Over the course of my career, I have held many positions - from waitress to lawyer to campaign staffer. Reflecting upon what I liked most about my varied jobs, I realized that inherent in each one was a responsibility to train and teach others. That responsibility, simultaneously humbling and exhilarating, is where my passion lies. I love using my education and experience, coupled with multimedia tools, to help others reach their full potential.
I recently moved from California to Chicago to be near my Grandpa. He is a WW2 and Korea Conflict veteran who raised me on our small family farm. When we are not watching the Andy Griffith show and talking about the "good ole days," I enjoy exploring Chicago, volunteering for the 2016 Presidential Election, and supporting local music at venues like the Double Door or Subterranean.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Bachelors, Political Science and Philosophy
University of San Diego School of Law - Masters, Law
ACT Reading: 30
What is your teaching philosophy?
As a campaign organizer and a big sister to two college students, I have come to believe that it is far better to ask students what kind of world problems they would like to solve, rather than what they want to be when they grow up. The former prompts the student to think about their passion and contemplate the many ways to work toward it, while the latter is more restrictive. I believe that teaching someone how to learn (how to approach a question with a logical, problem-solving mindset) is more important than rote memorization. Finally, there are some tools I have found effective in sticking to a study schedule. For example, instead of listing everything on a to-do list, schedule study time as an appointment.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first session would be as much about my learning as the student's learning. I would use some time to learn how the student best takes in information - audio, visual, or both, and to learn what the student believes to be his/her strengths and weaknesses. I would also use the time to build rapport with the student, making myself relatable while still acting in an authoritative role.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Independent learning is crucial to success, and learning how to learn is even more important than memorizing information for a test. I employ a few methods to cultivate a student's independent learning. The first, and most important, is collaboration. Learning should come from the interaction between the teacher and student, to encourage the student to speak up and speak often, fostering critical thinking on the part of the student. Other ways to strengthen independent learning are providing a checklist or instructions for the student, so that the student controls the flow of learning. Finally, and perhaps less desirable, it is sometimes important for a teacher to refuse initial help (letting the student work through a wrong answer) and to allow the student to fail. There is always learning in failure.