I am a native of Baltimore- I attended Gilman School for elementary through High school, and went to Dartmouth College for my undergraduate studies. I double majored in Environmental Studies and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Mandarin Chinese), and graduated with high honors. My tutoring philosophy is to focus on inquiry and engagement with the student to increase comprehension and enthusiasm for any materials. While my specialties are Mandarin Chinese and the environmental sciences, I have a deep enthusiasm for English, writing, grammar, history, and test preparation. I look forward to working with students of all ages to expand their knowledge and love of learning!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Dartmouth College - Bachelors, Environmental Studies & Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Cooking, Gardening, Knitting, Reading, and olympic-style weightlifting
College Computer Science
High School Computer Science
Mandarin Chinese 1
Mandarin Chinese 3
Mandarin Chinese 4
Technology and Computer Science
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy centers around engagement and inquiry focused on the student. Ask them to explain, describe, or puzzle out the material in their own words, and you can often find inroads to deeper understanding, or where more attention/tutoring is needed.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, I will seek to get to know the student. I would like to know their current academic goals and situation, where they feel they need the most help, and what they want from me. I would also like to review textbooks, homework, and other materials together so I understand the teaching aims of their class/school/instructor.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The best way to encourage a student to become an independent learning is to help them find their own enthusiasm and fascination for a given subject. I hope to do this by asking the student what areas of the subject attract them, sharing my own enthusiasm for learning, and helping make challenging areas easier so they can enjoy the breadth of the topic at hand.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
If a student if feeling discouraged or frustrated, a number of tactics can be employed. First, give them manageable pieces of work or reviews, so they are accomplishing a set goal. Secondly, always try to engage any aspects of the subject that enthuse or interest the student, while still focusing on overcoming challenges. Finally, help the student learn how to manage breaks or change focus to another problem or work, so they can return to whatever is challenging them with a fresh mind.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try multiple ways to engage the same skill or concept. If the traditional or textbook methods are not working, trying visual, physical, or audible types of explanations of the concept may be in order. Asking the student to explain their understanding of the skill or concept may also reveal where the misunderstanding is, and enable us to solve the problem together.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I believe the main concern with addressing reading comprehension is comfort and ease with reading and the material. If the challenge was mechanical (grammar, spelling, slow reading, etc.) I would break those down with the student before asking them to re-read a passage. If the problem was more content or engagement with the material, I would try to find ways to make the reading more exciting and comprehensible to the student.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
My two favorite strategies are listening and asking questions. Allowing the student to speak for themselves begins to create trust and sense of agency. I want to understand the needs of the student, and to help them feel the success of taking apart and solving a problem.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would ask the student if there are any aspects of the subject that appeal to them, especially outside of a particular piece of homework or reading. If they are still frustrated, I might try to share some personal anecdotes about why I think the subject is fun or fascinating. Detaching the subject from the frustration, and then using a hopefully newfound interest, will allow the student to address the problem in a new light.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would ask a student to explain their reasoning on a handful of sample problems or homework questions. In a language learning setting, I might have small conversations or ask the student to use new words or constructions in a sentence.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
You build a student's confidence by setting realistic and obtainable goals and benchmarks, testing and engaging to ensure they understand their progress, and always striving to keep the material fresh and interesting for them.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I would consult with the student, their parents or guardians, and, if needed, their teachers or school administrators. I would also try to do a short evaluation with the student (go over a piece of homework or ask a few 'quiz' questions), and use both of these sets of inputs to make a plan for the student.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I try to understand the learning mode of the student (reading, writing, verbal, physical, etc.), and use teaching and evaluation techniques that fit with that student. I also try to understand the student's subjects or concepts that are particularly challenging, and seek to assist and challenge them in these areas to ensure they are gaining important knowledge.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I typically use pen/pencil, a legal pad, grid paper, and a small whiteboard to illustrate concepts. In certain subjects (like language tutoring), I might use audio or video files to practice listening comprehension or assist in speaking practice.