I am an experienced tutor who is dedicated to educating children to foster a better, brighter future. I am very patient with my students, ensuring that they sincerely understand the taught material. Towards this end, I highly encourage questions from my students so that together we may work through any lingering confusion. While studying at NYU I worked at 2 public schools in New York City as a teacher's assistant, and last year I taught english to high school students in the south of France. I have spent several summers working as a camp counselor, where we focus on the personal and emotional growth of the campers. I spent this past fall volunteering with Citizen Schools, a government organization which places teachers in disadvantaged public schools throughout New York City. When I am not working with children, I enjoy reading, running and bike-riding, playing the guitar, and listening to the Beatles.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Whether you are teaching or learning, patience and hard work are two of your most important tools.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
We begin by introducing ourselves to one another in the target language. I will ask you questions about yourself (in the target language) and also have you fill out a brief diagnostic test (nothing to panic about!); in this way, I can gauge both your ability to communicate and your ability to receive and process information in the target language. This will allow us to identify together which areas you excel in and in which areas we can work together to improve upon.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
No matter how much a teacher prepares for a lesson, the student should always be doing the hard work. This means, for example, that the lesson may not be a constant teacher-student interaction; sometimes a student must work on his/her own (e.g. when reading a written passage, or writing something) before the teacher intervenes for questions or corrections. Furthermore, it isn't very helpful if a teacher simply hammers a student with grammar or vocabulary. I prefer to use authentic texts (including movies, novels, essays, or music) which the student will enjoy, and which will encourage him/her to pick up a text on his/her own and become a more independent learner.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
To keep a student motivated, I would vary the exercises and activities that we do together so that we are always doing something fun and slightly different, and not just repeating the same thing over and over again. I would also challenge a student, but only to the point that it is useful. It can be very discouraging when you try to stumble your way through a piece of 18th century poetry; on the other hand, it can be very fun and encouraging to read an authentic text which you can actually understand, even if you don't quite get every word (which is alright!)
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student had a tough time learning a new skill or concept, I would patiently reframe the concept in a different way, until I was confident that the student fully grasped it. It is easy for us teachers to forget how difficult certain concepts are to beginning and intermediate students (like the subjunctive). Still, language builds upon itself, and therefore it is imperative that a student fully understand (though not necessarily master) one concept or skill before moving on to a new one.