I specialize in teaching both advanced writing and English language learners. I've tutored students up to the sophomore college level and I'm an ace at helping them write and edit essays as well as developing better writing skills. I'm patient and I strive to move my students toward independent learning. I understand that for some people writing or learning English can be difficult, but my goal is to create a fun, engaging one-on-one session.
I recently received my TESOL/TESL/TEFL Certification through Oxford Seminars at the University of Illinois at Chicago campus. I also have four years of professional writing experience as a journalist. In April 2013 I won a Colorado Press Association Award for Best Health Feature. I have a B.S. degree from the Ithaca College Park School of Communications (3.8 cumulative g.p.a.). I am not fluent in Spanish, but I did study the language for two years while in college. I'm currently available for short or long-term tutoring and live in the NW part of Chicago.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Ithaca College Park School of Communications - Bachelors, Cinema Production
Playing the ukulele, reading, writing, cooking and listening to Serial!
What is your teaching philosophy?
My approach to teaching is simple: encourage and engage. It's important that students feel both motivated and actively involved during a tutoring session.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, I like to find out from the student what their goals, strengths and challenges might be. I also like to set expectations and guidelines for our future sessions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I find that implementing independent work time during a session, even if only for 10 minutes, can help move a student toward more independent learning.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation is key! Uncovering why a student wants to do well, not just in the classroom but outside of it, is essential to the learning process.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would break the skill or concept into smaller steps or pieces, or implement an element of repetition so that the student can build on things over time.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I find that reading out loud is an effective strategy. I also have students look up words they might now know, or infer the meaning of a word using other words or clues in a passage.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Realistic goals are key to helping a student advance academically. I find that it's important to strike a balance between encouraging a student and pushing them to work harder.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
If a student really doesn't like a certain subject, I find that setting a short time period for the task can be effective. Working on an assignment for an hour may seem unappealing to some students, but setting a timer for 15 minutes makes the project seem easier and more manageable.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Quizzing the student or asking them questions about the assignment/reading can help myself as a tutor pinpoint where they might be confused/not understand the task.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Positive reinforcement and feedback. Sometimes a student needs to be reminded of how far they've come and how much progress they've made, even if they're still struggling in a particular subject.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Typically in working with a student one-on-one for a session, it's easy to see what a student does well and what they might need more assistance with.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I find that some students need more positive reinforcement, while others need a more strict approach, someone who will keep them on task and minimize distractions.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
This depends on the student. I always encourage students to do research when studying/writing in order to build their knowledge base over time.