I attend the prestigious New York University where I continue my studies toward a degree in Creative Writing and Marketing. As a former contributing writer and editor for The Source Magazine and Bleu Magazine, I have covered stories in art, culture and politics. Whenever I am not writing, I perform as a poet on the college circuit or mentor students in the art of writing and performing poetry as part of Citizen Schools - an after school apprenticeship program for middle school children. I aspire to one day become a professor in English and Literature in hopes of spreading my passion for language to the next generation of young minds. I hope to continue to connect people through the power of words and storytelling.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to make each subject applicable to life as we know it. Once we're able to see how literature and poetry already surrounds us, we're able to have fun with it and appreciate it more.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, I like to learn about the student's interests and how they best learn. This helps us to develop common ground and helps me to have a better idea of how to help that particular student to excel.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
When it comes to writing, nothing helps students to become independent in their craft more than keeping a journal. It's the best way to become a better writer, without the pressure of an assignment.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I like to provide words of encouragement to my students to keep them motivated.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I'm a very patient instructor. So if a student is having difficulty with learning a skill or concept, I have no problem providing different examples to help the student grasp the concept. Once they feel confident in their own understanding, we can continue on to the next topic.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension is one of my strong suits. I have a lot of tips and tricks that are guaranteed to not only work, but make reading fun again for the student.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I like to use outside materials, such as news articles, poetry anthologies, and grammar websites to provide students with other tools that can potentially enhance their writing.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The strategies that I find to be most successful when starting to work with a student would be getting to know the student's interests and hobbies. Most of the time, we're able to find a way to apply the task at hand to what they already like. This keeps them motivated and provides some real-world application, which means that the lesson is more likely to stick with them.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I like to have students explain the material back to me in their own words and with their own examples to be sure that they understand the material. Parroting back information doesn't really indicate a real understanding. But when a student is able to "teach" me the material using their own words, it lets me know that they not only understand the material, they now can actually relate to it.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I offer a lot of words of encouragement when it comes to teaching. I like for students to think of me as not just a teacher or tutor, but really as their personal cheering squad. This is a great way to build their confidence by shifting the focus toward what they're doing right, and how we can improve on that so that it's even better.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's needs by gaining a little information from parents, as well as by talking to the student. This helps me to get a clear picture of the areas in which the student is struggling.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I'm a very flexible person. I credit this to always being open to feedback and learning from that feedback. I like to check in with the student regularly during the tutoring session to see whether I'm making sense to them, or if they need me to explain something further. Then, I keep notes from each session to remind myself what works best for each particular student.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would help a student get excited about a subject that they are struggling in by helping them to relate it to something that they already like. For example, in writing, there are a lot of examples of poetry and essays that can be found in a student's favorite song, novel, or even a magazine. Sometimes stepping away from traditional material and applying the lesson to their current interests can help students see why we continue to learn these subjects even today.