I am a writer, editor, and content creator for a number of websites. I love using my writing as a means to engage with other people and love helping others learn to love writing and reading as much as I do. I used to do competitive speech in high school, but when I realized you can't really go pro in speech, I headed west from my hometown of Lexington, Kentucky and went to film school at the University of Southern California. From there, I headed to Bloomington, Indiana to get an MA in Communication and Culture. While at Indiana, I was able to continue studying something I love, pop culture, and I got to return to my speech roots by serving as an instructor for Intro to Public Speaking. Nowadays, I still find time to check out as many TV shows and movies as I can, but I also enjoy finding time for dance classes, trivia nights at local pubs, and highly competitive games of Balderdash with my friends.
When it comes to tutoring, I like to think of my sessions as a conversation and a collaboration between myself and my students. As a longtime editor, I've become adept at identifying recurring issues in someone's writing and learned to be able to talk to someone about how to rewrite or revamp something instead of telling them what to change. When it comes to other subjects that aren't writing, my approach is focused more on getting the student to develop strategies to learn, process, and remember things rather than drill facts in their head. The key to studying isn't to spend hours of time memorizing, it is having an arsenal of strategies to approach any given academic challenge and using them accordingly.
Undergraduate Degree: University of Southern California - Bachelors, Cinema-Television Critical Studies
Graduate Degree: Indiana University-Bloomington - Masters, Communication and Culture
Film buff, avid reader
What is your teaching philosophy?
Rather than approaching a subject or a lesson as a whole, I like to hone in on where a student is getting tripped up and problem solve those areas first. My teaching style is very conversational. I like to ask students questions throughout the process so they can let me know what they understand, where something is unclear, and what goals they want to achieve.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Depending on the subject matter, I like to do a diagnostic assessment of where they are. First, we would talk about what they think they are having the most trouble with, as well as what areas they really understand. Then I might ask what types of teaching or tips have resonated with them the most at school. Finally, I would have them do a couple of problems or answer some questions to gauge myself where their knowledge level is.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The key to being a good student isn't about learning facts or memorizing figures. I like to offer approaches to learning rather than just explaining the concept they covered in school another way. Giving students a tool kit they can apply to other subjects means things we learned in a math session could be applicable to something like SAT prep in the future.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I like to offer very specific praise and to pair suggestions or areas of improvement with a positive statement about how they are doing. Often when someone just tells you, "good job," it doesn't feel sincere, whereas an observation like, "I think you've really got the organization of this essay down, now let's finesse our examples," lets the student know I am in this with them and noticing where they are improving.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
It really depends on the student and the skill or concept. I like to ask students where they get lost, then try to find examples from other areas of their life that are similar to help them contextualize these new ideas in a way that is familiar to them.