I graduated from Northwestern University class of 2015 with a B.A. in Communication Studies with a specialization in English and Digital Media. Currently, I work in advertising and take classes on design and the user experience. I had so much fun tutoring Evanston township middle and high school students in various subjects for three years in college that I decided to continue doing so post graduation.
Whether it is just extra practice or improving the understanding of academic topics, I seek to help all students gain self-confidence both in and out of the classroom. I tutor English, essay editing, writing, math, Pre-Algebra, and Algebra. The skills my students learn will provide them with excellent writing and math foundations that will allow them to feel confident in their ability to solve forthcoming academic challenges. I absolutely love helping students grasp writing mechanics. Being a confident writer can definitely help with one's confidence in their public speaking skills.
In my spare time I enjoy playing basketball, learning about user experience and design, exploring the donut shop scene, and watching the latest TV show craze.
Undergraduate Degree: Northwestern University - Bachelors, Communication Studies
Basketball, Computer Science Education, Digital Media, Television, Cooking, Traveling
What is your teaching philosophy?
From stickers, to high fives, to celebration dances, I seek to provide a fun learning environment that allows students to get excited about challenging academic tasks.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first session is critical for the student to be able to feel comfortable with your teaching methods. Additionally, I want to explore the best methods for this student to learn because all students learn differently. In the first session, I would be extremely friendly and seek to find common interests between the student and me in order for them to feel more comfortable with the initial introduction. Additionally, I would direct a lot of questions to the student regarding their workload, their academic setting, subjects they are performing well in, subjects they would like to improve in, and things they like to do for fun. Obviously academics are the most important, but such questions can help me understand what other interests the student has. Additionally, I can utilize their interests for interpretation examples when trying to explain certain topics.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The key to becoming an independent learner is confidence. One way I can help students is through positive reaffirmation. Praising them for accomplishments both big and small is a helpful way to let the students realize that they are in fact capable of solving these problems. I also believe prompting smaller questions can also trigger a child's inner learner. Also, teaching students to break larger tasks down can help them feel less overwhelmed and prompt more accuracy.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Throughout our session I would continue to praise their work. This does not mean that I will praise all work, but instead recognize positive details in tasks that may be performed inaccurately. Negative comments tend to make students feel overwhelmed and discouraged. This can more specifically be accomplished with high fives and stickers depending on the student. :) Sometimes distractions can also help them feel motivated. The conversation during the session does not always have to be about their work. Asking how their day or weekend went can help promote positive social behavior outside of academics. Lastly, incorporating examples that are relevant to the student can make the subject less complicated and more relatable.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would not let them get discouraged. I would walk them through the problem step by step. By doing so, I hope to identify the step in which their understanding dwindles. Additionally, I would try to make the question more applicable to their everyday life. By rephrasing the question, I hope to help the student improve their understanding of the topic.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I help them break things down. You don't always have to tackle tasks all at once. Breaking things down can make things less intimidating for the student. If it’s one large paragraph, we'll take it sentence by sentence. If It’s a paper, maybe we'll take it paragraph by paragraph. Communicating to the child that it is okay to take things slow and understand chunks at a time is a very valuable lesson.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I try to be personable. Talking about academics all of the time can be boring for students. I try to bring up relevant ideas throughout our time together. Additionally, I try to expose them to new things. Providing the student who is obsessed with dinosaurs with information about a new Dinosaur discovery can bring excitement and energy to our study session together.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would try to apply examples to the subject that incorporate topics of interest. You can always change wording of a math problem from confusing wording about molecules to that of dinosaurs or cupcakes to help a student understand the problem. Additionally, I would try to break the topic down into smaller chunks that are easier to digest and less overwhelming.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would use little tricks that force the students to reiterate the process. This may be presenting them with the same problem, but worded differently. Additionally, I could ask them to reiterate the process to me. Lastly, I would bring the topic back up randomly throughout our session to see if they remember what we discussed.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I deliver a lot of positive affirmations. This is often done through high fives, stickers, and overall excitement at their accomplishments. Additionally, I make sure to always pair a comment that encourages change with a positive/encouraging comment.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I ask a lot of little questions throughout our session to evaluate their overall understanding of a topic. The questions require a mix of lower and higher level thinking. Based on their responses to these questions, I'm able to determine what parts need special attention.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I take a lot of mental notes of student's physical, emotional, and verbal responses to academics. Are there a lot of deep sighs? Do their eyes get bigger when reading long math word problems? Do they always respond with "I don't know?" I try to adapt my tutoring methods based off of these responses. I don't want them to perceive academics to be stressful, but instead fun and exciting. Paying attention to social queues allow me to make the learning process more effective.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Scratch paper, pencils, pens, colored pencils, markers, highlighters, stickers, calculators…