I graduated in May 2016 with a BA in Romance Studies (Italian, Spanish, French) and a minor in linguistics from Ohio State. I have worked as a private Spanish tutor for a family with two 11-year-old boys, so I know how to handle a student working from their own home. Although that has been my only other formal tutoring job, I have always been the go-to language guru for my friends and family, and therefore have a lot of practice explaining linguistic concepts in many different ways. I am able to tutor in English grammar, Spanish, French, Italian, basic German, and basic Latin. I love teaching them all; languages are my passion, and since I love to communicate by nature, I can't wait to share my passion with my new students! I hope that, as a student myself, I'm a little more approachable than a teacher, but I'm still not here to give away answers. I hope to have my students lead the sessions (in terms of what we cover that day) since they know best what they want to get out of their tutoring, and in return I will work with them on that topic and try to make it relatable and fun.
When I'm not studying grammar, I like to play the violin and guitar, watch Disney movies, bingewatch my favorite TV shows (Doctor Who, Star Trek, Once Upon a Time, The Librarians), read (Harry Potter, Percy Jackson), and write. I also have the travel bug; I have visited 7 European countries and also studied abroad in Rome in 2014. After school, I really hope to intern at Walt Disney World and eventually work there.
The Ohio State University - Current Undergrad, Romance Studies
10th Grade Reading
11th Grade Reading
12th Grade Reading
9th Grade Reading
High School English
What is your teaching philosophy?
I know that no two students are alike, but I have had a lot of teachers and can imitate many different teaching methods. I also like to think outside the box, so every one of my students will be a fun challenge!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would want to get to know them. I think understanding a student is essential to helping them understand a subject in which they are struggling. I would also try to outline what they hope to learn from me so I can work towards that goal with them.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I hope that, as a student myself, I might be a little less scary and more approachable than a teacher, but I'm not here to give away the answers. I hope to have the student guide the session, asking their questions and understanding the material on their terms. In this way, they take responsibility for their learning of the subject, but with a tutor who is enthusiastic to help them on their journey.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
It can be hard to want to study something when you don't feel you're doing well, a feeling I know firsthand. Nevertheless, I will offer encouragement and try to make the subject relevant to my students (e.g., setting up example problems with favorite characters).
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
There is always more than one way to tackle a problem. If one method doesn't work, I will try to find another that appeals to their best way of learning (visual, theoretical, memory games, etc.).
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
First of all, I'm also a student who struggles with reading comprehension, so I understand firsthand how hard this is. But I've learned that, at its core, a plot is cause and effect. This happened. Why did it happen? How did that make Susie feel? If reading is hard, logic likely comes easier. A flowchart-inspired thinking method could make the process clearer.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I like to start by getting to know my student. What do they like to do? Why are they studying this subject? What do they hope to achieve by working with me? I can use this information to fit my teaching methods to their needs.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I think everything matters more when it actually seems relevant to you. Who cares whether the badly drawn person in the textbook is eating breakfast or reading the newspaper? But if Harry Potter or Luke Skywalker is having breakfast with you, or you read a story about Superman in the newspaper, that gets students more excited to think about the concepts they're trying to learn.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
There are the usual methods: flashcards, practice sentences, and verbal quizzes. If a student can pass all of these (recall from memory, apply the concept, and understand it in context), I would be confident that they understood well. If they struggled with any of these, I could focus on that aspect without making them overdo things they already understand.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
It's important to let students know that as long as they are doing their best, they can be proud of their work. I try not to specifically tell students that they're wrong; rather, I say something like, "Almost! But don't forget this." My hope is that they do feel encouraged when working with me, and with a better attitude comes more confidence.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
It takes time. I can ask a student what they are trying to accomplish (a better grade, mastery of a specific skill, etc.), but only by continuing to work with them and paying attention to their progress will I realize what I need to do for my students.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I've had a lot of language teachers who all taught in different ways, so I have a plethora of methods to apply to all different kinds of students: memory whizzes, visual learners, and, yes, students who don't want to be taking a language at all. Vocabulary flashcards are easy to make, but if that doesn't work, we can try using them in sentences or acting them out in a game of charades. A good teacher learns from their students too, so I am willing to adapt however necessary!
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
That depends entirely on the subject at hand. Flashcards are usually a good way to go for languages, since there is always so much vocabulary to learn. When trying to teach a concept like prepositions, however, I try to use small items (action figures, blocks) to demonstrate locations. And, I am happy to use whatever would help my students the best.