Throughout my previous career in the U.S. Foreign Service, exchange programs featured heavily in my daily activities. At the academic level, the Fulbright program included university students and faculty; at the high school level, the exchange programs involved hundreds of students attending schools in the U.S. and abroad. This experience motivated me to earn a Master's Degree in Higher Education that opened the door to a new career with opportunities to administer a college prep program for high school students, teach at a community college and become a Master Tutor at the university level. My total focus is on student success which involves student-led learning in the tutor-tutee relationship and helps identify student learning skills and preferences. The ultimate goal is student understanding of and enthusiasm for the required concepts and materials in any given learning situation.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: John Carroll University - Bachelors, Political Science and Government
Graduate Degree: University of Arizona - Masters, Higher Education
languages; hiking; swimming; international affairs; politics; international exchanges
AP German Language and Culture
AP US Government
CLEP Introduction to Business Law
College Level American History
College World History
High School English
High School Level American History
High School World History
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Engaging students to make the assigned lessons relevant to their lives.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Listen to their needs. Ascertain their learning style. Inquire about their goals.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Explore their connection to and motivation levels for the material at hand. Respond to their questions. Constantly get feedback regarding the tutoring session.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Include personal stories that relate to the material. Discuss context and background. Ask the student to personalize the ideas behind the substance.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Rephrase the question. Ask the student to review key concepts either in textbook margins or at the end of the chapter. Have the student review the chapter outline and learning outcomes. Listen to explanations. Have the student refer to previous learning. Inquire about books read, films seen, YouTube or social media items relevant to the topic.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Focus on the introductory paragraph of a chapter, as well as lead and ending sentences of paragraphs. Start with the chapter summary and learning outcomes. Introduce outlines, graphs, mapping, online tools.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Personal introductions. Career or academic goals. Exposure to material that is not class related. Travel. Provide my personal insights, if relevant (e.g., an example of foreign policy from my career as a foreign service officer).
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Determine the extent of related knowledge about that subject. What classes had they taken in the subject matter? If political science or government, ask about local or national figures. What are their media sources for information about the U.S., the world? What favorite music genre, film, TV show, online production may have included reference to government?
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Venn diagrams, outlines, graphs, studying maps if discussing U.S. or world politics or history. Connecting key points of a given chapter by asking how do they relate? In German language, refer student to study guides or online practice quizzes. In political science, refer to polling data responses of young people.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Ensure student that the teamwork approach ensures their input. Encourage student to inquire about the subject matter from family and friends, e.g., what was the most unusual circumstance an acquaintance remembers when voting or who was the most interesting person they saw at a campaign event. Have student participate in online material offered in all textbooks. Provide examples of current media coverage of relevant subject matter. Encourage participation in high school or college clubs related to the class material.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Refer student to the class syllabus and ensure that study skills techniques (such as note taking) and time management become incorporated into student's daily routine. Encourage student to use email questions on any related items to the class material in between tutoring sessions.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Ask student to describe their preferred learning style and, if they can't identify it, to provide an outline of learning styles and ask themselves to self-identify. Find out their daily schedule: sports, clubs, work, family responsibilities, etc. Ask them to develop a daily timeline if they haven't done so that includes study time, meals, non-school activities.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Textbook, study guides, outlines, Google, Wikipedia (but not for citations), MLA/APA style guides, keep notes on each session, charts, graphs, maps.