I'm a working Musical Theatre actor who has a passion for teaching and tutoring, especially in English and standardize tests. As a child, I was horrible at focusing in the standardize tests, and missed an entire section because I was "bored". As I grew up, I learned how to focus and became quite good at understanding the methods of creating the questions and understanding what they were testing. I became interested in grammar and literature particularly, because it is fascinating to get into. So many different words to describe life, and so many stories to delve into! When I was a teenager, a good number of my poems, stories and essays were published professionally. I was also one of the five finalists of the Profile in Courage essay competition for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in 2009.
While theatre is my dream and career, I decided to become a tutor so I could help others who needed assistance with something that was just fun for me. Practicing for my own PSATs and SATs, watching my scores (practice and real) go up and up gave me a satisfaction that its almost indescribable. Helping people reach their own goals, and seeing them succeed is really important for me.
My approach is more relaxed, because learning should always be fun. I believe in practice making close to perfect, and repetition is key. The easiest way to remember something is writing it down a time or two. It works with all subjects, and it forces your attention to be on what you're doing in the moment.
I got into some of the top schools in the country, but ultimately decided on Catholic University of America because it had the best Musical Theatre program, which was the most important part of choosing a college in my view. With a degree in theatre, Shakespeare and other such play analysis is just about second nature to me. When I was in High School, I was in Honors and Advanced English throughout my time (AP Language and Literature), and got 5's on both exams. Also, when I took the SAT (back when the writing portion was required), I never got less than a perfect score on my essay. Once I got to college, I decided to be a peer advisor/editor for papers to earn a little money while in school. Once my school work got too crazy, I stopped, but I helped a lot of papers turn from Cs and Ds in the rough draft portion to As and Bs.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Catholic University of America - Bachelors, Music and Psychology
Singing, Acting, Reading, Playing Catan and Munchkin, Going out to Movies
10th Grade Math
10th Grade Reading
10th Grade Writing
11th Grade Reading
11th Grade Writing
12th Grade Reading
12th Grade Writing
1st Grade Math
1st Grade Reading
1st Grade Writing
2nd Grade Math
2nd Grade Reading
2nd Grade Writing
3rd Grade Math
3rd Grade Reading
3rd Grade Science
3rd Grade Writing
4th Grade Math
4th Grade Reading
4th Grade Science
4th Grade Writing
5th Grade Math
5th Grade Reading
5th Grade Science
5th Grade Writing
6th Grade Math
6th Grade Reading
6th Grade Science
6th Grade Writing
7th Grade Math
7th Grade Reading
7th Grade Science
7th Grade Writing
8th Grade Math
8th Grade Reading
8th Grade Science
8th Grade Writing
9th Grade Math
9th Grade Reading
9th Grade Writing
College Application Essays
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Science
Elementary School Writing
GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment
GRE Subject Test in Literature in English
GRE Subject Tests
High School Chemistry
High School English
High School Level American Literature
High School Writing
IB Theatre HL
Middle School Reading
Middle School Science
Middle School Writing
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that everyone should read more, because reading affects all areas of learning. Reading helps math, science, history, and especially English! Taking time to read up on subjects teaches more in depth than just doing the bare minimum.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Evaluate strengths and weaknesses. What they would like to get help with, and also find areas they're already strong in. To get a sense of what they're good at helps with how to approach things they need a little extra help with.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Guiding them to an answer is much more efficient for learning than telling it to them outright, even if it takes more time. If they can get the answers for themselves with guidance, they will start to get them without guidance. That's what a tutor is there for: not to give them an answer, but to show them to way to get the answer themselves.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I believe in a system of rewards, and that not reaching a reward is punishment enough. It's easy to get disheartened with punishments, and then rewards lose charm. However, if they know that a reward is waiting, or just the disappointment of no reward, they try harder.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Figure out a method to relate it to something they already get. If they are a visual learner, draw it out. If they are a verbal/audio learner, either put it in words or say it aloud. Relating it to something they already get is most effective.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Patience is key always. Set up a smaller section for them to tackle, and then add to it. Huge reading comprehension sections can be daunting, but starting small and getting bigger can make it less so.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Assessing strengths and weaknesses is more important, and figuring out how the learn quickest. Some people are visual learners, some prefer to write things down to remember, and others just need to listen and hear the words. Figuring out the ways a student learns what they're good at, and applying the same method to areas they need help in, is one of the best techniques I have found.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Relate it to areas they don't struggle in. If a student does well, they enjoy something more. If it can be related to something they enjoy, or can be related to their life rather than seem academic, it will become much easier to understand and learn.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Testing is the easiest way; not long testing, but quick examples that make sure they truly understand. The more practice a student gets at applying knowledge they have gained will make it stick.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Always be positive. There are positives in every negative, so focus on those. If they understand one concept, but are confused on another, praise them for the one they know. Then, we can apply the ideas of the first concept to the second to make it easier.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Practice questions; see where they excel, where they need work, and figure out a way to work both. For example, SAT Prep; the most important start is a practice test to see where they already fall. Do they score high in one, and low in another? Low in both? High in both? What types of questions did they get incorrect? Text analysis? Algebra? Geometry? Grammar? Finding out what exactly needs help is important, because it would be silly to spend too much time on things a student excels in.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Figure out what way is best for them. Do they need to look at pictures? I'd draw it out. Do they need to read? I'll write the lesson down to make sure they have it. Do they just need to listen? I'll make sure they tape the audio for the lesson so they can go over what we discussed. Finding out what works best, and running with it is the best way.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Practice test books. I believe practice is the most important thing. Grammar guide books are also very important. Going over basic grammar technique will score much higher on tests, the SAT, Essays, College Essays, etc. Well written papers are important, almost as much as conveying the content within the paper.