I believe that learning is fun, and I enjoy learning new things. I want to find out what my students enjoy, and make school subjects and test preparation fun for them, too.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Bryn Mawr College - Bachelors, History
Graduate Degree: University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus - Masters, Library and Information Science
SAT Composite: 1470
SAT Math: 700
SAT Verbal: 770
reading, history, coffee and tea
AP US History
College Level American History
High School Level American History
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Making learning fun for students is the most important thing I do.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would definitely see what their strengths and weaknesses are to focus on in future sessions, and give some tips and strategies to start working on to improve test-taking skills right away.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I would help students think about what they are doing well and what they need more assistance with, and encourage them to pursue topics that interest them.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I use both positive feedback and constructive criticism to help students stay motivated and continue to improve.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would relate the skill to something they have done well in the past, and make it simple by breaking it down into small steps.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Start with vocabulary building to help them know what the words mean. Help them look for the author's main ideas. Suggest strategies for tests like looking for context clues.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Focus on improving their weakest areas and simplifying complicated problems so that they see improvement quickly, which motivates them to continue studying.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
This depends on the student and the subject. I would relate the subject to the student's interests and their everyday life.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Ask questions as I explain material. Review with the student to be able to build on previous information. Break longer sessions up into chunks of time where we talk about one type of material or question and then switch to another one.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Focus on process and progress. Learning anything is a process. Everyone can learn. Some people just learn differently. Work on the student's strengths while making progress on weaknesses. Focus on improvement and how much better the student does over time.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Ask the student what they need help with. Use a diagnostic test to help see patterns. If possible, ask parents or teachers for feedback, too. Continuously ask questions during the session and do short written quizzes, too, as a comprehension check.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I believe that learning styles are important and always take them into consideration. I involve as many modes of learning as possible. After a diagnostic test or input from the student, parents, or teachers, I focus on the weakest area first. Tackling the hardest thing first makes everything else easy by comparison and helps to increase the student's confidence.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use flash cards for verbal test prep. For math, I often use a calculator, and of course a pencil and paper for notes. I have used online whiteboards before and I think they're fun. :)