My name is Sophie. I earned my Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Nottingham, England in 2012. Currently, I am studying at James Madison University, Virginia, and expecting to earn my Master of Public Administration degree in May 2016. My interest in teaching and working with students grew when I worked with Boys and Girls Clubs of America in 2015. In addition to supervising the children and helping them with their school works, I produced two academic papersone strongly advocates for more funding on youth anti-violence programs, and another one identifies the challenges that international students might confront and provides several viable solutions. I also partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County and Big Brothers Big Sisters, aiming to enable children to reach their full potential. For instance, I assessed and evaluated the We Read To Succeed program of BBBS which targets to improve students' reading proficiency by the end of third grade, informing them the effectiveness of their program and future directions of the program.
As a graduate assistant at the political science department of JMU, I assist faculty members in proctoring exams and give peer advices to students. I advise students on academic policies and degree requirements; work with students to identify academic goals and develop academic plans. In addition, I am also conducting a research project with Dr. Alexander on Environmental Policy in areas of biofuel development. The knowledge and skills that I have gained from college not only enhance my sense of independence and impartiality, but also magnify my ability to act with integrity.
The facts that I have a multi-cultural background (China, Hong Kong, England, and United States) and am trilingual (English, Mandarin, and Cantonese) are undoubtedly beneficial in communicating with the students. My strong communication and organizing skills, great working experience with the students, and the fact that I am capable of multi-tasking would allow me to create a comfortable environment while working with students. I am confident that both the students and I can learn, improve, and enjoy together.
Thank you very much for your attention,
Undergraduate Degree: University of Nottingham (England) - Bachelors, Law
Graduate Degree: James Madison University - Masters, Public Administration
What is your teaching philosophy?
To guide, rather than to dominate, and to be patient and professional.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Introduce myself, and ask him/her to introduce himself/herself to me in order to build a closer relationship.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I will work together with them to build their self confidence.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I will praise when they are doing things right; make some specific goals, yet attainable, for them to pursue.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Practice over and over, explain to them in different ways.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Read and understand one sentence before we move one to the next one.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Working like a friend instead of a tutor.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Making the teaching interesting.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Doing a little quiz at the beginning of the next class.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Set attainable goals and praise them when they are doing well.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Go through their homework, finding out their weak points.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Find out our common interest.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Books and notes, and maybe an iPad.