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Serena

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I graduated from American University in 2014 with a BA in international relations (with a policy concentration in environmental politics and an area concentration in European studies). I'm a matriculating 1L law student and I have speciality focuses in most social sciences and history subjects!

Words, laws, and history just makes sense in my brain and I'd love to share my fascination with y'all! I believe that all subjects are interconnected in different ways so learning - anything! - is intriguing to me and I want to share that hunger with you. I'm a firm believer in positive reinforcement but I'm pretty exacting in my standards - just ask my violin students! I don't believe perfection is achievable but I do believe that hard work makes progress and enthusiasm creates fuel. I want to be the kind of tutor that encourages you to excel and believe in yourself as well as someone that helps you take a sincere interests in what you want to learn! I specialize in most Western history subjects but I do have a European studies concentration. I have a broad and in depth knowledge of most social sciences and I love to relate how each one of those studies are connected to others and I believe in holistic learning. In addition to slinging cheese in Manhattan, I also teach the violin on the side and I do have a background in classical music.

I also speak German and am a pretty fun conversationalist and tutor if you need some language help! I've written a multitude of research papers and essays following different standards for different areas of study so I can help with things like the basics like formatting (creating a good flow to your writing really changes the game) to more advanced things like research help or advice.

Feel free to contact me if you're interested and I'm already so excited to meet you! :)

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Serena’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: American University - Bachelors, International Relations

Graduate Degree: Vermont Law School - Current Grad Student, Farm and Agricultural Law Specialization

Hobbies

I like to run, work out, read, cook/bake, brunch, play the violin, and Netflix it up!

Tutoring Subjects

College Level American History

Conversational German

English Grammar and Syntax

ESL/ELL

Essay Editing

European History

German

German 1

German 2

High School Level American History

History

Homework Support

Languages

Other

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Summer

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is all about how to empower students so that they can feel responsible for their own education and learning. It sounds like a cop out but I promise it isn't! Paulo Freire discusses the merits of banking education versus problem posing education, and the difference between those two learning solutions really fuel the way I like to teach. I want to empower students to be interested in the subjects that I teach so that they don't just "remember" things by rote but so that they actually know and understand the things they want to learn about. A facet of that approach comes out in how I believe that our failures are just as important as our successes in teaching us what is "working" and what is not - and in tutoring a student I would prefer their failures to be with me so that I could encourage, teach, or coach them to be successful where it counts.

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

I would first try to understand what the student wants. Tackling issues that aren't really issues is just wasted time, so figuring out where our problems lie would really help me figure out what we can do to improve and work together towards success. Also just generally getting to know a student would probably be very typical of me in a first session, I believe a good working rapport and relationship is good working ground for success.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I believe getting to the root of the issues in a student's struggle to learn and tackling that would really help a student become an invested learner. For example, trying to understand that a student doesn't want to learn about the history of WWI because they don't know who the players are or that they aren't really "real" to them. Also just making the learning process accessible and interesting them in a way that fits their learning style really helps them take their education into their own hands.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Make it interesting! Offer positive reinforcement! And remind them that knowledge and learning and all subjects are interconnected in different ways so that if one subject isn't so exciting, I would try to remind them or show them how it's connected to something else that they love so that they can get a little hungry about understanding the subject.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Talk to them about what they're comfortable with and what they're not comfortable with. Discuss what they're goals are and what their current status is towards those goals. I'm very goal oriented and visual so helping a student realize what their "point A" is and then figuring out what they're "point B" is helps me use that as a tool to get them there.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I talk to them and check their progress. Many people learn in different ways, and I'd like to discuss with students about what interests them and where they feel most vitalized in their day to see where I can come in and enhance their learning experience by using what excites them to get them interested in my subjects.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Visual, Audio, Text - anything really to get them interested. I reference a lot of things to help relate my material to students.

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

Help them realize that it's the journey not the results that builds progress and true character within a subject. Reducing someone's knowledge and competence to numbers can be so debilitating, and helping a student realize that within a learning structure (very different from a testing structure) they are safe to be confident and hungry and self-assured of their knowledge.


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