A photo of Kathryn, a tutor from Hofstra University

Kathryn

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Hi! I'm happy to help with anything you need related to History, English/Literature, Religious Studies, Social Studies, Essay Writing and Editing, Study Skills and Homework Help. I earned by B.A. from Hofstra University, and I'm a Distinguished Graduate from their Honors College. I earned two Masters degrees from Stony Brook University, and I'm a published historian.
I work as an adjunct professor at SUNY Farmingdale and Suffolk County Community College, and have also taught at Queensborough Community College, SUNY Old Westbury, Stony Brook University and Briarcliffe College.

When I'm not digging through archives about Native Americans (a favorite of mine), I also write fiction of the fantasy, romance, and horror variety.

Not a day goes by that I don't eat chocolate.

Kathryn’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Hofstra University - Bachelors, History

Graduate Degree: Stony Brook University - Masters, History

Hobbies

When I'm not digging through archives about Native Americans (a favorite of mine), I also write fiction of the fantasy, romance, and horror variety.

Tutoring Subjects

History

College English

College Level American History

College World History

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

Government

High School English

High School Level American History

High School World History

Homework Support

Other

Social studies

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Summer

US History

World History

World Religions

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

In order to truly learn, students must be given multiple learning opportunities. For example, in a segment of a course dealing with a specific topic, my approach to the material will vary. My students learn by a repetition of sorts—by reading, by listening, by seeing, by speaking, and by writing. This allows every student to cater to their learning strengths, so that one way or another, the material will “click.” It is this variety that has been praised in many of my student evaluations. It has been met with gratitude by students young and old who can’t bear to sit still through a straight-laced lecture, and those with learning disabilities. My standards for academic performance are exceedingly high. To combat that, my standards for extending help to students is exceedingly low. My students are regularly encouraged to call or text me, and send a million emails, fully confident that they will get the answers they seek promptly. By being more laid-back in student interactions, I have fostered a level of approachability that is essential to student success. It allows me to write complete and supportive recommendations when requested.

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

I typically like to get to know my students first. Being a movie buff, I like to ask people what their favorite movie is. With that essential question out of the way, we can talk about what's going on in the requested subject area, what they feel they struggle with, what they feel their strengths are, and perhaps try to work out an outline for our following sessions to meet their individual goals.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Students who adopt good study habits excel at independent study. This requires discipline, the willingness to create a routine and stick to it, and learning how to judge what is noteworthy. This requires a self-confidence that, once established, can serve a student well in many aspects of their life.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Students need to see a payoff in order to be motivated. That payoff can be a grade in a course or on an exam, but the bigger payoffs-like cultivation for a career

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

Repetition is important, but not to the degree that it antagonizes the student further. We can alternate between simple and more challenging material, and try to make connections that will merge the two more cohesively when studying.

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

Practice is essential in improving reading comprehension. And in order to get the most out of reading, you have to love what you read. Encouraging individual interests is thus important, and discussions and practice questions can be built around the reading of their choice, before moving on to assigned materials. For longer works and/or shorter timeframes, these can be done simultaneously.

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

Having a good sense of humor and being more relaxed and open with my students has helped to decrease the pressure associated with academic performance, and helps create an environment where students feel safe enough to question, analyze, and explore. This is when deep learning can begin.

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

The topic must relate in some way to the life of the student, or at least be imaginable. Once we can get an idea of the big picture, we can start to fill in that little picture to see patterns among the details.

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

A true test of knowledge is being able to communicate that knowledge in your own words. Whether in informal writing, dialogue, or group discussion, when someone can find a way to explain a topic that isn't a copy of the textbook definition, then you know they've got it.

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

Break challenging subjects down into small, manageable pieces, then building knowledge is a great way to achieve confidence in a subject that is not your favorite.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Partially on what a student believes they need, but also from patterns evident in their work - either in diagnostic questions or sample writing.