I received a degree in anthropology and psychology from Texas A&M University in December 2014. After graduation, I lived in Uganda for three months and taught literacy skills and self-empowerment classes to marginalized women. I now live in Salt Lake City and work with Unaccompanied Refugee Minors—refugee children who have been placed in American foster care by the United Nations. I teach cultural understanding and behavioral management to foster parents and children every day. I love teaching and learning and hope to inspire others to become lifelong learners.
I believe that learning begins at birth. From learning to walk and talk to learning French and statistics, the brain’s journey is the same. I believe in a motivational approach to learning and encouraging students. I think that our strengths and weaknesses should not define what we are skilled at but should help us develop skills across subject matters. For most of my academic career, I believed that I was bad at math and science because I excelled in writing and literature. One day, my AP Calculus teacher explained a complicated mathematical concept in terms that my literary side understood. She taught me that all subjects are understandable when they relate to information you already have. I have adopted this teaching strategy and focus on explaining concepts based on subjects that students have already mastered. I believe the best way to master a subject is to teach it to someone else, so my goal is to create teachers.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Texas A & M University-College Station - Bachelors, Anthropology & Psychology
ACT Composite: 33
ACT English: 36
ACT Math: 30
ACT Reading: 36
ACT Science: 30
SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1450
Reading and excercising
High School English
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
I approach teaching with the goal to create another teacher. I believe that you should understand concepts enough to explain them to your fellow classmates. To do this, I will focus on your strengths and your learning style, and make the information relevant to your interests.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In our first session, I want to get to know you! I'll ask you what in particular you are struggling to understand and why you believe that you're having hard a time. I want to know what you do outside of school and what you hope to gain from your education. To me, you're more than a face on a screen. You're a future leader of your community, and I want to make sure you're equipped with the information you'll need for success.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
There is no end to the amount of information that is available to help students learn independently. The key is to look for quality information. I will teach you study skills and give you references for independent pursuit of knowledge. I believe that an independent learner is a lifelong learner.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I am a firm believer in setting attainable goals and instituting a reward system. I will help the student see the immediate rewards for learning by focusing on small and incremental improvements, and achieving realistic goals.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student is having difficulty learning a concept, I ask him to explain to me what he does understand so far. This helps us isolate the problem and ensures that he focuses on the positives--how much he does know--instead of the frustration. If he does not understand any of the concepts, then I rethink my approach to the material. I believe that the burden of mastery lies with me. If I teach the student a skill in a manner that he can understand, then he will master it.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension can seem scary at first glance. I tell students to take it one sentence at a time. I have them write their own summary of each paragraph based on their understanding of each sentence. Comprehension of a passage can be reduced to comprehension of a sentence. I start small and teach students to focus on each detail before they focus on the bigger picture.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I've found that identifying a student's strengths is one of the most effective ways to relate material when I first begin working with a student. Strengths give me a reference point to teach from and also reveal weaknesses without focusing on the negative.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
The best way to engage an uninterested student varies as much the personalities of the students. I might find a way to make the subject more fun, find a relatable comparison or institute certain rewards.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I ask my students to solve a problem or question while narrating their thoughts. That way, I can make sure they're not just guessing the correct answer but have actually mastered the concept.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
As previously mentioned, I believe in focusing on students' strengths. I believe in praise and celebration for developing new strengths.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I believe that the student knows herself the best. I ask her to tell me where she is struggling and why. When a student understands why she is unable to master material, it increases her willingness to work.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I tailor examples and explanations to match a student's interests, strengths and learning style. I don't believe in spending unnecessary time on material that the student understands. We will review concepts as necessary, but will focus on information that has yet to be mastered.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
The type of material depends on the subject. We will use practice questions, illustrations, examples and other tools provided by the platform. If a special need arises, we will adapt and use materials to address the need.