In 2012, I graduated with honors from Arizona State University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences, and I plan to apply for doctoral programs in neuroscience next year.
I taught small-group study sessions for BIO 101 and 102 as an "SI study group leader" for three years at ASU. I have also worked as a teaching assistant for a college composition course and a biostatistics course, as well as a independant tutor in math, biology, history, and standardized test prep.
More than any other experience, the three years as an SI leader helped me grow my leadership and tutoring skills, as well as my love of teaching. SI leaders use the challenges posed by high-risk/high-failure courses to guide undergraduates to discover, not just "what to learn," but also "how to learn." Knowing how to learn and how to obtain information is a skill demonstrated by multiple research studies to predict success in advanced classwork as well as in post-academic careers.
I prepared the session plans and created new study materials for my students, which I then used to guide students in the study groups. My goal for each session was to get students collaborating in a focused manner, learning how to teach themselves and teach others based on the resources at hand. As these study sessions were voluntary for students, I might work with 1 student or 20 students in a session - sometimes as many as 100 students would attend before exams!
Teaching students how to teach themselves is my primary goal as a tutor. I might only see a student for 1 or 2 hours each week, and I want to make sure they can apply skills they develop with me to the time they study alone. I also love finding uncovering unique ways to help students make their learning relatable and retainable. Understanding is always more permanent than memorizing!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Arizona State University - Bachelors, Biological Sciences
ACT English: 34
ACT Math: 30
ACT Reading: 34
GRE Quantitative: 158
GRE Verbal: 170
Dance, hiking, costume making, yoga, travel, archery, (and more dance!)
10th Grade Math
10th Grade Reading
10th Grade Writing
11th Grade Math
11th Grade Reading
11th Grade Writing
12th Grade Math
12th Grade Reading
12th Grade Writing
7th Grade Science
8th Grade Math
8th Grade Reading
8th Grade Science
8th Grade Writing
9th Grade Math
9th Grade Reading
9th Grade Writing
Anatomy & Physiology
College Level American Literature
GRE Subject Test in Biology
GRE Subject Test in Psychology
GRE Subject Tests
High School Biology
High School Chemistry
High School English
High School Level American Literature
High School Writing
History of Science
Middle School Reading
Middle School Science
Middle School Writing
MCAT Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Answering a student's question is important, but even more important is helping them to figure out how to answer their own questions. The ability to *effectively and efficiently* find information for themselves can help students in college and beyond!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During the first five minutes or so, I don't actually "talk shop." I like to spend a little time getting to know the student - we're going to spend a lot of time together, so I'd love to know what kind of person they are! I hope to help the student and the parents feel comfortable with me, because this rapport can carry us through the potentially difficult academic times ahead. Then, I want to hear in the student's own words what they're struggling with *and* where they're comfortable. The homework or the test is just a symptom, so I want to get a better feel for where they stand regarding the class and their general academics. Each student has a unique experience and learning style, and the first session is invaluable research time to be able to craft the most useful future tutoring sessions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I generally don't directly answer easy questions, unless the student is discouraged, frustrated, or very confused. Instead, I will gently guide them to find the answer for themselves using their available resources. These might be books, notes, or Google, depending on the age of the student. Additionally, I like to work with students to help them come up with their own unique and individualized study plan for material, depending on the way their own unique brain learns.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Every student has goals, whether they're close or long-range. I like to casually ask them about their goals during the beginning of each session. Additionally, I like to develop a friendly and caring mentor relationship with students - often, I've found that if they feel like the people around them care enough to make a few jokes and ask about their lives, in addition to staying focused on the task at hand, students are more likely to put in hard work and stay positive.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
My number 1 technique is to have a student explain difficult concepts to me (or other students in the study groups). Teaching is the number one way to deeply understand and retain information!
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
All the resources available! I ask students to bring their notes, their books, and preferably a laptop where they'll have access to Google. In addition, I bring my session plans, which will likely include materials such as blank matricides or other study aids.