HI! I'm a New York City-based screenwriter, educator, copy editor, and freelance blogger. I hold degrees in English literature and philosophy from the University of New Orleans, and I have studied screenwriting and storytelling with some of the most notable instructors and practitioners in the field.
My interest in philosophy and first-order logic led me to undertake the LSAT as a personal challenge. My first attempt put me in the 97th percentile, and I've continued to study and refine my test-taking methods, treating LSAT questions like my daily crossword puzzle.
I believe that learning is a process of mastering tiny skills that cumulatively add up to a grasp and control on the big picture. It's about challenging and expanding the bite you can chew.
Undergraduate Degree: University of New Orleans - Bachelors, English
Literature, film, screenwriting, TV writing, music, yoga, hiking, climbing
What is your teaching philosophy?
Focus on the micro skills that your student's big goal comprises. Fill out the learning experience with tiny victories that lead to a snowballing sense of mastery. Take lots of breaks to examine mistakes and assess whether there's a trend and fix any gaps as early as possible.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First I would prepare like crazy. When it came time for the student and me to meet, I'd make sure it's a quiet place that lends itself to concentration. I would talk about myself only as much as it takes to get the student comfortable and talkative themselves. Let them tell me what they're having problems with, figure out their learning style, and prepare a study calendar with homework starting that same day.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By demonstrating how tiny victories lead to big ones. If they're intimidated by a subject, there's a simple system to breaking that down to its constituent parts and building up from there. If they can become more motivated by the sense of victory, they'll gladly suffer the sense of defeat.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Collaborate on clear objectives, try to incorporate their interests into the subject matter, give the student a sense of control, and make small successes obtainable.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Back up and clarify all the skills and concepts that lead up to the difficulty.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
There are a few possible solutions: graphic organizers like story maps and Venn diagrams, practicing summarizing texts, and lots of Q&A.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Arrange lots of small victories in the basics.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Explaining things in their own words or using the lessons in their own writing can demonstrate pretty well what a student has internalized.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By referencing their strength in other subjects and, again, giving them small victories in the basic micro-skills related to the topic. Also, as far as writing goes, giving students a chance to flex their creativity.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Grades and my own evaluations using homework assignments and the student's behavior during a session.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
By constantly trying different angles and techniques until I find something that resonates.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Mind-mapping, illustrations, graphic representations.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?