I have always had a passion for the Spanish language, and becoming fluent is one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. Ever since achieving fluency and being in classes with dozens of professors, most of whom were native speakers, I realized that my way of thinking about Spanish was different because I learned it out of a textbook. This realization sparked a new passion in me: teaching other students. Many students find it hard to learn from someone who has been speaking the language since infancy. I offer a different and refreshing perspective to students because I became fluent in Spanish the same way they are studying it now: through hard work.
Undergraduate Degree: Franklin and Marshall College - Bachelors, Spanish, Psychology
soccer, reading Harry Potter
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to be a guide to an answer for a student, not a machine that simply gives them the right answer.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First, I would examine the syllabus that the student is using from class and look at their past few homework assignments.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
You need to find out what excites them outside of the subject matter and find a way to integrate them.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I've found that games and competition can usually keep students motivated and excited.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would continue to break down the concept into smaller and smaller parts until we find a foothold for the student to grab onto, and then build from there.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Give them passages and stories that interest them, but make sure that it is at a suitable level. The interest in the topic can bridge understanding when individual words may be lost or frustrating.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I ask all my students to take quizzes. I create the study aid tools, and they complete them for diagnostic purposes.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
The best way to build a student's confidence is to show them that they truly do know more than they think they do. I've never met a student that is struggling as badly as they think they are.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I like to start a session with reviewing what we covered last time or what they learned in class. Then we work on their weaknesses for the duration of the session, and I like to end a session with a low-pressure flashcard or vocabulary recap.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
When I start to work with a student, I've found that the best way to start is to discuss why they are struggling, and then construct a solution around that instead of focusing on grades and results.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Using some diagnostic quizzes and games, I determine how best to evaluate a student's needs. I've also reached out to teachers to get their take on a student’s level and needs.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt my tutoring style completely to my student's needs. I've never approached two students in the same manner, because every student has a different learning style. Diagnostic quizzes that I design and early conversations are the best way to determine what a student needs.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would spend the first few minutes of our session speaking with the student about why they aren't excited/engaged as well as discerning what they do get excited about in their everyday life. Then, I would find a way to merge the two. For instance, if you love scary movies but struggle with speaking in Spanish, then one of your assignments is going to be to tell me about your favorite scary movie in Spanish!