After having the chance to work with students both in one on one tutoring sessions, and in a classroom setting, I have found that the individualized attention students get from tutors is essential to their learning and development. I want to continue working as a tutor to help provide a specific and personalized learning environment to students in which they will be able to develop not only a better understanding of the material they are studying, but also crucial skills for succeeding outside the realm of academics.
I have long been committed to working with students and helping them to develop the skills needed for academic as well as personal success. I have held paid professional tutoring positions since I was a teenager, working with high school, college, and graduate school students in subjects including Math, History, Anthropology, Writing, Spanish, English, and Ancient Greek. I have experience teaching Ancient Greek at the college level, have been a Teaching Fellow at Brandeis University for ancient literature and gender studies courses, and am currently a high school Latin teacher at both an all-girls rural boarding school and a co-ed urban day school, and therefore I have experience working with students from a wide variety of ages and backgrounds. Having the experience of working with both a varied age range and also diverse subject areas has helped me to see that regardless of the situation, any level of learning can be achieved with proper guidance and attention.
My experiences as both an educator and as a student have shown me that being a “tutor” is much more than transferring information from one mind to another. I have had the opportunity to really know the students that I have worked with, discovering not only their learning styles but also their stories; this interpersonal element has allowed me to become a better educator. Through our interactions and their learning, my students discover that they can make conscious decisions and choices to better themselves, to accept and work through challenges, and to develop resilience. I work to help my students not only master material but also develop time management, leadership and critical thinking abilities. These skills will help students succeed and move forward throughout their lives, and are what I hope to help students through Varsity Tutors develop.
Franklin and Marshall College - Bachelors, Latin, Classical Archaeology and Ancient History
Brandeis University - Masters, Ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations and Languages
SAT Writing: 700
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I think the most important part about being a tutor is getting to know your student. I would spend the first session learning about them; their learning styles, the time they have available to study, what they do for fun, and how they approach challenges in other non-academic atmospheres. These are all aspects of a student that will help me to understand how to develop lessons catered to their specific needs.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Every student learns differently. I might start out explaining a concept or trying to help them memorize grammatical endings, for example, by having them repeat after me and by coming up with catchy jingles. But perhaps they don't learn best aurally-- they happen to learn best visually. So if they have difficulty understanding the material I would try to draw it out and show them the patterns with different colors and symbols. As a tutor you need to be flexible with your teaching style so you can find the best way to help your students.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I think the biggest issue for students is practicality. If they feel as though they won't use the information in "life" they are less inclined to engage themselves, especially if the material is difficult for them. I would help to show them that whatever they're learning is useful and will help them in their future.