My degrees: B.A. in English, A.A. in Liberal Studies
I received my B.A. from California State University - Fullerton in December of 2014.
I have been tutoring professionally for about 3 years and unprofessionally (without pay) for upwards of 6 years.
I have worked with students ages 7-27 and have experience tutoring students with ADD, ADHD, and Asperger's. Primarily, I tutor in English (reading, literature, writing, etc.) and math (Algebra I and below). I have also tutored students in elementary and middle school level science, history, art, and mythology. It's hard to choose a favorite subject to tutor. All of them have their "pros." My favorite thing about tutoring is helping my students learn and succeed.
As a tutor, I use differentiation instruction. This means that I cater my tutoring lessons specifically to the learning style of my student. I don't expect each student to learn the same way, so I can't expect to teach them all the same way. A visual learner needs a different approach than a student who learns best through auditory means. I also like to cater my lessons to the specific interests of my students. I.e. If Jack loves Harry Potter, I will reference Harry Potter in the lesson and develop practice games and questions that bring in elements from HP. This helps my students to stay interested in our lessons.
A huge part of my philosophy as a tutor is maintaining a comfortable and safe space for tutoring. I never want my students to be afraid to ask questions. Questions are the foundation of education. I want to nourish the inquisitive spark that encourages my students to learn more.
Some of my interests and hobbies include drawing, singing, playing guitar, doting on my pets, reading, writing, watching good movies and shows, and gaming. If I had to choose a handful of words to describe myself as a person they would be patient, inquisitive, helpful, compassionate, nerdy, and silly.
I hope to have the opportunity to work with you or your kids. It is often said that if you choose a job you love, you'll never work a day in your life. This is how I feel about tutoring. It is my passion in life and what I hope to be doing for the rest of my life.
Thank you for considering me in your search to find a tutor. I hope to hear from you soon!
California State University-Fullerton - Bachelors, English Literature
Elementary School Math
High School English
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
Rather than teaching students with a single method, I aim to discover my students' learning style so I can teach in a way they best understand. I also aim to maintain a safe and comfortable environment for my students to learn and ask questions.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I usually get to know them a little bit. I like to learn my students' interests so that I can make future lessons more interesting for them. I ask them about their expectations for me as a tutor and tell them about mine.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
One way is to learn my student's interests so that I can show them how what they are studying is relatable. This helps to encourage further independent investigation. Another way is to give them resources where they are able to explore their studies on their own (fun educational games, online publications, interesting books, etc.).
How would you help a student stay motivated?
As a tutor, I try to be as encouraging as possible. I also work hard to cater my teaching style to the needs of each student so I can keep them interested and motivated to do well. With my younger students, I create a reward system. (i.e., Fifteen minutes of tutoring earns a 5 minute break to do something fun or talk about something interesting to the student.)
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would examine the way I am teaching that skill or concept to the student and make adjustments accordingly. Not every person learns in the same way, so it is vital to be flexible with teaching styles. If a student is struggling with a concept and I've only been explaining things verbally, I might try a new approach where I try to represent the concept in a visual way with a diagram.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
My first move is to try to help them by breaking the text down into smaller sections that are easier to digest. Instead of looking at the story we are reading as a whole, we will look at the first chapter, paragraph, or even sentence. I try to ask them questions and gradually build in difficulty as they begin to get a better grasp of what we are reading.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Catering my lessons to the needs and interests of each student definitely helps when I begin to work with a student. If a student seems overwhelmed by long periods of intensive studying or tutoring at first, I try to break the lesson down into segments with short breaks.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I like to make the subject more real for my student. If I know my student loves sci-fi movies but struggles to become engaged in math, I would find ways to integrate sci-fi movies into our math lessons. For instance, I would give example problems with references to popular characters or show the student how math plays an important role in the production of these movies.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I often ask my students to explain concepts to me in their own terms, or I ask questions about the material. I also do a mini, informal quiz at the beginning and end of each session to gauge what my student retains and where their comprehension stands. These "quizzes" consist of me verbally asking questions about the material. I try to make this process low-stress so my students can share the information they know without feeling pressured or anxious.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I try to acknowledge victories and give credit where it is due. I don't scold my students if they make a mistake. I encourage them to correct it, and if they can't, I will help them. I make sure they feel safe asking questions so they can be more sure in their knowledge of a subject.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I like to get an idea of what the student feels their needs are (more with older students). I also try to look at previously submitted work and grades to gauge their strengths and areas of improvement. In the initial sessions, I also spend time discussing the subject with the student and asking them related questions. This helps me to see what areas I need to work on the most with my student.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt my tutoring to cater to the individual learning styles of my students. This way, I can teach my students in a way that makes the most sense to them. I offer short breaks throughout for my students who struggle with focusing for long stretches of time.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use whatever materials are required for the particular class (textbook, workbook, online database) and integrate my own materials to better engage the student. For my visual learners, I use whiteboards and different colored markers. I print out diagrams and artwork to help illustrate points. For auditory learners, I find songs to help memorize things like mathematical formulas. For tactile learners, I bring in blocks, clay, stuffed animals, and other objects that can be handled to help explain a concept.