I have two MA degrees, one from St. John's University and one from the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies. My academic interests include English literature, cultural studies, and comparative and translated texts. I have several years' experience teaching Writing and Literature courses at the college level, along with many years of tutoring experience. While I primarily tutor writing and literature, I work with students across the humanities. I also provide general academic support as well, including note-taking skills, exam prep, homework help and study skills. I am passionate about education and building student confidence and believe that education is absolutely integral to leading a successful and fulfilling life. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, watching movies, cooking and baking, and spending time with my friends and family.
Undergraduate Degree: Saint Johns University - Bachelors, English
Graduate Degree: St. John's University - Masters, English
I like to try out new recipes and experience different kinds of cuisine. I like movies, crime TV shows (like Law & Order) and different kinds of books. I like to travel a lot and hope to see the world!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, the student and I discuss the class requirements or the assignment as well as the student's self-identified strengths and weakness. After discussing what the student needs, we will establish an end goal (i.e. a completed research paper, or preparation for an exam). I try to set up a "plan of action" - what we will tackle and complete in that particular session along with how many additional sessions will be needed to accomplish the identified goal. Then the tutoring lesson begins.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
It is important that students are able to take the skills they acquire in the tutoring lesson and apply them to other work they are doing at home and in the classroom. I tend to end lessons with a task the student is responsible for completing before the next lesson. I also ask the student to work independently within the lesson and show me what they are learning. Finally, students need to be able to identify strengths and weaknesses for themselves so they know how to work on improving the particular skill that requires improvement. A good lesson should model behavior that the student can duplicate outside the session.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Setting goals is a beneficial motivator. At the beginning of each lesson, I try to ask the student to complete the sentence "By the end of this session, I want to ______." Whether the goal is to complete an outline or understand a concept or acquire new vocabulary, when it is achieved the student usually feels better than they did coming into the session. In this way, the student is motivated to return to further sessions and to keep working. Small achievements add up to big ones, and it is important to reinforce that for both the student and the tutor.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
When students have difficulty learning a skill or concept, I tend to break it down into smaller components if possible. Another technique is to get the student to relate to the skill or concept on their own terms -- find something they connect to and then try to explain the concept in relation to that.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Many students struggle with reading comprehension. I usually use a combination of study skills: note taking, highlighting and rewording. Other times, I try to develop mnemonic devices or other types of associations to aid in memory and retention. I have found that role-reversal -- getting the student to teach me -- is helpful because then the student has to work through the idea on a more detailed level, and that helps comprehension and retention.