I have been involved in education for over 15 years, first in outdoor education in California, teaching science through hands-on experiences like snorkeling, kayaking and hiking. In addition, I had the chance to travel as an international expedition guide in Central American and Africa with high school students, with a focus on history, anthropology, writing, and sociology. Five years ago I became a middle school classroom teacher in San Francisco, CA, specializing in English and history. I spent the last two years teaching overseas in Lisbon, Portugal, working with diverse students from around the world.
My teaching credentials in both elementary education, and secondary English and Social Sciences, coupled with my enthusiasm and dedication for working with young people, make me a very understanding, flexible and reliable tutor. I enjoy getting to know my students interests, their strengths, and the things that are a challenge. I understand that not all students learn the same way, and I emphasize this in my teaching. Learning is amazing, difficult, and a rewarding adventure. I hope I can help you on your path to new understanding, and appreciation for your own successes.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Michigan State University - Bachelors, Journalism
Graduate Degree: Humboldt State University - Masters, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
Hiking, gardening, reading, swimming, travel
College World History
High School English
High School Geography
High School World History
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I like to begin with my tutees by finding out about my students, what they consider to be their strengths and challenges, what (if any) are their current organizational tools, and what their goals are to set some deadlines for themselves. I assess from there where we need to go, thinking about what tools would work best for each individual: daily planners, highlighters for color coding, note taking strategies, organizational tools like interactive notebooks for reflection, etc. It really depends on the specific needs of each student as to where we begin and how we move forward, but I really like to focus on student accountability and student-focused goal setting.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Find out about student interests, their own goals for tutoring and what they want to accomplish from working together.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I try to do this immediately by supporting them with tools they can personally use to guide their own learning. Organization is a big key to this independence, and every student needs to learn what this looks like for them.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
We stay motivated by setting tangible goals and then making sure we celebrate them when they are met. Checking off lists, crossing off tasks, and clearing calendars can feel very rewarding after a big project has been accomplished.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I try to look for different ways of approaching material, since all of us learn differently. If someone gets stuck on something, it often helps by trying to see if from a different angle or perspective.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
When it comes to reading comprehension, it usually helps to break passages up into small pieces and try to analyze meaning step-by-step. This way, you can see the smaller pieces first, and then look for ways they fit into the whole.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Many students need help with learning how to be more organized or prepared, and so this is usually a place I like to start with students. Growing a firm foundation of organization helps the student with their overall goals as we address the specifics of their needs and concerns.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
It is important to connect what students are learning about in the classroom, to their own lives. If there is a way to use real world scenarios while studying, I tried to implement this and make connections to the student's own experiences.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I like to do mini quizzes, reflections, or debrief our meetings to make sure the student understands the material we cover during a session.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
The most important thing for students is to discover their strengths in whatever area they are studying. Once they find this strength, we can build from there and work through the challenges that are getting in the way of learning.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
We do this through reflection and review. Every session begins with a time of short reflection to review what has been learned, and we end our sessions with the same reflection to see where we need to go in the future.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Every student is different, and so it is my goal to try to find how each person learns. Once we discover this together, then we can move forward to knowing how to adapt curriculum or information so you can best learn it.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Notebooks, laptop, highlighters, planner, sticky notes, on-line dictionary, pen/pencils, and erasers.