Writing and reading are two of the most important forces in my life, but I know that few people feel the same. For some students, both writing and reading can be challenging and discouraging. When I decided to attend college, I knew that I wanted to combine my interests with my love for teaching in order to help make writing and reading less daunting, and that certainty has led me to some of the best moments I can recall.
Since 2014 I have worked as a writing assistant for the Oregon State University’s Writing Center. I assist both native and non-native English speakers of all ages on a daily basis, and due to my unique position as a peer editor, I am able to use varying approaches to both assess and improve a particular student’s writing process. I work with graduate and undergraduate students on all aspects of the writing process including brainstorming, organization, voice, and grammar. The Writing Center’s unique approach of focusing on the individual student’s writing process rather than the end product allowed me to really create bonds with students. I am also able to participate in ongoing training sessions facilitated by senior Writing Center staff in areas including cultural literacy and strategies for working with ELL students. The work is incredibly rewarding, and I was honored to receive a 90% satisfaction rating from my students last term. I feel that I have developed a balance between directive and nondirective tutoring styles that I am proud of.
Throughout my educational career, I have had many other opportunities to work with students of all ages. During my summer vacations in college, I worked as a camp counselor at the Gualala Arts Global Harmony Adventure Camp on the coast of Northern California. I was able to help create a nurturing environment in which the campers felt comfortable performing new songs and dance routines and learning about cultures around the world. Similarly, I had the chance to share another one of my passions when I participated in a nutrition-oriented after-school program through the Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis. As part of an OSU-based volunteer group called Plan My Future Plate, I was able to teach kindergarten through 2nd grade students about the importance of healthy eating.
All of these experiences have helped me to develop my love for tutoring and my passion for making difficult subjects more enjoyable. I am excited for the challenges to come and I look forward to being able to share my passions and experiences in order to help my future students succeed.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Oregon State University - Current Undergrad, English Literature
SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1430
SAT Verbal: 740
SAT Writing: 790
Writing, yoga, organic farming, reading, animals
High School English
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
Students can only succeed if they feel like they are being heard and valued as an individual, so as a tutor I take that part of my job very seriously. I love working one-on-one with students to improve writing, reading, and studying skills. I have privately tutored students of all ages for six years and I have worked as a university writing assistant with graduate and undergraduate students since 2014. I use varying approaches to assist students with all aspects of the writing process including brainstorming, organization, voice, and grammar.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
When I meet with a new student, I like to chat a little before we dive into the session. I think it's important to get to know one another before getting started, since students can often feel nervous or uncomfortable with a new tutor. I also emphasize that I have never met a "bad" student, and that assignments are simply works in progress. I find that this can also help to calm nervous students down. Then, I ask the student to take out her assignment sheet, notes, ideas, and any other materials that might help the process. Together, we'll look through the instructions and figure out a rough outline of where we want to be by the end of the session. If we are working on a written assignment, I will ask the student to read his paper out loud. By reading through an assignment out loud, students catch errors that they might not otherwise. Additionally, this is the time during which I can organize my specific ideas and suggestions. Depending on time constraints, I will usually end after a discussion of next steps. I help the student make a plan and set goals for the time between sessions. If there are any lingering questions or concerns, we will address those, and then I feel comfortable closing the session.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
When students are struggling with reading comprehension, I like to focus on summarizing the selection at hand. I find that this can really help to simplify a difficult reading. Similarly, I like to work with the student to figure out the main idea and the supporting arguments. Once we've figured all of this out, it will be much easier to understand a piece of writing.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Firstly (and most importantly) I make sure that a student understands that they are bright, intelligent, and driven person! Oftentimes, struggles with a particular subject can stem from a lack of confidence in that area. Then, since we are a team working on the subject together, I show the student strategies like summarizing and inferencing to improve their self-confidence when approaching a particular subject area.