Literature, philosophy, and art are great, great passions of mine. I have taken several (IB, AP, and collegiate) courses in each and have received accolades for my high marks in all three disciplines. I have also taken a specialized course in Tutoring Theory during my undergraduate career, which was a rigorous semester-long workshop to train tutors for working in a walk-in tutoring center. The course was intense in its focus on all of the idiosyncrasies of formal tutoring - we even practiced ESL tutoring with students from Aichi, Japan. I have also served as a tutor in my university's library for both English and Philosophy. For art, I worked as a Teaching Assistant for Acting I, where the chair of the department has personally commended my work in the class. Most of all, however, I am delighted to share my learning with other students and hope that I can walk out of every session just as enlightened, intrigued, and happy as the tutee.
Undergraduate Degree: SUNY Fredonia - Current Undergrad, Acting, English, Philosophy
Theatre, Metaphysics, Literature, Music, and Jimi Hendrix.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Learning goes two-fold. I am not the "authority" when it comes to tutoring sessions - I am merely a guide. Students are open to (and are even so much as encouraged) questions, altered teaching methods, or suggesting different methods of approaching the work. My teaching style is primarily student-oriented. The "grade" and the "assignment" come absolutely second. It is paramount to me that the student come out of the session having learned something. The completion of the assignment is merely an added bonus.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
When meeting new students, I will strive to get well-acquainted with them and become aware of what their goals are for our sessions. I would make sure that I have an understanding of where the student is strong in the subject and where the student needs more help. I hope to develop an encouraging, open, cordial relationship with them. I hope that this will create a professional growth environment where the student feels free to speak their mind, ask questions, and develop their abilities.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I will be sure that the student never becomes "dependent" on me during sessions from the get-go. My tutoring technique requires that the student "runs" the session. I am merely a guide; someone who is there to help the student if they happen to "fall" on the way down the trail towards the completion of the assignment. If they are in need of an "opinion" -- as we all may, even as "independent thinkers" -- I will offer it. However, the student is always in the driver's seat. I am simply sitting in the passenger's seat until the student feels comfortable to drive alone.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Learning is a continual process. Even in our "practical lives," we can never stand triumphantly at the end of the day and proclaim that we are "done." Students simply need someone to bring the work to life for them; someone to bring out the colors between the letters on the white page. I plan to show them that each assignment is not drudgery work, but rather that each has endless possibilities and exciting qualities and aspects to it. They can give light to *their* voice with regards to their writing assignments, and they can almost "transport to other worlds" in their readings. Motivation comes from a belief that what they're doing is important-- that they will get something out of it. I will make this clear to them in sessions by giving value to their ideas and to their reading/writing process.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I will step back and ask the student to specify and explain to me which aspect of the concept or skill is confusing to them. We would then try to create a step-by-step process to break the concept down into smaller pieces. I will ask them to paraphrase or demonstrate a subset of the skill or concept in a different way before moving onto the next step. When we've finished the process, I'll ask them to exhibit their understanding of each step by synthesizing the steps in a way that is beneficial to the assignment that brought on the need to understand the concept.