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I am a senior English Major at the University of Pennsylvania. My specialization is in creative writing and theatre arts. I expect to graduate in May 2016. I have routinely made the Dean's list and my GPA is currently 3.7. I'm currently completing my last course as a long-distance independent study. I also scored a 2040 on my SAT's.

Last year, I worked as a tutor in a classroom of high-school students at West Philadelphia. The focus of our sessions was on creating dramatic monologues to be performed at an Arts Festival.

I have also worked as a teacher's assistant at Northern Virginia Community College. In this capacity, I worked with 25 students of disparate ages and backgrounds including a number of students for whom English was a second language. I worked with students both in small groups and in a one-on-one capacity to improve their writing and critical reading.

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Katherine’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Pennsylvania - Bachelors, English

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

With all the competition in our current education system, many students have lost their love of learning. In my experience, however, students perform better when they're engaged and passionate about learning. This was certainly true for me; as a student at one of the most competitive schools in the country, retaining my love of learning has been essential to my success. My job as a tutor is to rediscover and foster that passion and help students excel. As an experienced tutor, I have a battle-tested method to help students re-engage. My tutoring style involves asking a lot of questions, as I like to gauge where each student is in the learning process and identify any real or potential roadblocks. I have experience working with people of all ages and backgrounds, including older students and students who speak English as a second-language. I like to set goals with each student based on their educational aspirations and skill-sets. I am excited about the possibility of helping you or your student succeed!

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

In a typical first session, I would begin by having a conversation with the student about their educational background and goals for tutoring. I'd ask the student about how they perceive their strengths and struggles, and clearly diagnose any issues. I would go through an assignment with a student, pausing frequently to ask the student questions. At the end, we would revisit our goals and try to develop a plan for achieving them.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

To help a student become an independent learner, I would first work with the student to determine their learning style. Based on that information, the student and I would work through an assignment, pausing to ask questions and evaluate our methods along the way. At the end that process, we would again review what we did and the student would write down the methods that worked best for him or her.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

To help a student stay motivated, I would work with the student to find out what he or she finds interesting about the subject or assignment. If they're having trouble finding inspiration, we would talk about how this class could potentially impact his or her future.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

We would take it very slow, and really try to identify where the difficulty was. I would request to spend more time with the student to work out any issues. If the topic was especially troublesome, I would ask him or her to talk to a parent or teacher about possible next steps.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

With students who are struggling with reading comprehension, I typically ask students to take read and summarize the material a number of times. If it's especially troublesome, we take it sentence by sentence and I ask the students to rephrase the sentence in his or her own words. I like to break down what certain words (linking, transition) do in passages, so the skills can be transferred to other examples.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

When starting to work with the student, I have found it successful to ask the students a lot of questions. I also find it valuable to have the students assess themselves before working through a practice problem.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

In order to get a student engaged with a subject they're struggling with, I would have a discussion with them about why they don't feel engaged. After that issue is diagnosed, we would work together to identify possible solutions.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

To make sure a student understands the material, I have found it successful to ask the students to summarize the things they learned and how they solved particular problems.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

In order to build a student's confidence in a subject, I would offer praise when they were doing well and encouragement when they are struggling.

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