I graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and minors in Spanish and Communication Design in May 2013. I also had the opportunity to study abroad in Panama, where I studied marine biology and ecology, in Spanish. This program culminated in a 40-page research paper, which I wrote in Spanish.
For the past two years I lived in Boston working for an online school. Through this experience, I became familiar and comfortable with online learning strategies and techniques. I currently work as an environmental educator, teaching elementary school students about science and ecology in the field.
I have been tutoring students on and off for the past 9 years, with students ranging from first grade all the way to seniors in high school. I also have experience with both ESL students and those who struggle in the classroom or with standardized testing, with more extensive experience with students who have ADHD. I have tutored students in Spanish, algebra, arithmetic, US History, Biology, and English.
I believe that patience and understanding are two of the most important elements in tutoring. I love building a relationship with the students I tutor -discovering how they learn and communicate, figuring out the way we work best together, and watching them grow as students and as people. It's an incredible journey that creates a unique and special relationship.
Undergraduate Degree: Washington University in St Louis - Bachelors, Environmental Studies
ACT Composite: 34
climbing, Calvin & Hobbes, hiking, running, baking cookies
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is student-centric. I like to get to know each student to figure out the best ways to work with them - to help them understand but also to get them excited and jazzed about what they are learning. Igniting a curiosity in students, asking them questions, and inspiring them to ask their own is the goal.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First I'd love to get to know the student and what their interests are in life outside of school. Determining and discussing goals for both of us is also an important step when I first meet with a student. And finally, when we dove into the academic portion, I would want to find out where they are with the material, and then we could figure out how to move forward.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Providing students with the tools and skills that they need to complete assignments, for example methods for note taking. It's very important that students understand the fundamentals so that they can apply it to situations they haven't encountered before. This includes time management and organizational skills, which are also important for successful independent learners.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I think making sure our time together stays fun and positive is important for a student to stay motivated. If they are not looking forward to spending time with me and working with me, we won’t be able to get very far. Positive reinforcement is also a constructive way to keep students motivated.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Try to relate the topic to their life, or to what they need to work on in the future. I think being able to see the work/concept in the big picture can help students understand why it's important that they are learning it, and they are less likely to disengage.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Having a student explain the material back to me is one of my favorite ways to make sure that they are understanding the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Positive reinforcement is key to building a student's confidence in a subject. Acknowledging and congratulating any success, no matter what size, is important.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would want to try to understand why or how the student is having difficulty by asking them questions about the topic and/or the process. I usually then try to explain it in a couple of different ways, to see which method sticks the best with them. I think it's also helpful to go back to a concept that they better understand and build off of that to help them get the new skill or concept. I find that helps the student put it in context and also makes it more manageable to grasp.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I think asking a lot of guided questions to help students through their reading or their exercise is a great strategy for students struggling with reading comprehension. Examples can also be helpful, to give them an idea or framework for how I would approach the task.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I think forming a positive relationship with the student is the most important thing in tutoring. If a safe and happy space is created, then the student will be more open to listening and taking in new information. Respect between the tutor and the student is paramount.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I like to evaluate a student's needs by asking the student questions about their work and their goals, as well as watching them work - seeing how they puzzle through a problem, and also understanding the type of learner they are (visual, auditory, etc.).
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I like using the student's textbook reference tables or other materials that they have been using in class because they are familiar with them. Additionally, I always like having a pen/pencil and paper with me.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt to my student's needs by focusing on what their goals are and on their learning style, so that we can work together to help them understand the material so that they can be successful.