In 2013 I graduated Colorado State University with a BA in German with a minor in English. I was fortunate enough to study abroad twice while at CSU; once in Freiburg Germany for six weeks, then for six months in Bamberg Germany. I recently received my Statement of Eligibility (SOE) from Colorado Department of Education to teach K-12 German, while in a program to earn my teacher licensure.
I have always taught and tutored others; from my time in the Boy Scouts to captain of my hockey team I have helped a wide range of individuals learn. While abroad my German friend and I would meet twice a week on the bridge where we would talk about our cultures, I would ask him questions about the German language, and sometime he would give me a tours around town.
After graduating college I spent three years in the white-collar, monotonous 8-5 work force while I contemplated what to do with my degree, until a few months ago when I decided to take a leap of faith and quit the routine to pursue my passion. Shortly thereafter Varsity Tutors offered me this opportunity and I knew this was the right decision for me - to help others.
Aside from German I love history, a great catalyst in my interest in German, as well as music (Alligatoah, Cro and Bushido among my top German artists). I also enjoy literature and writing; I currently write for an online magazine focusing around Colorado’s electronic music scene.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Colorado State University-Fort Collins - Bachelors, German
History, Literature, Hockey, Colorado outdoors, Electronic Music
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
To know and understand how each individual learns so that you can use the correct method and strategy effectively. If they're visual learners, use more visual examples; if they are auditory find more audio lessons, etc.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Discover and learn how they learn best. Do they prefer flash card methods, games, mnemonic devices, etc.?
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By teaching the student how to utilize research methods, and how to effectively use and seek out tools and resources on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Remind the student why they wanted to learn in the first place and their end-goal, and have the student show/tell me what they've learned already.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Backtrack a lesson or two to make sure the student understood everything prior to see if there are any missing gaps, as well as exploring different study and memorization methods.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Break down each sentence after the student reads it, then when they understand each element have them read it again. Have them read an entire paragraph without stopping at words they don't know to see if they can piece the pieces together by reading further and picking up clues later in the paragraph.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Understand how much the student already knows, their current state, and where the student wants to be...their desired state. Knowing which study methods/strategies work best for them, as well as what type of learner - audio, visual, etc.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Try to find a way to connect the subject with something they're interested in, and really praise them with the little victories. People are more willing and wanting to learn subjects when they can see improvement, and acknowledging their accomplishments with a struggling subject will greatly help their confidence.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
The three R's: Review, Repeat, Reiterate. Review the lesson, have the student repeat it to me, and reiterate the key factors.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
With each little victory, reassure the student that they ARE understanding the materials. Show them how far they have come already, and share personal stores of when I struggled and how I built my confidence.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I would evaluate how the student learns best, what they know works/doesn't work for them, and what they want to accomplish at the end. Everyone learns differently, and it's important to know how so you utilize the correct teaching methods.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I have a large arsenal of college textbooks, personal notebooks, online and other resources I can use depending of the student's learning style. For example, if the student likes video games I would pull a news article related to video games to better help them engage in the subject.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I would see where the student is in relation to where they want to be, and then by comparing those I can see what areas need focus on for the student’s needs.