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I have been teaching individuals and groups since I was very young. After finishing my BA I moved to Germany to teach English at the high school level, and since then I have worked with students on history, philosophy, languages and literature. I've taught individual students privately and large groups at college and university in Germany, England and North America, and worked personally with students of all ages and backgrounds.

I see learning as a lifestyle, and I believe a person's ability to learn is what empowers them to make change in their own life and in the lives of others. My own life has been full of learning, and this has inspired me to travel, meet new people, try new things and always expand my own horizons. I would love to help you do the same!

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Courtnay’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: McGill University - Bachelors, History

Graduate Degree: Winchester University, UK - PHD, English and History


climbing, cycling, hiking, travelling, music, reading

Tutoring Subjects

Ancient and Medieval Heritage


College English

College Essays

Comparative Literature

Conversational French

Conversational German


English Grammar and Syntax


Essay Editing

European History


French 1


German 1

German 2

German 3

German 4

High School English

IB Extended Essay

IB History

IB History HL

IB History SL

IB Theory of Knowledge


Latin 1



Medieval Literature


Public Speaking



Social Sciences

Social Studies


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching is student-focused, concentrating on the one hand on giving students opportunities to develop their own natural skills and on the other hand opening doors to ideas, texts and peoples they otherwise would not have encountered. I see my role as facilitating a student’s access to and interaction with texts and sources; while I can give background to a topic, it is the students’ abilities to critically analyze related sources that I focus on in my teaching. I use a variety of modern technologies, including podcasts, video clips, social media and tablet-friendly software and textbooks. Since completing a two-year higher education teaching certificate in Germany, I have endeavored to keep up with current pedagogical trends, and researched creative teaching methods using new technologies. By re-assessing my teaching frequently, I can ensure that I am always using new materials, keeping my own enthusiasm at its peak. It is important to me to give students a positive learning experience that will encourage them to want to learn more themselves. The student should be the center of the learning experience, and it is important to me that each student feel valued when I am teaching large groups. I take student feedback very seriously, and give students the opportunity to influence the direction their learning will take.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

A typical first session will seem like a friendly conversation focusing on your goals and interests. We will discuss the areas you wish to delve into, and how we think that you can best develop your skills and knowledge, be that in learning history, literature or language. I'll have some examples to give you an idea of how we'll be practicing, and we'll talk about what has and hasn't worked well for you in the past. At the end of the first session, you will come away with things to think about for the next session, tasks to work on, and excitement to learn more!

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I primarily teach skills, helping students find out the different possibilities to steer their own learning. While we practice language, or analysis together, I show students the paths available in each discipline. Also, each student has their own learning style, and coursework can be adapted to an individual to better suit their preferences. Whether or not you know what your best method of learning is, we can work with that together. It is not difficult to learn information - the difficulty lies in knowing all of the different avenues available and how to use them most effectively. This is why my teaching focuses on helping students to learn their own methods and how to expand their horizons.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

The key to motivation is finding what you are learning relevant to your own life. Reading a medieval documents or learning grammar rules can seem very abstract and irrelevant to your own life; I teach by showing the similarities between other cultures and our own, so the student can find a personal connection to the content. Making the content fun and accessible keeps motivation high.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

It is important to stay motivated when you are learning something new and challenging. Even the most daunting task can be broken down into manageable pieces though, and once you have success working through parts, you are motivated to continue. If there are difficulties, we will approach the issue from another angle. There are always other ways try out and different resources to keep you interested!

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

There are a wide range of assessment techniques that I use in my teaching - from informal means such as discussion and practice, to more formal such as quizzes and practice writing tasks. The methods we use will depend on your goals, so if you need to pass an exam at school, we'll practice similar scenarios; if you are looking to improve your conversation ability or analysis, then we'll practice written or spoken tasks

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

We evaluate your needs together, on a goal-oriented basis. We will first determine what your goals are, both personal and in terms of formal assessments you may have to do for school. Once we have these benchmarks clear, I can determine your personal skill level based on discussion and some writing exercises.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

All of my teaching is personalized and adapted to suit your interests. I have taught using historical board games, German-language video games, Latin comics, and adapted literature exercises to be applicable to contemporary issues. Our lessons are always flexible, and we will reach our goals according to whatever inspires you best.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

This depends on how you like to learn. If we are practicing literature or language, we will read books and do exercises on paper in addition to discussion. I also use a wide variety of tools such as podcasts, video clips, online reading, eBooks, newspapers and magazines, and games, either for your own time or to work on together.

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