A photo of Mary-Kate, a tutor from University of Massachusetts-Lowell

Mary-Kate

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I am currently studying at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, working towards a BA degree in English Literature. After graduation, I plan on attending graduate school to receive a MA degree to teach at a high school level.

I first discovered my natural ability to teach in elementary school, where I was allowed to read to the class and help my teachers correct papers. It wasn't until high school that I really valued all of the work a teacher does. Being in foster care I always felt like I was unable to make my own choices, until my teachers showed me otherwise. Soon I was allowed to tutor students in the after school programs and eventually allowed to help teach lower level courses in a variety of subjects and decided, "this is what I want to do for the rest of my life."

Outside of teaching and school, I enjoy travelling and exploring with my rescue dog, Teddy. I love to spend time with my family and friends, usually a rowdy bunch. I am always willing to try new foods, learn new things, and read a new book.

Mary-Kate’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Massachusetts-Lowell - Bachelors, English Literature

Tutoring Subjects

History

College Level American History

Comparative Literature

English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

High School Level American History

Homework Support

Literature

Other

Psychology

Reading

Social Sciences

Social studies

Summer

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I encourage my students to explore all styles of learning and to celebrate their successes. I believe building self-confidence and providing support is essential to embracing all of a student's abilities.

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

I prefer to start with some icebreakers, as I feel it is very important to have a personal relationship with a student. A personal relationship encourages a student to feel comfortable enough to openly ask questions without fear of judgement, maximizing the progress in our work sessions.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I can help a student explore different learning styles and figure out what works the best for them. I also challenge a student's critical thinking strategies, and I teach them different study techniques that they will use to increase how much they teach themselves.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

As somebody with ADHD, I understand how difficult it is to focus. I've found it is easiest to stay on track and to stay motivated if the task on hand is clearly identified. Sometimes a check-list helps a wandering mind find its way back on track. There is no universal answer, but I'm always willing to find what will help every individual student.

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

Sometimes I will need to approach a subject from a few different angles before a student fully understands a concept or learns a new skill, but I believe patience and creativity are key in this process.

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

I believe that the best way to start working with a student is to build a bond so they feel comfortable enough to ask any and all questions. Then we will identify what their strengths are and figure out what learning techniques work best for them.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I will try to relate the subject at hand to something they are already excited about. I will also encourage them to feel confident in themselves as a student. Sometimes I may ask them to "teach" me, which may be a fun challenge for them.

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

I will either have them "teach" me or I will have them take a pre- and post-test on the subject. Every student will be different, and evaluation is on an individual basis.