I am a current PhD student in Learning, Design, and Technology. I'm studying ways to help students become better learners in science courses. Also, I'm interested in helping professors better design courses and interventions to best meet the needs of individual students. I have Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Biology from Penn State University as well as a Master's of Education from Penn State. I hold a Pennsylvania State Teacher Certification for Secondary School. I have taught students from ages 5-65 mostly in areas of science, engineering, and study skills. I specialize in creating individual plans to help students in the following areas: test preparation and test taking, organization, study skills, motivation, academic confidence, and overcoming test anxiety. I am familiar and able to assist with all parts of the ISEEs, SSATs, and SATs. Also, I am able to help students thought-out the school search into the application process including preparing for interviews, school visits, and entrance essays. I have a great passion for teaching and mentoring students and I love it when I can help my students enjoy learning as well!
In my free time I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, reading, crafting, and being outside with my dog, Indy!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Berks - Bachelors, Biology, General
Graduate Degree: Penn State University University Park - Current Grad Student, Masters completed in both Biology and Science Education. Current PhD student in Learning Design.
State Certified Teacher
SAT Composite: 1400
SAT Verbal: 750
Jogging, Hiking, Exercise, Knitting, Reading, Stitching,Music, Dog Trainng
10th Grade Math
1st Grade Math
2nd Grade Math
3rd Grade Math
3rd Grade Science
4th Grade Math
4th Grade Science
5th Grade Math
5th Grade Science
6th Grade Math
6th Grade Science
7th Grade Math
7th Grade Science
8th Grade Math
8th Grade Science
9th Grade Math
ACCUPLACER Arithmetic Prep
ACCUPLACER College-Level Math Prep
ACCUPLACER Elementary Algebra Prep
ACCUPLACER Reading Comprehension Prep
MCAT Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
CLEP Introduction to Educational Psychology
CLEP Introductory Psychology
CLEP Natural Sciences
COMPASS Reading Prep
DAT Survey of the Natural Sciences
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Science
GRE Subject Test in Biology
GRE Subject Tests
High School Chemistry
History Of Science
HSPT Language Skills Prep
HSPT Math Prep
HSPT Quantitative Prep
HSPT Reading Prep
HSPT Verbal Prep
Middle School Science
PCAT Quantitative Ability
PCAT Reading Comprehension
PCAT Verbal Ability
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is helping students gain the tools to "learn how to learn.” I view my position as a guide for students. When possible, I try to make the material I teach as personal and relevant as possible. I also like to help students become passionate about learning by sharing my passion and enthusiasm with them. When possible, I like to make learning fun. My current teaching is guided by state educational standards and the development of 21st century skills, such as critical thinking and incorporation of technology in teaching and learning. I want my students to know that I care deeply about their learning and personal development. My personal research interests focus on helping students self-regulate their learning, where, through guidance, they learn the skills necessary to succeed in school.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would first introduce myself and then ask them to tell me a bit about themselves (e.g. hobbies, pets, favorite classes) as an "icebreaker.” I would then ask where the student is in most need of help and have them present me with the materials for the course, such as the syllabus and relevant text. If possible, I would take these materials and perform a brief assessment to see if the student is accurately aware of their needs. We would then create draft plan of action to help the student achieve goals that we would create together with the understanding that this plan and these goals will be modified as necessary. I would end the session by giving the student a more "formal" assignment to provide me with areas where not only he/she feels more help is needed, but also ask the student to gather this information from guardians and teachers.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The most important thing I can do to help students become independent learners is to limit giving them direct answers. I feel that we can come to the answer by asking additional questions and looking at multiple sources of information. For example, I might ask students to consult their notes or text to find an answer. Also, I would help them "voice" their thought process when solving a problem, so I can help improve their metacognitive skills. I would tailor my instruction to individual needs, for example, if a student learns better by diagrams than by memorizing text, I would encourage this type of studying to learn information.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would give lots of positive feedback when students are doing well. I would provide kind support when they are not. Also, I would always try to make material as relevant to the student and current/cross curricular subjects as possible. For example, if a student really liked baseball, I would try to tie learning material to baseball. I would also create a visualization of progress such as badge for each learning achievement.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try multiple ways of addressing the material. These include: - modeling the concept (physically through movement, materials, or diagrams) - drawing out the concept, breaking it into smaller pieces - making analogies of the material to something the student does understand -question and answer sessions about the material -finding and presenting relevant videos, or other multi-media forms of the skill/concept - having the student try to explain the material back to me
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would first have the students explain what they do understand about the passage, and if possible, where they are having trouble. We would then start by reading the passage together and trying to identify key ideas and the author's intent. We would try to figure out words from context and then double check using a dictionary. By the end of the lesson, I would like the student to be able to paraphrase each passage.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found using multiple methods of teaching to be the most successful. If a student isn't grasping a concept through text, we will create diagrams, flow charts, physically move or manipulate objects to demonstrate a phenomenon. Videos and animations (especially interactive ones) are also helpful for students. Also, I will have students explain concepts back to me; through this method I can better assess a student's strengths and weaknesses in a concept.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would help provide relevant/ real world examples of the importance of the subject. I would also incorporate case studies in my teaching to make the topic become more "personal" for the student. I would be very positive, energetic, and excited about the subject and provide lots of positive feedback for student improvement. I feel that excitement can be contagious. Lastly, I would try to present the material through many ways including stories, drawings, diagrams, videos, and animations.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
My primary way of seeing if students understand the material is if they can explain the concept back to me. Additionally, I usually give quizzes with mixed question types (multiple choice, true/false, fill in the blank, essay, and diagram). I would want to be sure that the assessment I gave them was in alignment for the exam they were taking or what they need to do for school.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I build confidence in my students through positive feedback and by developing a good, trusting relationship with my students. If my students trust me, they also trust when I tell them they are doing well and/or making improvements. Also, I like tracking students’ progress so they can see their improvement as well. I believe everybody has the right to and can learn.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate students’ needs by looking at what they are required to do (test, grade, project, etc.) and see how they do on their own. I would use an existing pre-test, or create one of my own. Also, I would have the students explain their understanding of the subject, and through that, I would be able to find areas of strengths and weaknesses. If possible, I would have a conversation with guardians and teachers to get more information.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I constantly adapt my tutoring. However, weave in study and "learn to learn" skills into every lesson. My adaptations depend heavily on the material that needs to be learned and on the individual student. Some students learn better through mixed modes, some verbal, other written, etc. I would work with students in the way they are most successful, but I would also work with them in ways that are aligned with the assessments they would need to take. In addition to content, some students may need to learn test taking skills and strategies.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use my computer (internet), pencils/pens/ paper, physical objects (playdough, pipe cleaners, etc.), the text the student is using, the teachers' version of the text (if I have it), and videos. If I am tutoring online, I will use Skype, Zoom, or Google hangouts, and I also use a document camera for diagrams and drawings.