Patience is one of the key ingredients to an excellent tutor. Keeping the student calm, relaxed, and comfortable is easy if he/she is not intimidated by the tutor's knowledge and he/she does not feel rushed to learn the subject instantaneously. Learning takes time and patience. By role modeling patience and confidence, the student will have a better chance of finding the confidence and the courage it takes to excel in difficult subjects. This is what I can bring as a tutor. I am patient and encouraging, and have unique/ fun tutoring techniques that I am positive will help the student to learn. I have many years of experience tutoring (starting in High School), and have learned that my passion for student success, my outgoing spirit, and my enthusiasm and optimism has helped several students to find confidence in themselves to succeed in an area of study that once seemed inconceivable to learn.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Kansas - Bachelors, French & Linguistics
Graduate Degree: Trinity College Dublin; New York University - Masters, MSc International Politics; MA French Studies
Sports, Wine Enthusiast, Travel, Fitness
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that if a tutor can ensure confidence in the student, he/she can conquer subject areas that were once highly challenging. My goal is to make all students feel comfortable and confident in these subject areas, ultimately leading to success!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In order to have an effective tutoring session, the tutor must get to know the student. In a typical first session, I will ask the student questions about themselves to get to know them better. From there, I will proceed by getting to know their study patterns and what they are finding most challenging about the subject area. I want to help fill in the gaps where the student feels the least confident and then work from there.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I train self-sustainable strategies with students. If I simply correct the mistakes, a student will not learn. It is about having the students be able to identify their mistake and to apply learning strategies in order to prevent it from happening in the future. I want to work with the student to help him/her reach their maximum capabilities.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Each tutoring session, I would make sure to show the improvement the student has made over the tutoring sessions. If he/she can see improvement, then it helps motivate the student to want to keep going.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I have tricks and strategies that I have learned over my academic life that I would share with my students. Some students are visual learners; some are more interactive learners, and some are better listeners, depending on the student. I would work with their strengths in order to achieve success.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Practice makes perfect. Reading comprehension is a difficult skill that I have had to master over the last decade myself. I would train the student to identify keywords in both the text and in the questions that follow. Once these are identified, underline and look for them throughout the text. It makes it easier and more efficient. Like I said, it takes practice, and patience is key with reading comprehension. This is what I will bring to the tutoring session - patience and encouragement.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Identify his/her academic needs and learning strategies. Make the tutoring session fun and light hearted and not something that the student dreads to attend. Show progress. Be patient. Be encouraging. I have been tutored in areas that are not my strong suit, so I have been on the other side of the story. I learned from this that making mistakes is good and that tutors should always encourage and never make him/her feel like their academic weaknesses are bad or will never get better. I am optimistic, bubbly, and encouraging, and I make students feel safe and comfortable in difficult subject areas.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
It is hard for me to stay focused on school when it is boring. I make tutoring sessions fun and lighthearted, while valuable and efficient. Success does not happen overnight; it is a slow process. But, by showing progress after every tutoring session, the student will feel more excited about his/her new acquired skill set! It is fun to watch!
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Music, text, test strategies, and visuals. There are many ways to ensure that a student understands the material, depending on the best learning strategies for the students. I have several ways to practice with students to make sure they feel confident and comfortable with the material they are learning.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Baby steps. It does not happen overnight, and even for tutors, it is a long process to conquer a subject. Being real about this process is something that I think students like. Unrealistic expectations can make a student feel less confident should he/she not achieve these expectations. Baby steps are the best way to build confidence, meaning I celebrate both big and small victories with the students.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I would start this process in the beginning and continually evaluate throughout the tutoring sessions. Student's needs fluctuate throughout the process. Each tutoring session, I would ask the student for feedback since the last tutoring session. From here, I would ask regular questions about what he/she has felt confident/discouraged about. Knowing this, each session will allow me to assess the needs and build from there.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I do not want to focus our short sessions on how to improve in an area in which the student is already comfortable. I want to use the sessions to work on areas where he/she needs help. Each week this may vary. I will have several tutoring strategies (listening, reading, writing, practice, test prep, test strategies, etc.) ready and will implement the necessary one(s) depending on the student's needs.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
This depends on the student. I am a visual learner, so I like to use examples, YouTube videos, test prep papers, etc. I think music is a great way to remember certain subject areas (e.g., languages for listening comprehension). I believe that hands-on work, especially with real life examples, is the best way to learn.