A photo of Mara, a tutor from University of North Texas

Mara

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I am a composer and pianist currently living in Tucson, AZ. My experience in teaching both academic and performing arts curricula as a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst helped me develop a teaching style that focuses on experiential learning and personal communication, asking questions and allowing students to explore new ways of thinking while attempting to facilitate creative and critical approaches to learning. As a former homeschooled student, I have been able to develop strong organizational and independent study skills that I hope to share with my students, and as a musician and improviser I value and encourage creative thinking and curiosity in my approach to teaching and learning.

Mara’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of North Texas - Bachelors, Music Performance

Graduate Degree: University of Massachusetts Amherst - Masters, Music Composition

Test Scores

GRE Verbal: 165

Hobbies

I love music and currently work for a hip-hop theatre project. In my free time, I love playing the piano, going for walks with my crazy shepherd mix, and going out to hear live music!

Tutoring Subjects

10th Grade Reading

10th Grade Writing

11th Grade Reading

11th Grade Writing

12th Grade Reading

12th Grade Writing

8th Grade Reading

8th Grade Writing

9th Grade Reading

9th Grade Writing

Adult Literacy

History

College English

College Level American History

Creative Writing

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Graduate Test Prep

GRE Verbal

High School English

High School Level American History

High School Writing

Homework Support

Middle School Reading

Middle School Writing

Music

Music Theory

Other

Piano

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

World Literature

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy combines experiential learning that allows students to make and learn from mistakes, and conversational inquiry to encourage students to think creatively and critically. I believe that both personal experience and conversation are incredibly helpful in not only learning, but also internalizing and remembering new information.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

As a former homeschooler, I have personal experience in creating independent learning strategies, and I hope to share my experience in this with my students!

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I believe that focused one-on-one conversations about the reading materials combined with creation of a personal reading strategy helps students both improve their reading comprehension and engage with what they read.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

In a typical first session, I would ask a student what they are struggling with as well as what they feel their strengths are. I believe that engaging with more than just the problems that a student is having is ultimately more helpful than focusing only on difficulties, as it allows students to think creatively and recognize and use their strengths to their advantage.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Putting the things that the student is learning in larger contexts, encouraging and facilitating creative thinking, and recognizing progress are ways that I would help a student stay motivated.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

I would ask questions and try to relate the concept to the student's interests and experiences.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

I find a conversational approach that prioritizes learning the student's interests and the challenges they're facing, and setting clear and achievable short-term goals to be successful strategies when working with a new student.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

I believe that asking students to define concepts with their own words is a great way to be sure that a student understands the material.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

I try to provide perspective and draw attention to the student's strengths and progress.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I evaluate a student's needs both through asking them what they think is challenging about the material and by starting conversations about the material to find any gaps in understanding.