I began teaching high school English in Hawaii in 2012 through Teach For America (TFA). TFA is one of the most selective teaching programs in the country accepting just 11% of applicants as of 2011. I finished my first year in the classroom by being chosen to be the youngest AP Language teachers in the state and spearhead the program at my school. I built a curriculum tailored to the students needs and interests and was not afraid to tackle difficult subjects head on through literature and writing.
My second year, I was also asked to run the theater program at the school. I worked with the students to write an original musical as well as find creative ways for the students to express themselves. I also coached the cross country and track team at the school - teaching leadership, teamwork, and perseverance.
I know I can tailor curriculum to your specific needs and interests. I am not afraid to push for growth while simultaneously creating a nurturing learning environment.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Bachelors, Media and Cinema Studies
Film, Theater, Running, Hiking, Playing Piano
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that teaching comes through forming a strong relationship. By feeling comfortable to address points of weakness and strength, learning can develop through demonstration, working together, and self-practice:
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Have a discussion about wants and needs. Do an activity to assess where we can improve, and then discuss the assessment together.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Learning is about providing tools, not answers. By learning different tools and knowing which concepts to apply them to, a student can be ready for any situation.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Education is about learning life skills. Motivation comes from tying those skills to interests the student already has.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Walk through an example together, find at which step the gap in understanding is happening and discuss the tool that will help make that step easier to handle.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Provide active reading strategies - giving active things to do while reading to help break down big ideas into smaller chunks.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Letting the student explain to me their process of thinking through an assignment so that I can either help improve from there or offer alternative methods.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Tie the concept back to why this is an important skill to have that will translate into positive life skills.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Provide both a qualitative assessment where a student talks through their thought pattern and a quantitative one to see how that translates on a test or assignment.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Celebrate the small victories. No one goes from a D grade to an A overnight, but creating measurable growth and allowing the student to share in that progress helps the student to see they are on the right track.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
A combination of formal assessment with questions tied to specific skills, as well as longer multi-step challenges that allow the student to show their work and from there see what steps might be missing.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Finding what kind of learner a student is and adapting to that is incredibly valuable. Some students want more visuals while others want more hands on practice - identifying the type of learner by trying different techniques and honing in on what works is important in the learning process.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Texts, prompts, pictures, graphic organizers, anything that helps. I'm a very visual teacher so I will often draw out concepts using pictures and diagrams.