I have been involved in education for as long as I can remember. I started my career as an educator as a volunteer one-on-one reading tutor when I was still in high school and, ever since then, have gained a wealth of teaching experience with students of diverse backgrounds. I have worked with students as young as third grade up to learners that already have college degrees. My background as a 9th grade English teacher has given me the opportunity to work with students from low-income backgrounds, students with learning disabilities, English Language Learners as well as students from a range of racial/ethnic identities.
I strongly believe in every students' ability to learn new and challenging concepts. I have a knack for presenting information in ways that resonate with students and that students can understand. I take pride in my ability to make learning fun and rewarding -- even when it is a students' most challenging subject.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: New York University - Bachelors, Politics
Graduate Degree: Johns Hopkins University - Masters, Education Studies
ACT Composite: 26
SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1410
Travel, yoga, TV, movies
ACCUPLACER ESL - Listening
ACCUPLACER ESL - Reading Skills
ACCUPLACER ESL - Sentence Meaning
ACCUPLACER Language Use
CLEP American Government
CLEP American Literature
CLEP English Literature
College Level American History
College Level American Literature
College Political Science
COMPASS Writing Skills
DAT Reading Comprehension
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Writing
GED Reasoning Through Language Arts
High School English
High School Level American History
High School Level American Literature
High School Political Science
High School Writing
IB Language A: Language and Literature
Introduction to Poetry
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Writing
OAT Reading Comprehension
PCAT Reading Comprehension
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in connecting new material to existing student knowledge. Students should always understand the importance of what they are learning and how it relates to their personal and professional goals.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would want to know what the student is passionate about -- whether or not it is related to academics.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The key to being an independent learner is grit -- the ability to stick with a goal long-term and overcome obstacles. I can instill grit in students by helping change a students' mindset and attitude. When a student realizes that they can do whatever they set their mind to, anything is possible and students develop the intrinsic motivation necessary to think and work on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Students give up when they don't believe in themselves. I would help a student stay motivated by reminding them how far they have come so they can remember that they are capable of achieving and learning.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would take the skill or concept back a few steps and work forward in difficulty. This strategy in teaching is an effective way to teach a difficult skill or concept because it allows me to identify exactly where the student misunderstanding is arising and enables me to address the root cause of the misunderstanding.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Students who struggle with reading comprehension do so because they are not able to cite the text. I would ask text-dependent questions (reading comprehension questions) and go a step further to show me the part of the text that proves the answer they gave me. Challenging students to cite the text develops reading comprehension skills because the strategy keeps students grounded in what they are reading instead of guessing or making invalid inferences.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found that educators should give students the opportunity to put their challenge or problem in their own words. Instead of educators making an assumption of what a student needs help with, educators should allow students to explain what they understand and what they don't in order to pinpoint misunderstandings and come up with effective solutions.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I always try to relate the topic at hand to the student's individual interest, as well as help students understand the relevance of what we are learning. Students are more likely to engage with a subject when the can visualize how they will eventually utilize skills or concepts on which we are focusing.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
One great way to check for understanding is to have a student explain the concept to me in their own words. Another technique to check for understanding is to present common mistakes related to the material and have the student explain to me why the example is wrong or incorrect.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
The best way to build a student's confidence in a subject is to present him or her with data that illustrates their growth in the area. Data is irrefutable. If a student becomes discouraged, I can share with them information that clearly demonstrates how far they have come through diagnostic assessments, previous assignments, etc.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
The first place to start in determining a student's needs is to have the student describe what they believe their struggles to be or in what areas they would like to confuse. However, sometimes students are not able to assess what they are struggling with. When this is the case, I would begin with simple concepts or examples and move up to more difficult ones because it is most effective to identify and target the foundational understandings and then move from there.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Students oftentimes know what they like and they don't like. After I have worked with a student for an extended period of time, I like to take the temperature and determine what strategies I have used that they find to be effective or useful and which strategies they do not feel have been compatible with their learning style. Further, individual student needs usually can be determined on the fly. I can determine whether I need to speed up, slow down, ask more/fewer questions, etc. based on how the student is reacting to my teaching style.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Materials that the student brings are the most ideal because that is the material they typically work with and are most comfortable with. In the event the student requests that I prepare materials, I access our massive resource library or find appropriate materials elsewhere on the internet.