I just graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a minor in Education. I've decided to take a couple of years off before I pursue a PhD in Animal Behavior and chase after my crazy dream of becoming the next Jane Goodall. Somehow, I ended up moving to San Diego. Before I go on to delineate my experiences teaching and working as a tutor as outlined in my resume, I would like to introduce to you an education concept that I have adopted and has resonated with my teaching style: growth mindset
Growth mindset: developed by psychologist Carol Dweck where one believes that their basic abilities and skills can be learned through dedication and hard work. In other words, learning is not fixed. There is no such thing as being "intelligent" vs. "unintelligent", "good at math" vs "bad at math." I agree wholeheartedly with this idea that anyone with the right amount of determination and support can learn; I am constantly molding my teaching approaches so that for every student I work with, I am fostering and adhering to this principle.
As a tutor working at various local after school programs in the Durham community, I often taught mathematics, science, and sometimes reading and writing to students in grades 3-12. I learned that I must have an understanding of how to work with a body of diverse minds; therefore, I became proficient in making personal connections with my students. I was able to research and innovate new teaching styles that catered to my students’ personal interests and curiosities to effectively engage their diverse learning styles. Because of my dedication to the education community, I was presented the D.T. Stalling's Award for making a "significant and sustained contribution to children in Durham."
I also traveled to Kenya through the DukeEngage summer immersive program to teach science, literacy, and math to primary school students in an unfamiliar setting and under conditions with little resources. This experience has transformed me into a flexible and resourceful worker, able to adapt under any circumstance. My service also required collaboration with local educators to connect and share teaching styles to strategically develop daily lesson plans tangent to a pre-established curriculum. I have learned how to design lessons with low resource demands that are still engaging and stimulating, to ensure maximal learning in my students.
Through my experiences, I've learned that my strength as an educator comes from creating genuine connections with my students and using their outside references or familiarities as connections to help them understand certain concepts. Learning can be fun; I always adapt my teaching style to ensure the student is truly mastering concepts in an enjoyable way.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Duke University - Bachelors, Biology, General
Animal conservation, dancing, hiking, kayaking, bike riding, snowboarding, traveling
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Growth mindset: developed by psychologist Carol Dweck where one believes that their basic abilities and skills can be learned through dedication and hard work. In other words, learning is not fixed. There is no such thing as being "intelligent" vs. "unintelligent" "good at math" vs "bad at math." I agree wholeheartedly with this idea that anyone with the right amount of determination and support can learn; I am constantly molding my teaching approaches so that for every student I work with, I am fostering and adhering to this principle.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I believe the best way to make a student become a lifelong learner is to encourage them to explore their curiosities and creativity. I believe these are some of the many core concepts that educe a yearning for expanding one's mind and knowledge. Learning to explore the world in the best way YOU can.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I highly suggest maintaining diverse temporal goals: weekly, monthly, yearly. Those help someone stay motivated to complete and achieve short-term tasks and successes. However, I also like to put emphasis on our far-fetched dreams and goals, focusing on the possibility of them and the fun one can have while seeking to obtain them. Having fun goals like these makes the workload seem less daunting.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
The best thing to do in this situation is to analyze what approach you or the student is using to understand this concept, cross it out, and find a new way. Perhaps a child does not understand the piece of pie or pizza analogy for understanding fractions and may need to make another connection. Researching different ways to teach certain concepts in an engaging and enjoyable way is crucial, I believe.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
READ OUT LOUD. HIGHLIGHT. ASK QUESTIONS. I have had pretty good success working with young students and improving their reading comprehension by teaching them to read out loud and interrupt themselves to ask questions and make predictions. Reading out loud and underlining words or phrases helps to make the content clearer. Asking questions helps students to think beyond the text, which is a necessary skill.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Establishing trust is always my first priority when I begin working with a student. There are many credible and well-researched papers that stress the importance of building trust between leaders and their constituents. This exists at all levels, whether it be at a school administration level, or a simple one-to-one/tutor-tutee level.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
In order to help a student become engaged, I must first make a connection with the student and familiarize myself with their interests and personal curiosities. If I can find a way to connect something they enjoy outside of academics and tie that in with a subject, then the student can learn the material in an enjoyable way.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Practice makes perfect! Oftentimes I will supplement extra questions to make sure that the student is not relying on rote learning or memory to answer questions, but actually masters the material. These questions are also adaptive, starting off easy and increasing in difficulty.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Along with my teaching philosophy, I will ensure the student understands what a growth mindset is, and that there is no such thing as a bad or unintelligent student. Oftentimes, this requires a great deal of patience and flexibility. The key is to instill the mindset that one's successes are intrinsic, and not extrinsic.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Starting off the process by asking the student directly in what ways they feel most comfortable learning. However, adaptation comes mostly from trial and error. I understand that some strategies will work on some students, but not others, and you must explore other options. I often research new teaching styles, and also refer to some of my education professors for advice.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
This really depends on the student. A visual learner might prefer materials for drawing, photographs, etc., as an example. I do not have a set of materials that are guaranteed to help tutoring every child.