I love to teach writing, reading and test preparation. I have been involved in teaching and education for more than fifteen years, beginning as an English teacher in Montgomery County. I have also worked as a private tutor, editor/copyeditor and technical writer. I look forward to working with you.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania - Bachelors, English
Writing, reading, museums, movies, music.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I like taking 5 minutes, putting the books to the side, and asking the student to tell me about themselves, what they like to do, and some of their goals. This helps students to relax and take their work personally.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By finding personal connection points through examining lines of interest. Students can become independent learners when what they are studying something that appeals to them. Lighting that personal fire is an important job for teachers.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By helping them stay focused on the end goal - what they are ultimately working towards. Also, by listening to students and being flexible. If a student is tired, you might not want to start wig the reading section, but with sentence completion for instance.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
By pausing, pushing the book aside, and coming at the question from a different angle. Getting to the root of what students are being asked can be helpful, and assisting them in understanding that it's ok not to understand something at first - this often takes the pressure off and helps learning continue.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Students First. Ears First. Heart First.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Ask them to describe a selection of writing that they love - be it a comic book or a children's book. Have them explain to me what is happening in the passage and how they know what they know.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Listening First. Asking the student to explain to me what they see themselves as good at or bad it. Often, a student may not be as bad at a particular thing as they think. Or they might need help in an area they think they are ok in.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would first ask them questions about the subject. What do they like or dislike about the subject? Then I would approach from another angle. In any subject, there is at least one thing people can find interesting. I would start from there, and then work my way back.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Short quizzes, brief, 3-minute explanatory essays, standing up and explaining the material like a speech. Texting a friend a simple description of the causes of the Russian Civil War. All these and many more.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Starting small. Finding ways to get students easy victories - simple but significant achievements they can hang their hat on.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I ask them. And then I show them their responses and ask if there's anything they've left out. This is often enough, but not always. Sometimes, a student thinks he or she is great in one subject, but actually needs help in that subject. The reverse can also be true. In these cases, we slowly walk through, without condemning or celebrating too much, why he or she might need more help here, not as much help there.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
It's always important to be ready to adjust - to not remain stringently linked to any one approach. Every student is different - different strengths, weaknesses, and abilities. The key to success is letting the student be the student and meeting them where they are.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Test guidebooks, non-fiction writing, journalistic writing, grammar guides, essay outlines, word-flow charts, statistical tables. Keeping a grab-bag of useful materials allows you adjust on the fly and find things to assist students.