For me, teaching is more than a practice; it is a passion and a purpose. Conveying knowledge makes the sometimes nebulous task of scholarship come to life, realizes the potential of study in an immediate way. It also allows for concrete gains and personal improvement, something I emphasize as a tutor. Tests and essays require rigorous practice and a clear understanding of what works, and what does not. This doesn't mean that these tasks must necessarily be dull - as a scholar of language, I always draw attention to the excitement that comes with understanding and expression - but it means rising to the specific challenge.
In this regard I am highly qualified. I excelled in my own standardized testing, enough that I was able to secure a fellowship at a respected university. I have experience teaching college-level rhetorical composition, leading courses where I wrote my own syllabuses and designed the numerous assignments. I composed exams and led reviews, giving extensive feedback on papers and dedicating time each week to face-to-face time with my students, dealing with their specific difficulties and fostering their individual talents. I received consistently positive evaluations, particularly with regards to my enthusiasm and knowledgeability.
As a tutor, I can provide unparalleled quality of skill and attention to my student. My hours are flexible, and my commitment serious. I am available online sessions, but am more than willing to travel for in-person sessions; indeed, I think face-to-face tutoring is the ideal for maintaining focus and creating a rapport.
Thank you for your consideration.
Undergraduate Degree: Tufts - Bachelors, English
Graduate Degree: University of Southern California - PHD, Comparative Literature
GRE Verbal Reasoning: 720
Reading, Writing, Gaming
What is your teaching philosophy?
Of the many attitudes that should inform pedagogy, availability is one of the most fundamental. A teacher is effective when teaching, which means being present in students’ academic lives insofar as one is needed. Office hours should be held sacred, and regular reviews made available to those who are interested in putting in the extra effort. It has been my practice to hold extensive, open-ended review sessions before every major exam, taking a broad view of the material and encouraging the kind of synthetic, analytical thinking which separates rote memorization from true intellectual process. While students cannot expect instant responses to e-mails, timely replies are a matter of more than politeness, they are a sign that their educators are engaged, and assure that their intellectual needs are being met. As each student’s needs may be different, availability is critical to learning about these specific needs. One frequently enters into higher education at times of great personal change and aspirational uncertainty, either an undergraduate who has just left the relative consistency of secondary education, or an adult student seeking to improve their situation by seeking higher learning. It is impossible to know what a student’s needs are, and impossible for them to communicate those needs, unless one is accessible. Balancing this need for a personal touch with systems of evaluation can be challenging, since academic work demands a relatively impersonal system of grading. As such, grades should reflect the quality of each student’s work in practice, serving as incentive for them to improve. Scales, while they may be necessary, should not be used as a means of inflating marks. The highest possible grade should not be handed out lightly, but rather preserved for moments of surprising brilliance or hard-won ability. It has been my practice when grading student papers to accompany the grade with a full-length letter justifying the marks given, highlighting the accomplishments, shortcomings, and untapped potentials in the student’s work, giving them a clearly visible path towards improvement. Having had experiences of arbitrary and punitive grading during my own undergraduate experience, and having spent years grading the work of undergraduates in turn, I am doubly committed to making sure that a grade, bad or good, leads to a dialogue about the possibility of improvement, instead of a confirmation of inferiority or superiority. The worst thing an educator can do is induce their students to believe that they cannot improve, no matter how poorly or how well they are faring in their course of study. As such the importance of justifiable judgment cannot be overstated. With the role of teacher comes a great deal of necessary authority, but this authority does not function without explanation. You cannot ask a student to both think critically and to unquestioningly accept the rules that will determined the character of their educational experience. Policies should be firmly maintained for the sake of fairness and consistency, but they should also be explicable rather than arbitrary. The door to one’s office must always been open, and a discussion always possible.