My first experience teaching, as a private tutor in my high school years, revealed the deep insecurities we all carry as students. To a 6th grader, the thought of algebra was so frightening and intimidating that any reasoning disintegrated. So, we followed the mantra “Algebra is not magic,” reminding the student in times when she faltered that she can think through a math problem. As long as she felt grounded enough to access her innate understanding of the world around us, she progressed. Later on, my extensive experience in the classroom as a Jumpstart Corps Member taught me to adapt my teaching style to each child’s needs. While some learned better through mnemonics and letter-to-word associations, others preferred to process information and ‘teach’ content back to me themselves. The greatest lesson I've learned as a tutor is to first step back and let a student tell me their goals, show me how they take in information, and point me in the direction of the challenging areas. With this information, I can help students build their own learning and testing strategy to accomplish their goals.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Connecticut - Current Undergrad, Physiology and Neurobiology
SAT Math: 710
SAT Verbal: 800
SAT Writing: 740
SAT Subject Test in Biology E/M: 750
Playing piano, Krav maga, playing piano/singing in a rock band, reading, drawing/painting, cooking delicious food
10th Grade Math
10th Grade Reading
10th Grade Writing
11th Grade Math
11th Grade Reading
11th Grade Writing
12th Grade Math
12th Grade Reading
12th Grade Writing
Anatomy & Physiology
Elementary School Math
High School Chemistry
High School English
High School Writing
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
There is always more than one way to learn a concept or approach a problem; it's just a matter of figuring out what works for you.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I'd find out more about the material covered in the classroom for the subject, ask the student about what has or hasn't worked so far, and determine what goals they want to reach. Then, we'd start planning a way to reach those goals by a certain point.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Rather than telling a student how to study, I would show them, by leading them through a few examples.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would point out the progress we've made so far and remind them that learning always takes time. In the future when they look back on the same material, they'll think it's easy.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try to figure out with them what the reason is for the mental block. If a person is a visual learner, there are different charts or diagrams we could draw instead. If they're an audio learner, maybe they could listen to a detailed explanation on YouTube. If they feel there's too much information to process, we could break it down into smaller bits.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Looking back at something we've just read, I ask them to underline the parts that they understand and explain them to me. Afterwards, we use context clues from the understandable sections to help decode the unclear sections.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I always wait for a student to show me techniques they already use to learn. That way, I can explain concepts in more familiar ways to them later.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I'd relate the subject to real life in a way that applies to the student's personal life. For example, I once had a student design a video game and the game's narrative as a prompt-writing exercise.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
After leading them through an example, I'd ask them to solve a new example on their own. Once they reached the answer, I'd ask them to teach me how to solve the problem as if I'd just started learning the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I'm a bit of a dork about it, but I'm always a huge cheerleader for my students. I believe a person should be proud of themselves for having accomplished a goal, because it's a huge motivator for tackling other challenges.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
First, I just ask. Very often students already know what they need help with in a specific subject. After that, I may go over recently returned classwork to figure out what concepts needs brushing up. Or, we can just start off with one question they have that's really been bugging them about a subject, and we can move on from there.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I always try to go at the student's pace. At the same time, I try to focus on the areas in a subject they find more challenging. We will go over the 'easy' parts, but mostly at the beginning to use as initial building blocks for the harder material.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I'm a big fan of visuals (as a visual learner myself). Highlighters, diagrams, sketches, graphs, charts, and underlining are a huge part of the way I teach.