I believe in the growth mindset, meaning that every student has the capacity to achieve and grow. I tell my students that I believe in them, and that with hard work and my support, they can achieve and even exceed their goals. So many students have been frustrated by an inadequate educational system or by having been told they have limitations; I work to help them see their possibilities for success. When students believe this as well, they are more motivated to work hard because they believe that hard work begets results.
I think it is critical to build a relationship with my students, so that I can identify the methods and strategies that will be most effective for them. I begin by getting to know my students on a personal level, learning about their passions, what motivates them, what frustrates them, and which learning strategies have been successful for them. I believe I need to earn their trust by being on time, prepared, and consistent in my work as a tutor. By building this personal relationship, I have the information I need to customize our tutoring experiences in a way that will be most effective for my students.
My professional experience is varied; I am currently a full-time teacher, but I have worked as a marketing executive and design thinking consultant, and own my own business. I bring my rich experiences to sessions, which helps me identify creative ways of delivering and explaining material.
Perhaps most importantly, I truly love to learn. I believe that learning can and should be a joyful experience, and that when students enjoy learning - even productive struggle - they succeed. I bring relentless optimism, positive energy, and humor to my sessions.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Georgetown University - Bachelors, English Literature
Graduate Degree: Harvard Graduate School of Education - Masters, Learning and Teaching
GRE Verbal: 164
Yoga, hiking, reading fiction, spoken word poetry, jazz music, travel
High School English
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that the most effective teaching occurs when there is an authentic relationship between teacher and student. I take the time to get to know my students - what motivates them, what frustrates them, when they enjoy learning - so that I may design instruction that builds on their skills and passion. I believe that learning should be interactive; instead of lecturing to my students, I facilitate the learning process so they truly absorb new skills and content in the long term. As a full-time classroom teacher, I am constantly learning new activities, learning models, content, and delivery methods that I bring to each tutoring relationship.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would begin by building a relationship with the student. I would build trust by asking the student questions about him or herself and answering questions the student might have about me. I would ask the student about her learning goals: how is she hoping that tutoring will enhance her learning? I would also ask the student to tell me about her learning style - when she learns best, what subjects she enjoys most and why, what she does in her free time, and when she is most frustrated. With this information, I can take the content and skills we need to develop and teach them in a way best suited to the particular student.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I believe that learning should be student-led, meaning students should have the opportunity for productive struggle. When students are given foundational information and skills, they are equipped to discover the answer through guided exploration. When this happens, students have ownership over their learning, increasing motivation and confidence and ensuring that the new skills and content they learn really stick.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
All students get frustrated; I remind students at the beginning of every session that growth is hard, and if they struggle, it means they are learning! Sometimes, students need breaks, particularly adolescents. If a student has been working hard and becomes overwhelmed, I might encourage her to take a break for a few minutes, reading for pleasure, taking a walk, or playing a silly game with me. Getting students into the right mindset for learning is critical.