I'm Mariana and I love to tutor. I graduated just this past summer from Yale University with a degree in English literature and moved to the beautiful city of Boston. Mexican-born, Texan-raised and a proud first-generation college graduate, I love learn new things and to get other people excited about learning.
I discovered tutoring in high school when I would work together with my friends in solving problem sets. Then in college I signed up to tutor at middle schools and high schools around New Haven in varied subjects including math, English language and and test prep. My time tutoring in college was great, meeting so many interesting people who really wanted to learn. I particularly enjoyed tutoring students who came from tough backgrounds, struggling to meet the gap in knowledge they may have had but who nevertheless were really motivated to learn. Right now I'm also tutoring high school students in remedial math who just need a little bit of aid to thrive.
I'm still a full-time learner. Right now I'm tackling programming, web designing, knitting and French because there are plenty of hours in the day. Feel free to reach out to talk about all the cool things you are learning. In the past I've written poetry, published newspaper articles, acted in several plays, advocated for mental health rights, done neuroscience research in a Nobel laureate's lab and worked in advertising and marketing. Yeah, life is too short to do only a few things.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Yale University - Bachelors, English
Reading, writing poems, learning languages, watching good movies, programming and web designing, knitting
CLEP Principles of Macroeconomics
College Level American Literature
High School Chemistry
High School English
High School Level American Literature
MCAT Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
SAT Subject Test in Spanish with Listening
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I teach my students the same way I want to be taught: in a friendly, comfortable, judgment-free, open environment in which you can ask a lot of questions fearlessly. My ultimate goal is to get you excited about the subject you are learning, to show you that you can totally master whatever it is you're struggling with and we can both leave the session feeling like champs. I put all my efforts in every tutoring session and also expect the same. After all, learning is not about grades or test scores. It's about being excited about a new discovery and about life.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, I start by learning more about where the student is in the material. I want to know you as a person and your strengths with the subject. Then we can both we on the same page.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
To learn by yourself you have to believe in what you are learning. You have to feel excited to learn and wrestle with your subject. If I can help you get to this stage, my job is done.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would provide even harder questions once they have mastered the easier ones. To stay motivated you have to be challenged while also being able to look back in amazement at all that you have learned.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would break it down to the smallest pieces so we can together figure out where the gap is. Then we would work our way through the skill one step at a time.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would read with them and together talk about what we are reading, learning new vocabulary, imagining different scenarios, and applying concepts from the reading to real life.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
1. Approaching the subject with motivation. 2. Being patient and friendly, not judgmental. 3. Asking and being asked lots of questions.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would show them how to solve a problem, walk with them through a few problems and then watch them solve a few without much difficulty. My aim would be to regain their confidence in the subject.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would ask lots of questions of alternative possibilities and present a few challenging problems once she has resolved with confidence the original ones.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By showing her how she can solve challenging problems without difficulty.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I ask a lot of questions. I want to know where they are in their subject knowledge and make a path on how to meet new goals.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I first evaluate each student's knowledge base and find the areas in which they are struggling. Every student has different gaps or reasons for which they are not getting something.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Whiteboards, papers/pencils, beans and drawings (if doing math or science problems), short stories and interesting reading (if doing language problems), and additional practice problems.