I'm passionate about inspiring young students to love learning. I have 5 years of tutoring and experiential teaching under my belt from college. After graduating from Davidson College, I moved to South Korea to teach English full time in elementary and high schools. My method is to make learning high energy and fun, then remain persistent in helping students reach high expectations for improvement.
Davidson College - Bachelors, Religion
SAT Composite: 2120
SAT Verbal: 750
SAT Writing: 710
Elementary School Math
High School English
IB World Religions
Study Skills and Organization
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
One of the biggest obstacles to comprehension is vocabulary. I would help train the student to pause at a word he/she doesn't fully understand and define it on a dedicated vocabulary list. In addition to this, I would ask the student "who what when where why" periodically as we read together.
What is your teaching philosophy?
The expectations are set high, students will rise to meet them. A teacher should work to inspire, motivate, and nurture every student's efforts to learn.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, my focus is getting to know the student. I'll ask about her/his academic and extracurricular interests, specific struggles, and general feelings about the topic. I'll work to learn and observe the student so I can develop specific strategies to help her/him.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Study skills and motivation are the most important factors in becoming an independent learner. I would help the student develop and practice study skills that accommodate learning style, schedule, and personality. To inspire motivation, I would work to demonstrate how the skill's or topic's value for the student's future. For example, mastering the basics of French could help the student travel the world someday. Understanding basic algebra could build the foundation for a future in science or business.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
When a student succeeds--even on the simplest of questions--I praise them. Depending on the student's personality, I might be an enthusiastic cheerleader or a quiet affirmer. I work to remind the student that every success is a small step towards conquering the next, bigger challenge.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I work on breaking down intimidating skills and concepts into manageable steps. By starting small, the student is reminded of how much they know already, which builds confidence. From there, I work on developing a "plan of attack" broken down into steps. I may develop a written form of this for the student to refer to. In math and foreign language especially, I work on training the student to recognize and categorize problems into broad types. When they know what kind of problem it is, they refer to their "plan of attack" for this type of problem. Over time, the student will learn the steps and graduate from the guide.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Before I know the student well, I use some one-size-fits-all strategies. Some of those strategies are: repetition, follow up questions to test understanding, games, flashcards, and reading/solving out loud.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I work on making the learning process fun when possible. Games, songs, power points, silly riddles, and videos are all great ways to regain a student's attention and motivation during a break from the monotony of repetitive study.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I like to teach some skills like I'm teaching a student to ride a bike. Model the skill first, then walk the student through it step by step. I slowly step out of the picture until the student can do it on their own completely. I offer major praise when they succeed. Throughout any lesson, I check the student's understanding by having them complete my sentences, asking them follow up questions, and giving verbal and written "pop quizzes" intermittently.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
First of all, I ask the student and family what their goals are. Boost the grade? Prepare for a presentation or upcoming exam? Catch up to peers or boost confidence in general? With that big goal in mind, I'll observe the student, look at old class papers, and grade practice work from tutoring sessions to determine where she/he can improve the most.