Hi! My name is Becky, and I would love to be your tutor! I recently graduated from Lewis & Clark College, I majored in psychology and minored in Latin American Studies. I have completed coursework in many other areas, such as statistics, geometry, physics, Spanish, chemistry and art. I'm no stranger to standardized testing either. I have worked with kids of all ages in a variety of educational settings, from academic tutoring to guitar and vocal lessons. During tutoring sessions, I keep things light and fun while staying focused on the material. I will make sure that you understand the material inside and out, and feel prepared for whatever challenges lay ahead.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Lewis & Clark College - Bachelors, Psychology
ACT Composite: 29
ACT English: 33
ACT Reading: 33
Research, Cooking, Gardening, Spanish, Crafting, Camping, Hiking, Singing, Music, Guitar, Read, Animals.
High School English
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that you won't learn easily if you don't find some way to personally engage with academic material. Finding something funny, interesting, strange or even angering can make once-foreign concepts feel relatable and even cool!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first lesson, I ask students about their strengths, passions, and what areas they'd like to improve upon. Afterward, we go over the material, and pinpoint troublesome areas. Once those have been identified, we make a game plan for the future, focusing on what to needs to be worked on and how thoroughly. I always make sure to leave a student feeling positive and confident.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
A crucial part of being an independent learner is engaging personally with academic material. This means finding things about any academic text or problem that you can relate to! An important next step is finding study habits that work for you. As a tutor, who has at one point struggled with each of these things, I can help a student connect to material and identify those study habits.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Staying motivated can be difficult sometimes, especially when that motivation is extrinsic. I strive to help students feel intrinsically motivated, so that they are working hard for their own benefit, because they want to do well.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would break that concept or skill into little bits that we work through each week and attack from many different angles. If the student is feeling beat-down by their struggles, I would move onto the next topic and come back to the problematic concept later.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
As a visual learner, I make narrative diagrams of things I'm having a hard time understanding. I find that this technique works well for a lot of students. However, there are a plethora of techniques that I would employ to help with reading comprehension, such as reading aloud. Another example is reading the question before the passage, so that the student knows what to focus on during the reading.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Students need to be met where they're at. Whether they're struggling with a brand new concept, or feeling defeated by an old concept, students need to feel intrinsically motivated and encouraged if they want to succeed. Taking small steps to learn bite-sized parts of the concept at hand is crucial. Describing the challenging material in a different context helps too. Using metaphors to help the student relate to the concept has also helped tremendously in my experience.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Taking a concept outside of the academic realm can really help students connect and engage with material. A common complaint that I'd hear in high school (and even college) is "Why are we learning this? When will we ever use trigonometry in real life?" When material is annoyingly challenging, it can help to envision situations in which you'd use seemingly abstract concepts in your day-to-day life. For example, you may use trigonometry when painting a wall or building furniture.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Albert Einstein once said: “You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.” If a student cannot explain a concept to me as they would their grandmother, they do not understand it thoroughly.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Celebrating a student's successes rather than dwelling on their mistakes or failures is the key to keeping a student confident and motivated. It's also important to congratulate a student on their work ethic rather than their intelligence. Even if a student is borderline genius, their work ethic is what will make them succeed, not necessarily their natural gifts.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I would begin by asking a student where they feel they need to improve. Next, I would have the student attempt to solve a problem they've been struggling with. I would explain the solution, step by step, and work until the student understands the concept by the end of the explanation. If the concept is still challenging, we would return to it later.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I believe that using a variety of materials, such as diagrams, videos, and educational websites are all wonderful learning tools. I most frequently use diagrams to help explain concepts though.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
It's important to evaluate each student's learning style and accommodate it. Getting to know a student on a personal as well as an academic level is crucial in any teaching situation. I make sure that I fully understand concepts before teaching them to a student, and never push a student to the point where they feel defeated. That being said, some students need more motivation than others. Each student's needs are unique and deserve to be recognized.