When I am not at my classes at Tulane University, volunteering at a public elementary school in New Orleans, or interning at an impressionist-era art gallery, I spend much of my time as an enthusiastic, dedicated ACT tutor through Varsity Tutors. I have been working as an online ACT tutor since March of 2016, and have worked with more than thirty students in that time. With students, I generally work with them on test strategy, time management, as well as intense focus on the test materials themselves. Additionally, I believe intensely in the power of positive reinforcement and belief in oneself, and do my best to instill in my students a sense of confidence going into the test. Many high school students generally dont see the ACT test as something enjoyable, so I always make sure that tutoring sessions are something not to dread, but maybe even look forward to! Students tutoring sessions can be as fun as they are educational! I like to get to know my students as individuals, and be not only a tutor, but also a friend here to help them do incredibly on the ACT!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Mississippi State University - Current Undergrad, Fine Arts
ACT Composite: 32
ACT English: 35
ACT Math: 31
ACT Reading: 31
ACT Science: 31
Art and illustration, reading, learning new things
10th Grade Writing
11th Grade Writing
12th Grade Writing
8th Grade Math
8th Grade Writing
9th Grade Writing
Ancient and Medieval Heritage
AP Art History
AP Studio Art: Drawing
AP US Government
AP US History
College Level American History
College World History
High School English
High School Level American History
High School World History
High School Writing
Middle School Writing
The Modern World
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would show the student ways in which the subject is actually really interesting or fun to get them engaged in the topic, rather than diving straight into material they might find dry. Additionally, I would make sure to always be excited about the material, and never make anything too boring.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
On a typical first session, I generally ask the student a little about themselves, as well as what areas they might be struggling in or where they might need work. Then the student and I usually go over a few practice problems, and I might guide them through certain problems that they might need help with.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
On a person-to-person level, I find that being friendly and personable with students is one of the biggest factors in helping them become comfortable with working with a tutor. I also generally like to start students off in areas that they're stronger in, to get them used to tutoring and working with me, and then move on the areas that they struggle with once they seem comfortable.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
When a student gets an answer wrong, I always work them through the correct answer and explain why it's wrong, and then show the student a similar problem to make sure they understand. When students get an answer right, but seem hesitant, I generally ask them to explain to me how they found that answer, to make sure that they fully understand.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Constant positive reinforcement!
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
With my ACT students, I generally discuss with them their trouble areas, and usually have them take a diagnostic test so that I can see where specifically they are struggling.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
With my ACT students, I use ACT prep books, the online tutoring materials, and an unbounded positive attitude towards the ACT.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Positive reinforcement, instilling a sense of confidence in my students, as well as ensuring that tutoring sessions are as enjoyable as they are educational!
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
With ACT students especially, reading comprehension can be one of the most difficult concepts to grasp. When working on the reading portion of the ACT, I encourage students to never jump straight into a reading passage, and instead to read through questions so that they know exactly what they are looking for. Additionally, I also like to read through passages together with students thoroughly, pointing out importance and asking questions, so that they can gain a better sense of what to look for in a passage, and use that knowledge when they work on their own.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Students come from a wide variety of educational and standardized testing backgrounds, and as such, each student has different needs. I tailor my tutoring approach for each student to focus more on their problem areas than the areas they are strong in--for example, if a student is extremely strong in mathematics but struggles with grammar, we will spend much more time working on English than we will on math. In the case of students who have not met benchmark scores, tutoring sessions will have a strong focus on helping them acquire foundational skills; in other words, their "toolbox" of academic skills that they will need on the ACT and strategies to help them use these "tools." On the other hand, with students scoring well above benchmarks, tutoring will focus on reinforcement of skills they have already learned, as well as test strategies to help maximize their abilities on the test. Not every student fits into one of these categories, however, so I work with each student to understand what their needs are and how to be the best tutor possible for them.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The ACT isn't something students often get excited about. However, I do my best to encourage students to do things outside of sessions that could be beneficial to them. For example, reading a book, even just for fun, can be an incredible help on the English subsection, as it helps students recognize what is and is not grammatically correct, and can also help on the Reading section by improving their reading comprehension skills. I also encourage students to talk about the test with their peers! So many high schoolers take the ACT every year, so discussing things about the test with their peers can be great! For example, maybe a student is best at the science section, but has a friend who really struggles. Helping that friend can be a great way to reinforce ACT knowledge outside of sessions.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
When a student has difficulties with a certain concept, I generally find new and different ways to explain the concept, using knowledge they already feel confident about, to help them understand and learn.