I am in my 6th year teaching English at a private independent school in Pittsburgh where I also serve as the Associate Director of College Counseling. I like to practice what I preach, so I remain active as a freelance writer. My most recent article was published by the new Pittsburgh magazine 1839. I also compose and produce music. I am a former chair of the alumni schools committee for my alma mater, The University of Chicago, and I currently interview local applicants for admission each cycle. I simply love empowering youth---—especially through writing, and I spend much of my free time teaching summer programs and leading workshops on writing and the college process.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: The University of Chicago - Bachelors, Political Science and Government
Writing, composing and producing music, working out, fashion
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is holistic, multi disciplined, engaging, interactive, and very student-driven.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session for a student, I would ask a lot of questions in order to see where the student is and how I can best assist him or her.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student craft a customized and individualized plan to help him or her based on the student's needs.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
That truly depends on the student. Each student is different, but I like to use practice problems or come up with scenarios based on the student's interests (ex: music, sports, the arts).
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I have a ton of patience! I work with students every single day who may struggle with a concept, and I have found that having the student explain the concept to me is a great place to start. From there, I can assess where the gaps need to be filled in and come up with a great plan to help that student.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I begin by having a student break the reading into small chunks. From there, I ask the student to summarize a couple of sentences at a time. Then, I can help the student based on what he or she is missing.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
1) asking the students many questions 2) having the student "teach" me what he or she has learned
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Once again, I like to pull in my students' interests. For example, If a student is really into science, I try my best to integrate a lot of science-based examples into our practice problems.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
In my 6 years of teaching, I have found the most effective way to measure whether or not a student truly grasps the material is for him or her to teach it back to me.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
You can build a student's confidence in a subject by continually encouraging him or her, no matter how small or large the accomplishment/progress.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By asking a ton of questions, and also by simply doing grammar questions or reviewing an essay/the student's work with him or her.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I am very comfortable adapting my teaching style to a student's needs. I work at a small school where I do this on a daily basis. I'm very quick at assessing what the student needs and how I can best help him or her.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
For the most part, paper and a pen or pencil, although it depends on the assignment.