I am a recent graduate from Lake Forest College in International Relations and French, with a minor in Spanish. I began teaching in Paris in 2013 as an English-language assistant for children ages 3 through 11. In some classes I assisted the teacher and in others I independently designed and executed lesson plans. I also peer-tutored in French as a college student. I greatly value my experiences teaching others and I look forward to continuing this mutually educational opportunity with families of Varsity Tutors.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Lake Forest College - Bachelors, International Relations, French, Spanish
Enjoys language learning, travel, bike riding, and dancing and singing
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy is that the student sets the pace to ensure that the student is taking the time s/he needs to master a concept. It is also important to have a deep understanding of the concept in question so that the student will retain it long-term.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In the first session it is critical to learn the student's strengths and weaknesses so that I can adapt and teach accordingly. It also helps to find common interest points that we can use for relevant examples and lesson plans.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Students become independent learners when their tutor not only aids them in their subject but also offers them proper study tips and skills as tools to apply to that particular subject.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
For languages in particular, I would emphasize their importance and influence in the "real world." I would use my own personal experiences as inspiration: struggling at first and not anticipating success, and then eventually succeeding.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
My preferred method in combating difficulties is coming up with a bunch of different relevant analogies until one clicks with the student.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension difficulties require a lot of patience. The student and I take as much time as we need developing personalized memory techniques that work for that student so that s/he can effectively relay a text.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Repetition and going at the pace of the student are the most effective; they ensure that the student will retain the material.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I show students the importance of the given subject in the "real world" and demonstrate how it is applied. I also try to find ways in which the students' existing interests relate to the subject at hand.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Repetition and relevant analogies.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Students become confident when they notice their progress. To be able to demonstrate to a student how s/he has improved is a big motivator.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Evaluating a student's needs involves getting to know him/her in an educational setting, and it takes time. It is a good step to start with strengths, weaknesses, and interests.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I let the student tell me how they feel they learn best, and I adapt accordingly. If a student has a preferred learning method, I will teach according to that method.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I typically use a whiteboard and marker or a pen and paper.