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Renae

Hello! I am a current Senior at Soka University of America, pursuing a degree in Liberal Arts. This upcoming Fall I will start a Master's in Urban and Regional Planning, so I am a student just like you, and I want to do all that I can to support you and help you feel prepared and empowered in your education.

I a have been studying Spanish formally now for 8 years, and have spent more than 10 months living, working, and studying in Ecuador. Having learned the language in high school and college as a second language learner, I know the challenges of learning a foreign language, and am familiar with how Spanish is taught in the classroom. I often find that second language learners make better language tutors as we have had to learn and memorize all of the rules just like you. Espero que podamos aprender juntos!

My Liberal Arts education has also helped me cultivate strong language and writing skills. I have written for many disciplines and in many styles, and editing and reading other students essays is one of my great joys.

In all my teaching I try to be open and unintimidating, approaching the process as peers and partners in learning. All students are capable of learning and improving. I am here to give a little more attention and time than the student may get in class, building study skills and confidence. The ultimate goal is that the student will learn how to study so that soon they will no longer need me.

I hope I can work with you soon!

Undergraduate Degree:

Soka University of America - Bachelors, Liberal Arts (Concentrations in Environmental Studies and Social and Behavioral Sciences)

GRE Verbal: 168

GRE Analytical Writing: 5

Dancing (any kind!), Reading, Hiking

10th Grade Reading

10th Grade Writing

11th Grade Reading

11th Grade Writing

12th Grade Reading

12th Grade Writing

5th Grade Writing

6th Grade Writing

7th Grade Writing

8th Grade

8th Grade Writing

9th Grade Reading

9th Grade Writing

Adult Literacy

College English

Conversational Spanish

Elementary School Writing

Expository Writing

High School English

High School Writing

Middle School

Middle School Writing

SAT Subject Test in Spanish with Listening

Spanish 1

What is your teaching philosophy?

In all my teaching I try to be open and unintimidating, approaching the process as peers and partners in learning. All students are capable of learning and improving. I am here to give a little more attention and time than the student may get in class, building not only content knowledge, but also study skills and confidence. The ultimate goal is that the student will learn how to study so that soon they will no longer need me.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

First and foremost, I try to get to know the student. We do introductions--who we are, what our interests are--and then clarify what it is exactly the student wants to get out of our work together and where they feel they need the most help. If the tutoring supplements a class, I will ask to see the syllabus and course schedule so I can see what we are working toward. When appropriate, I may do some sort of assessment to determine the current level of knowledge and confidence in the subject matter, but this varies from case to case.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Study skills are SO important. My goal as a tutor is to make myself unnecessary. I will keep the student accountable in note taking, asking to see what they have from class each session so we can build off of it and improve. I will also suggest organization strategies, top resources, and at times small additional content to self-study on their own between sessions to get caught up.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

I will stop and break it down, going as slowly as possible. If the student doesn't understand one explanation, I will try another. After, I will set up a practice problem to do together so that I can find out at what point in the process the student has questions.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I always recommend annotation. For comprehension, what has worked the best for me is to have the student write a short summary of each paragraph in the margin next to that paragraph, to make sure they aren't going through the motions of reading without understanding. If there is a misunderstanding, we will go back and identify the sentence in which the key information was presented and underline it.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

After a lesson/explanation, I will always have the student do some work on their own, so they can ask me if questions arise, or can show that they now can apply their knowledge successfully to various similar problems that use the concept.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I never go into tutoring with a plan before meeting the student and speaking with them. What students want/need varies from student to student. I combine their goals with holes in their knowledge (and sometimes study habits) that I can see through working with them. I encourage them to always speak up and ask me anything, so I know what they are thinking and struggling with.