I believe that learning, like the rest of life, is meant to be savored. I personally do not enjoy learning information that I find boring, so I've made it my life goal to find a way to make everything interesting. My goal as an educator and as a human being is to find the wonder and humor in everything that I learn and teach. I would love to share this experience with you. I've spent over ten years educating informally as well as professionally in environments which range from K-12 classrooms and higher education to the zoo. I graduated with accolades from Florida State University with a degree in Biology, focused in Zoology, and am currently working on an MS in Biological Sciences at Texas A&M University Commerce. I love learning, and I think that together, we can make sure that you do, too! Outside of school I have tutored adult ESL students and worked as an editor in a writing center.
Professionally, I worked for three years as an educator and keeper at the Fort Worth Zoo, bringing animals into classrooms and providing programming about them to the public. After working briefly as a science educator in Dallas, I began tutoring for Varsity tutors in subjects ranging from K-16 life sciences, mathematics, and ACT prep. For the past four years, I have worked as a program coordinator and educator, building hands-on STEM outreach programs and college-preparatory/remedial mathematics programs through federal grant projects in Dallas. I have personally reached over 10,000 students in the four years of my work with hands-on STEM programming, but my proudest accomplishments have been the bonds I've built with students who swear I've "converted" them to a life of STEM through our work together.
As your tutor, I'd like to get to know you, your learning style and how we can work as a team to help you to reach your academic goals. I believe that the first step to success is the power of knowledge and there is no concept too complex or dry to be digested by any person. The key to learning is all in the presentation! When I am not teaching, I like to train animals, have adventures, run trails, and write short stories. My vices include baked chips and sour punch straws. I can make a mean lasagna and my mother thinks that I am very funny. Let's get together, talk about how we can help you to achieve your academic goals and enjoy the journey as well!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Florida State University - Bachelors, Biological Sciences
ACT English: 32
ACT English: 35
Reading, writing, swimming, animal training, eating candy, marine biology
3rd Grade Science
4th Grade Science
5th Grade Science
6th Grade Science
7th Grade Science
8th Grade Science
Anatomy & Physiology
Elementary School Science
High School Biology
High School Chemistry
Middle School Science
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that no concept is too complex or dry to be grasped by an individual. The key to understanding is in the presentation of the information. In order for a subject to be grasped, it needs to be made personal to the student, it has to be funny, it has to click. I teach in the way that I enjoy learning; I relate the information to what I know and love (cats, food, people), and I try to do the same for the individuals that I teach. I like to get to know my students and then cater learning not only to their learning style but their lifestyle and personality.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first thing that I like to do in a tutoring session is get to know the student and their goals. I can then make a plan as to what material to cover when, how in-depth to go, and how to make that material relevant to them. If there is a style of teaching that they know does not work for them, it's best to learn that from the get-go. It is also important to me to learn about the student personally, so that I can cater the way I teach to them. I want to know what is important to you personally so that I can work to make this information relevant to you, beyond a textbook or test. I like to build a friendly relationship with the people I teach because I find that a good rapport makes for a more trusting and powerful tutor-student relationship. I also like to set parameters for meeting times, when I can be reached and how to communicate with me for the convenience of myself and the student.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Helping a student to relate to the material that they are learning is a passion of mine. I think that if a student can find information that is relevant to their lives in their studies, they will be more connected and passionate not only about the subject but about learning in general.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I find that setting small, reasonable goals to build up to a big achievement is better than staring down a mountain of a pursuit. Let's take steps that are manageable in order to complete the journey, that way there are more successes to celebrate and more chances to check progress to make sure that all material is really being learned.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I enjoy the challenge of catering lessons to students, and that requires taking multiple approaches. For me, this means working through visual means, practicing problems/exams, and providing materials which make the skill or concept relevant to the student in their everyday life. I've written lessons entirely as visual concept maps, and have used pop culture (most notably Mean Girls and Internet memes) as a way of making learning fun and relevant.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Knowing the student's personal interests, skills and gaps in knowledge are the best way to address how to conquer a challenging subject. I find that beginning each lesson with a basic overview of the concepts, and then diving into specific details and putting them in the context of the big ideas and the student's life, is the best strategy for meeting academic goals.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I think that making subjects relevant to students by relating the subject to their interests and their lives is key to reaching their academic goals. I personally cannot learn if I am not engaged, so I enjoy personalizing lessons to make abstract concepts real and concrete ideas for my students. This can include relating information to sports, history, pop culture, food, animals, and other subjects that the student is learning.