I have a passion for expression through written language. I have focused on this since high school at the Creative and Performing Arts in Philadelphia, through my education as an undergraduate at New York University, better known as NYU (BFA Dramatic Writing), my Master's degree at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and a Professional Certificate in Nonprofit Administration from the University of Pennsylvania.
I have been told that I have an infectious personality, and I love to laugh. Some of my extra-cirricular interests include rock music (singing, attending shows and listening); sewing clothing and accessories (I can make anything from a pattern and alter them as well as create simple patterns); making jewelry; and writing and performing poetry and plays.
It would be a pleasure to share this with students who are struggling in the area of writing and English-related education or who wish to enhance their skills. My day job is recruiting and hiring for the state, so I am adept at creating resumes and describing job duties; I would be happy to lend my expertise in this area. I would also love to help people achieve their personal best in scoring well on standardized tests. We might even have some fun along the way!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: New York University - Bachelors, Dramatic Writing
Graduate Degree: Trinity College Dublin - Masters, Theatre & Performance Studies
SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1450
SAT Verbal: 750
SAT Writing: 740
GRE Analytical Writing: 5
sewing, jewelry making, singing in a rock cover band, writing and performing poetry
10th Grade Reading
10th Grade Writing
11th Grade Reading
11th Grade Writing
12th Grade Reading
12th Grade Writing
9th Grade Reading
9th Grade Writing
High School English
High School Writing
Introduction to Fiction
Introduction to Poetry
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that people learn best when they are excited about something. I will work with you to figure out what moves and motivates you, and we will apply that to the work we have to accomplish. We might even have a little fun and laugh along the way.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I want to get to know you as well as the work we have to tackle. I will spend some time asking you about your favorite things to do, where you like to go, who your closest friends are. Then we will review why I'm here: what are you struggling with, how does this affect you, and what do you want to accomplish. Then we will look at the body of work you have in your lap and find the best place to dive in.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I have picked up many tricks throughout my academic career-- clever little sayings and acronyms that stick in your head and guide through writing processes. Time management and self-discipline are other skills I possess and am able to relay to a student. I am also adept at tailoring my approach to an individual; there is no one-size-fits all. I also have some very contagious enthusiasm for language and writing.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I am a very positive person, and I believe in the power of positive reinforcement. If a student is really struggling, I will adapt my style and seek out alternate resources until we find what works. Smiles are golden, and my bright personality plus passion for subject matter are known to be infectious.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
We will talk about the "why" of the difficulty - what are we getting wrong, and how can we learn from those mistakes? I will seek out a variety of resources through the library and online sources until we find what fits the student's mentality. I recognize that there are different learning styles. If someone needs to hear, see or do in order to master a concept, I will make sure I utilize that style more than others.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Part of the issue is usually context, and part is usually vocabulary. We will work to increase the student's vocabulary as well as learning to break down words using linguistic patterns. As a large portion of English involves words borrowed from Romance languages or German, we can learn some of the roots or pieces (-ize, -ly) to learn how to make educated guesses about the meaning of a word. As far as context, we will focus on what we do know in the sentence or paragraph, and work backwards to fit the word into the piece of writing.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I spend a little time getting to know the student as far as what drives them and what their aversions may be. Particularly with writing, we will start with a common topic such as "my walk/ride to school" and they will write a little something about it. This helps me gauge where a student has strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for growth. I will offer a gentle critique, and keep the student informed of where we are and where we are headed. Then we pull out the real homework or test prep materials.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I will tie it to their real lives and interests. "Why do I need to know___?" is such a common question in the situation, yet so few teachers address this practically. I feel it is important to connect the subject with something the student cares about. Again, I smile a lot and offer lots of positive reinforcement.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
The practice tests offered through the tutoring platform are golden. They mimic real-life academic challenges. I would strongly recommend use of the apps and self-tracking as there is nothing quite like seeing yourself improve. Additionally, I am very open and not terribly intimidating. I will ensure the student understands that they do not need to please me and I am not grading or judging them in contrast to a formal schoolteacher. Opening the lines of communication on that level will help the student to feel comfortable and honest about their struggles.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Practice, practice, practice! We will use a variety of tools, exercises, and approaches to ensure we have a well-rounded exposure to the subject. As stated previously, I am big on smiles, positive reinforcement, and encouragement. I will help the student to laugh at their mistakes rather than allowing them to affect self-esteem, and I will strongly communicate any improvements I perceive.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
We will try various practice tests related to the subject matter and discuss the answers, whether they are right or wrong. I will ask the student "why" often. I will have the student read out loud, whether it is for reading comprehension, test prep or their own writing as this helps to highlight nuances. I will also listen to what the student tells me about themselves and the subject matter; listening is a key factor in motivation and evaluation.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I have access to a variety of resources. In addition, I have a sister who is an experienced, effective high school English teacher for remedial students through AP courses who offers great advice when I am out of ideas. Once I have an understanding of the student's best learning style and areas that most need improvement, I will do the work of filling the gap. I care!
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Naturally, this depends on the particular subject we are addressing. I am a big fan of the tutoring platform's resources, but I will also seek out exercises from books by educational experts and certainly use the student's own writing. We will also use common and familiar tools like Google and Wikipedia so that the student gets into the habit of finding answers for themselves without me.