I'm Meghan, a 2012 Wash U grad. I had a full-ride to Wash U, which gave me amazing opportunities to develop my knowledge and curiosity both inside and outside the classroom. I love constantly learning about the world around me, and love bringing that love of learning to those around me. I've always been the "nerd" but also always the person you'd ask about current events, the EPA ruling, or which Harvard philosophy professor most recently published. I truly believe your brain works better when you're excited and confident; therefore I love tutoring to overcome any fears and anxiety about the test itself, in addition to really nailing down the knowledge factor. I'm part of the team to help students succeed, maybe even more than they could imagine!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Washington University in St Louis - Bachelors, Archaeology & Drama
ACT Composite: 35
ACT English: 35
ACT Math: 36
ACT Reading: 36
ACT Science: 36
SAT Composite: 2280
SAT Math: 740
SAT Verbal: 740
SAT Writing: 800
Horseback riding, animals and animal rescue (work at the Longmeadow Rescue Ranch w/ the Humane Society), yoga, rock climbing, indoor cycling, pilates, boxing, poetry, comedy, theatre, The Bachelor, real-crime drama and those spoooooky paranormal investigator shows
10th Grade Math
10th Grade Reading
ACT with Writing Prep
High School English
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I definitely want to know what my new students' interests are! If there's a chance I can relate a math problem to a power play in hockey, or a 4X100 in track, we can connect on a level that THEY understand, as opposed to trying to force them into understanding the test as it is, which may not have worked in the past.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Curiosity! There are often tremendous links between subjects or types of knowledge that we never saw before. If I can engage a student in something they already LIKE, then pull it into the subject that needs improvement, we can start to grow outside of tutor time. Maybe there's a fascinating website about their favorite music that coincidentally allows you to see that music in sine waves. Whatever the case may be, we can find real life examples that include both their interests and the test subjects we need to prepare for.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I'm motivated a lot by compliments and affirmation. Though it doesn't work for every student, I always love to start with small encouragements. There is tremendous reward in habit and consistency; sometimes splitting the work out over a few days is better for your brain and easier for you to handle than doing it all at once. That's an ambitious lesson for most students, but one that we can use to help encourage their progress on a day-to-day scale.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Students who are having difficulty in a specific area or subject need to build confidence! We can take baby steps, building on foundations and taking away the feeling of "I can't do this!” After we tackle the attitude, we can really nail down the skills.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I like to break things down into smaller pieces. Often times, we can create ways to tackle each confusing sentence. What is it about these passages that are hard to understand? I can even go back to some Shakespeare. If you can get through that and understand the logic of the time, the standardized test or period writings from the 19th or early 20th century become even easier!
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Let's first tackle the problem in a way that isn't scary. Everything is made of smaller foundation blocks, and in building confidence with those skills, we can build to master the subject where we're struggling. Let's take the lesson outside, in a different context, or just get up and move around while we think. Sometimes, getting out of the pattern of, "I don't know, I'll just guess, this is scary!" is hard to break on its own. After we can come to the problem in a positive way, our chances for success now and in the future go way, way up!
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
In some cases, the student is able to be forthcoming with where they're struggling. If not, we can take a look at the grades and where they've been most successful and where they need the most help. Each student learns and handles material at a different pace, and working through some initial problem sets or reading passages together can help jump-start their progress.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
My tutoring style is extremely flexible. It's not my job to force the student into what works for me, but rather to help them find their best path to being a life-long learner. I've got tons of tricks up my sleeve to help remember quickly, and tips on process so we can analyze and start to solve new questions effectively. Mostly, we see what works. If the student is making progress and building confidence in themselves and their work, the results will show.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Anything and everything! I'm a visual learner, so when paired with another visual learner, it can be awesome to nail down specific facts and situations with a visual cue. Maybe in order to solve quadratic equations, we need to look at it in terms of pictures and matching them up. There might be a way to trigger a specific memory or process by simply making an impression. How many giraffes are in this calculus? It might be unconventional, but breaking previous unsuccessful patterns of behavior is crucial to improving and getting better results.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Always. Keep. Learning. Each of us are continually tackling new problems and facing new challenges. I can learn as much from my students most days as they can from me. We're in this together! Let's figure out a way to get past the struggles of today and on to tomorrow's.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I get very sad when I can't figure something else on my own. In my experience, lots of students share this frustration and sadness about their own performance, especially if it's not up to their own expectations for themselves. We break down the barriers that are preventing growth and learning, hoping to improve learning in the future as well as in the current problem.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Well, I love animals and music, in addition to all sorts of different activities. I'd love to help an athletic-minded student work on math and do some push-ups. Maybe we need to balance in tree-pose and come up with the presidents. In many cases, the sit-at-a-desk with a book method hasn't worked for these learners. Let's see what can help this cool stuff stick in that brain!!!
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I love tying information across subjects. To make sure we have full comprehension in a subject, I'll ask questions that frame the subject in a different context, or cause the student to look at the issue from a different perspective. Are our techniques still leading them to the right answer? If yes, great news, let's forge ahead to more difficult or complicated material. If not, we've got an issue in how we're approaching the material. Let's go back and make sure we've filled in every piece of the puzzle before escalating the difficulty.