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Briana

I am a graduate from Michigan State University with a B.A. in English literature, a specialization in creative writing and minors in Linguistics and Japanese. I am currently pursuing certification as a teacher of mathematics, Japanese, and English literature at the secondary level. I have worked for the last year and a half as a tutor of students grades 4th-12th in math, English, reading skills, study skills, and English and reading ACT prep.

My specialty in math is in helping students who struggle with the abstract nature of math to understand why the steps are the way they are, and in helping to improve the student’s fluency with math vernacular. Because I come from a verbal background, I work especially well with students who excel at verbal subjects, but struggle at math.

Undergraduate Degree:

Michigan State University - Bachelors, English

ACT Reading: 32

Baking, reading, watching TV, playing with my pets, and studying languages

College English

Elementary School Math

High School English

Other

Summer

What is your teaching philosophy?

My philosophy for teaching largely lies in giving children the tools they need to feel in control of their education. Rather than approaching education as a series of directions to be followed, I work to see that my students understand why they are doing what they are doing, and how one lesson connects with the next to build their overall education. Students who feel in control of their learning are free to pursue their educational interests both inside and outside of school.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

It is important for me to gather information during the first lesson. I need to know where the student or parents feel there needs to be improvement, why the student feels they are struggling in that area, and what the student’s current attitude is for the subject. I might also want to test the student’s level myself, in order to gather information on what skills and tools they might have missed in previous years. All of this information will help me design more effect lessons in the future.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I like to talk about the educational "tool belt" for all subjects. By helping students to see skills they learn as "tools" that they can use to help them solve problems and finish assignments, you mobility of those skills. Many students approach school as a place where instructions are given and blindly followed, but in doing this, the students rarely learn the practical lesson. I endeavor to help students to see how the various skills they learn can be applied to many scenarios, even when not directly called for. This gets students to actively think about the problems and skills being presented to them, and hopefully to apply those skills to their everyday lives as needed.