I started tutoring my junior year at the Franklin and Marshall College Writing Center after submitting three writing samples and undergoing an extensive interview process. During my two years as a tutor, I assisted my fellow students with various writing assignments across multiple disciplines. My skills span the many stages of the writing process: from brainstorming for ideas to evaluating the logic of an argument to checking for grammar and spelling.
From this experience I know that the hallmark of a great tutor is the ability to listen first before asking a multitude of questions. This philosophy allows for the pupil to show his or her understanding of the assignment and subject matter before the tutor makes any assumptions. As a result, the tutor can tailor an individual strategy for each student that targets specific needs or areas for improvement.
I would welcome the opportunity to work with you on improving your writing as well as instructing you in the social sciences, including all levels of US and European history. And when we're done with our session, I'd be happy to tell you more about my other passions - my family, baseball, and traveling.
Undergraduate Degree: Franklin and Marshall College - Bachelors, Government
Graduate Degree: University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus - Masters, Public Administration
Travel, baseball, movies and great Italian food
What is your teaching philosophy?
The hallmark of a great tutor is the ability to listen first before asking a multitude of questions. This philosophy allows for the pupil to show his or her understanding of the assignment and subject matter before the tutor makes any assumptions. As a result, the tutor can tailor an individual strategy for each student that targets specific needs or areas for improvement.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
After hearing from the student regarding the assignment, I would typically ask the student what has been the most challenging aspect of completing or even starting the paper, or studying for the test.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I like to tell students that independent learning is a journey and not a sprint to the finish line. At the same time, it's important to determine a student's strengths in order to build confidence and show that progress can be made quickly. As a writing tutor, I've been successful in identifying areas where a student believes he or she is lacking, but in fact, the student has mastered a concept or skill. The student by acknowledging this achievement can then begin to learn independently and work towards improving other facets of writing.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation cannot be prodded in a student, but there are ways a tutor can push a student to go beyond what he or she thought was possible. The best tutors find out why a student has not met specific goals by exploring how they study for a test or prep for a writing assignment. Then the tutor can explain to the student that a small change in studying tactics or outlining source material for a term paper can greatly improve the student's success. As a result, the student will see progress and find the motivation necessary to write the next paper and study for the mid-term.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I believe that you can always attempt to teach a concept in a different manner so it is better suited to that student's learning style. For example, if a student is having trouble supporting an argument in a paper, it's best to let the student verbally explain what position he or she is taking and why. The tutor can take this information and pass it along in note form for the student to try to assemble back in essay form.