. Very often (and sometimes with some outside help), we can find a way in that makes sense just by changing our approach. And, if that doesn't work, there's nothing wrong with taking a breather and coming back to it. Sometimes, having a fresh set of eyes makes all the difference.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Picking out keywords, looking at how an author structures what they say, and paraphrasing (putting into your own words) a piece of text are all great ways to work on reading comprehension.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Having students identify what they like and are good at is always my first step. That way, when we start working on things that aren't super easy, I can relate the work back to something they do know.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I believe that it's important to relate the subject matter to things that students care about or are interested in, especially if that subject matter is challenging or initially uninteresting to a student.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Asking questions along the way and having students explain concepts in their own words are two techniques that I use frequently to make sure that students understand and are confident in the material covered.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
When a subject is especially difficult, one of the best ways to approach it can be to break it down into the smallest possible units (a single idea, concept, or question at a time). That way, students can deal with just one piece, gain confidence in handling that single unit, and gradually put the whole picture together in a way that they understand.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Students themselves can often identify what they have trouble with, so having a conversation with them is my first step in evaluating their needs. What do they struggle with? What subjects do they like and dislike? What do they find interesting or boring? Gathering and interpreting this information will usually give a clear picture of what we need to work on in the tutoring sessions.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
As a tutor, it is my job to continually be in responsive conversation with my students so that I can tailor the tutoring approach to their needs. Do they need to have an idea of the big picture first before going into the details? Do they need to start with discrete pieces of information and build the overall picture from there? Do they need to drill and practice individual concepts? By regularly checking in with students and assessing how well they are taking in and retaining material, I can adjust my approach as needed so that the tutoring sessions best serve them.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I always have blank paper with me so that I can draw, diagram, or take down brainstorm thoughts as needed. When working with language it's often easy to get tied up in all the individual words. I find it very useful to be able to diagram ideas and concepts so that students can see how those building blocks fit together before delving into the individual words that make those ideas.