I'm a writing, grammar, poetry, and French assistant professor at the University of Florida. I have experience editing creative work, essays, and teaching creative writing, technical writing, and French. I love reading, sitting outside, my dog, and good food. Learning to communicate and teaching others to communicate more effectively are my passions.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Davidson College - Bachelors, English (minor in French)
Graduate Degree: University of Florida - Current Grad Student, English
poetry, forests, animals, art, music
10th Grade Reading
10th Grade Writing
11th Grade Reading
11th Grade Writing
12th Grade Reading
12th Grade Writing
9th Grade Reading
9th Grade Writing
College Level American Literature
High School English
High School Level American Literature
High School Writing
Study Skills and Organization
Technology and Computer Science
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
If it doesn't make sense the first time, try looking at the problem from a different perspective!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I like to go over the student's main challenges as well as their strengths in school, which helps me understand the way they learn best, and what types of instruction or thinking they struggle with the most.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I've found that most students get stuck when they feel unmotivated or unsure of how to move forward. By teaching students to stop and identify the true problem (i.e. specify "I don't know the formula for x equation" or "I don't know how to segue from this paragraph to the next"), students will avoid losing time worrying or stalling and teach themselves to tackle problems directly.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I like to focus on the positive aspects of problems and obstacles by stressing the idea that each obstacle is really an excuse to learn. Every time a student is struggling with a particular issue, problem, or concept, these problems (when viewed as opportunities) actually contain the potential to teach the student more than something they understand immediately and easily.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If at first you don't succeed, try again! Everyone learns differently, in different ways, and at different times. My job is to keep offering ways of digesting the skill or concept, either by example, demonstration, repetition, or by teaching the rules. If a student is having a difficult time with a particular idea, I try to offer a broad range of ways of looking at the problem, and take time to listen to the student's explanation to pinpoint where the confusion really lies.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading is not easy for everyone, and sometimes students struggle with understanding voice, point of view, structure, diction, or logical design of a piece of writing. I try to spend time figuring out first which part of the reading is causing the reader/student the most trouble- is it a lack of understanding of the vocabulary, or is the student struggling to understand the point of view and purpose of the document? Starting at the root of the problem has been successful for me with students in the past.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Getting to know each student on an individual level is important to me as a teacher. I've found that catering my teaching to the strengths and struggles of each individual student allows me to help teach them to tackle problems themselves in the future. Everyone learns differently, and part of my job is teaching a student to identify for themselves how they learn, what they struggle with, and what their educational strengths are.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Personally, I learn best by examining and pondering physical examples, metaphors, and other illustrations that show me how a thing functions. With new students, I like to try several ways of teaching in order to find that specific style or way of seeing the world that works for the student - each student is different! I've found that helping a student identify ways they learn best (i.e. by example vs. by cause-and-effect logic, etc.), I can prepare the student to overcome similar learning obstacles in the future.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
After a student has been given some time and exercises to digest a concept, formula, or theory, I like to have the student make up his or her own rhetorical device or sentence example(s) that demonstrate the idea in their own words, using their own imagination. This has been very effective with memory-related tasks like vocabulary tests.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Focus on what the student loves! Everyone learns differently, and it's important to me to help students understand that their struggles are not necessarily setbacks, but rather opportunities to learn about themselves and practice tackling problems. Wherever a student struggles, they tend to avoid the subject/area because they are frustrated or ashamed, which only causes them to fall behind more. I try to focus on problems and areas where students struggle with a positive approach that allows them to admit the struggle, pinpoint the exact problem, solve it, and move on.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
All students are different, so I try to spend time in the beginning of a tutoring relationship getting to know the student's background, interests, strengths, and struggles. I've found it’s really important to be able to relate to a student not only about areas in which they struggle, but also to be able to bring up areas in which a student feels confident and strong. Both are important, and both can be useful for teaching, motivating, and understanding students.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I like to work with students according to their admitted struggles, as well as the learning struggles they may not realize they have. It's important to me to identify not merely the area of confusion for a student, but what the problem actually is, before attempting to solve it. If a student struggles with "reading comprehension," for example, that struggle may be due to the student not understanding the specific vocabulary of the text, or it may be due to the student not recognizing the logical connection from one paragraph to another, or the issue may be that the student misunderstands who the speaker is, or whom the speaker is addressing. There is always a root of the problem, and I always attempt to pinpoint that root and start there.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I'm an artist, poet, teacher, writer, and editor, so my bag of tricks ranges from online essay editing using shared screen technology to video chat examples to hand-drawn diagrams and images - whatever! I try to cater the tools included to the students learning style. If the student is a super visual learner, for example, then I might use more color - painting and drawing and underlining/color marking texts - instead of sticking to black-and-white type. It all depends on the student.