A photo of Jessica, a tutor from Harvard University

Jessica

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As a Harvard student, I majored in Psychology; however, my passion for writing extends back to childhood. I self-published my first book at the age of eighteen, and have since enjoyed writing on a variety of topics ranging from creative fiction and essays to neuroscience and psychiatry. I subscribe to Einstein's quote: "If you can't explain something simply, you don't understand it well enough." I genuinely enjoy connecting with students and adapting my teaching style so that every piece of material makes sense and learning feels fun!

Jessica’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Harvard University - Bachelors, Psychology

Hobbies

I enjoy researching holistic health topics (i.e., how the mind affects the body/how the body affects the mind).

Tutoring Subjects

College English

College Essays

Comparative Literature

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

Gifted

High School English

Literature

Other

Psychology

Public Speaking

Reading

Social Sciences

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I subscribe to Einstein's quote: "If you can't explain something simply, you don't understand it well enough." I like to draw on every day examples and pop culture references to illustrate otherwise complicated material.

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

I like to immediately identify each student's learning style, strengths, and concerns. Understanding HOW a student learns goes a long way in communicating WHAT needs to be learned.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Students need to understand HOW you arrived at a conclusion or a particular train of thought; that way, the next time they're presented with a similar scenario, they can employ their own line of reasoning.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Focusing on the positive (i.e., previous accomplishments, progress) is essential. Knowing that success IS possible, makes achieving each new milestone that much easier.

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

I would adjust my communications strategy to employ different analogies or examples that are of particular relevance to that specific student (e.g., using real scenarios/illustrations from their daily life).

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

First, I focus on what information the student DID comprehend. After I identify patterns in successful comprehension (e.g., maybe "action parts" stick out more), I find ways to tie those patterns to other elements that aren't being retained as well.

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

Quickly establishing a friendly rapport is crucial so that the student feels comfortable to speak freely about his/her questions, problems, or concerns.

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

I would identify subjects that the student DOES like, and analyze the rationale behind that relationship. I would then use that insight to foster more positive feelings about the less-liked subject.

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

The student should be able to successfully "teach" the material we've covered. I'm a firm believer in encouraging students to explain material in their own words to make sure each lesson "sticks."

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

I like to compliment unique questions, angles, or approaches to material - it increases confidence in the student's ability to self-generate important, worthy ideas.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Although context-dependent, I generally base my initial evaluation on the student's opening remarks regarding the subject material. Building on this foundation, I ask a number of questions regarding likes/dislikes and strengths/weaknesses.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I try to mimic the same communication style that the student uses (e.g., if humor is preferred, I illustrate examples with jokes). I adjust my pace based on the student's ability to successfully comprehend earlier material.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

I customize my approach to the preferred learning style of each student (i.e., visual, explanatory, etc.). However, I support that idea that "less is more" and try to keep my lessons simple and strong.