I first started tutoring in high school and have been involved in tutoring several different subjects on and off every since. My tutoring experience is mostly in any sort of math, and I find it the most enjoyable because in learning numbers and equations you can see the biggest difference in day to day concrete progress. However, I am an excellent student and am comfortable teaching many subjects. Thanks to having lived abroad in both Spain and Mexico I am fluent in Spanish, and I would love to share my knowledge of both the language and the cultures I have experienced with anyone interested in learning. As for my education, I have a Master's degree in International Economics and Finance from Brandeis University and a Bachelor's in Economics from Brandeis as well.
Outside of tutoring, I enjoy traveling, reading, soccer and the outdoors. I have traveled both Europe and South America each for extended periods of time, and both experiences changed my life. Meeting new people and exploring new places and cultures is a passion that I think everyone should experience, and I love talking about interesting places I've been or places I'd love to go to. I also adore cats and dogs.
If you enjoy doing something it will never become a chore, and this is a philosophy I take to all of my tutoring sessions. Although it's impossible to enjoy every lesson in a subject, by keeping positive and not getting discouraged it's a simple matter of patience and you can learn whatever you put your mind to. The effectiveness of tutoring lies in just how much more engaging it can be than a classroom of 25 disinterested students, and I never plan on losing that edge with personalised and extremely interactive lessons. The more questions the better!
Brandeis University - Bachelors, Economics
Brandeis University - Masters, International Economics
SAT Composite: 2230
SAT Math: 780
SAT Math: 780
SAT Verbal: 730
SAT Writing: 720
SAT Mathematics Level 2: 700
SAT Subject Test in Literature: 700
SAT Subject Test in U.S. History: 760
What is your teaching philosophy?
If you enjoy doing something, it's a lot easier to learn. Lessons should never be dry or both student and teacher will quickly lose interest. Have fun, and the rest comes easy.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I always take time to get to know a student and let a student get to know me because both teaching and learning are a thousand times more motivated and effective when there is a good teacher-student relationship. This gives me a little bit of job security, because hopefully teachers and tutors can never be replaced with robots.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Humans need plans. If anyone is faced with a mass of information she needs to learn with no plan or organization whatsoever, the panic is going to be overwhelming to say the least. Tackling things step by step not only breaks up large amounts of material, it shows students they are making progress and motivates them to keep going.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Each student is different but positive encouragement, putting things in perspective and reminding students of the progress they've already made are some of the methods I might employ. Skittles always help too.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Explaining things in different ways or with different examples is usually the key to helping a student learn a difficult concept. Sometimes, after working on a problem for a long time, the best thing that can be done is taking a day and coming back to it with a fresh mind. Too much exposure can cause students to hit a wall, and the mind continues to work on problems even when we aren't consciously thinking about them.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Students who are struggling with reading comprehension usually aren't connecting with what they are reading. Trying different texts and getting students more mentally engaged and just curious about what they are reading are a good start to the fundamentals of comprehension, which can then be applied to even the most boring of reading passages.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Getting to know a student and their particular learning capabilities first always allows both myself and the student to work using methods that produce the best results for him or her.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I always try to relate subjects we are learning to the real world or other areas because a more connected approach always engages students more. If that's impossible, I like to try and show students what is ahead, what they can look forward to and why this material is so important.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
The best indicator that someone knows the material is being able to explain it to someone else. I always have students explain material back to me while I ask a bunch of questions. This shows me they understand the material while simultaneously building confidence in themselves.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
When a student knows a material well, I let them know it. Positive encouragement and being honest with just how well they do and how much they have improved builds confidence. Additionally, I like to have students go back and teach the material to me, which often lets them show themselves they know the subject inside and out.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
In the first meeting, I simply ask them. It's also helpful when I can speak with their teacher or parent when it is appropriate. As we go on, it's easy to get a feel for a student’s needs and how to tailor a lesson plan to address them.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Changing your tutoring style depending on a student's needs is fundamental. For example, if someone learning Spanish is a visual learner, we will type everything in the computer as we speak it. If someone learning math needs to be interacting with the material, I won't show him a step without having him write it down also.