I enjoy learning and I love to help others to learn through non-judgmental, fun yet practical ways. I am a journalist by trade and was in the newspaper industry for more than 20 years as a news reporter and editor. I eventually moved into advocacy journalism and am now the media director for an education and advocacy organization.
I have lived in Germany and Poland, and have visited many countries in Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, as well as Mexico and Peru. I was a German major in college and also studied Polish. I've also studied Arabic, Spanish and French.
My skill set includes strong editing skills and expository writing. I love to help others learn how to write cleanly and efficiently. I also have taught English as a Second Language at a community college in the Midwest.
Throughout the years, I also ran 4-H and Girl Scout troupes for my daughters, and I've taught Sunday school for years.
I look forward to working with you or your child and hope to help everyone achieve success!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Illinois at Chicago - Bachelors, German
Reading, hiking, knitting, swimming, writing, ballet, fine arts
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to help the student achieve success in a stress-free, non-judgmental, fun environment.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Icebreakers are a good way to put the student at ease. We'd chat a bit and share favorite moments, hobbies, and activities, as well as things we may not enjoy so much, so we can get to learn each other and start to establish trust.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The most important factor is to empower the student to act for himself or herself. In other words, the tutor should not supply the answers, but should supply the path upon which the student will gradually learn the answer.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Through laughter, and constructive comments. If boredom seems to be setting in, then we would shift gears.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would leave the concept for a while and perhaps backtrack to an area where the student is already comfortable so as to maintain confidence. I would also ask the student questions to see if I could determine where the problem lie. Then, I'd find a different way to approach the issue.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Sometimes reading comprehension comes from a lack of vocabulary. We would learn vocabulary by a variety of means, such as playing concentration, picture games and memory games.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The most successful strategy is to make sure the student is at ease. A student who is seeking out tutoring may already have some negative feelings about learning. It would be my job to help the student see that learning is not threatening and can even be fun. The most important element is to treat each student with dignity and respect.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Mostly by playing games, or finding alternative routes to approaching the subject. This would be student-driven.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
There are many ways to determine if a student is grasping a topic. The easiest and less stressful is simply questioning and reviewing. Playing games, such as trivia or jeopardy, for instance, is another good way to ascertain comprehension.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
You help build a student's confidence by approaching the subject in steps. This allows the student to master one concept before tackling the next one. This is a great way to build confidence.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Communication is need in evaluating a student's needs. This comes by building trust, treating the student with respect and by asking to make sure the student is comfortable. Watching body language is also important because certain students may not feel comfortable articulating feelings.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
It is imperative to remember that the tutoring is for the student's sake, not mine. In other words, the tutor must be responsive and flexible and willing to change course quickly if the student reacts to one method more positively than another.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I would use video, an online "chalk board," flash cards, and games.