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Katharine

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I graduated from University of Connecticut in May 2015. I majored in biology on the pre-med track and minored in human rights. I have been teaching the sciences, humanities, and organizational study skills for eight years as a private tutor. At UConn, I was an administrative assistant at the Homer Babbidge Library and organized payroll for upwards for 300 students. I also volunteered at the Willimantic AIDS clinic and was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. I was awarded the greek life academic achievement award during my time at UConn. I began tutoring while I was in high school as a volunteer for the Bridgeport School Volunteer Association. At 15, my first student was a 4th grade girl who was about to repeat the fourth grade for the third time. Through my time with her, she was able to progress to the 7th grade and is now in high school. In the past three years, I have become more specialized in tutoring for science standard exams and frequently tutor in AP Biology, AP Chemistry, SAT II Biology, and SAT II Chemistry. However, I also have students that I tutor in all subjects ranging from all ages ranging from middle school to college. I feel my students succeed when they are motivated, organized, and engaged in the material.

I support my students by creating study schedules, finding new and creative ways to explain materials or supplement their current understanding, and providing one-on-one support personalized to the students' needs. I find joy in de-stressing students by creating a workable, organized plan to address their concerns. I have worked with a range of students with different needs. From students with learning and developmental disabilities to honors and AP-track students, I am able to personalize my tutoring sessions to cater to any student. I am currently applying to medical school for the 2017 cycle. In my free time, I love to volunteer as an EMT, hike with my dogs, and see live music.

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Katharine’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Connecticut - Bachelors, Biology, General

Test Scores

SAT Verbal: 700

Hobbies

reading, hiking with my dogs, traveling, watching movies, and volunteering as an EMT

Tutoring Subjects

10th Grade

10th Grade Math

10th Grade Reading

10th Grade Writing

11th Grade

11th Grade Reading

11th Grade Writing

12th Grade

12th Grade Reading

12th Grade Writing

3rd Grade

4th Grade

5th Grade

5th Grade Math

5th Grade Science

6th Grade

6th Grade Science

8th Grade

8th Grade Science

9th Grade

9th Grade Math

9th Grade Reading

9th Grade Writing

ACT Math

ACT Writing

Adult Literacy

Advanced Placement Prep

Algebra

AP

AP Biology

Arithmetic

MCAT Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

Biology

Cell Biology

Chemistry

CLEP Biology

CLEP Chemistry

College Biology

College Chemistry

Elementary School

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Science

Emergency Medicine

Geometry

Graduate Test Prep

High School

High School Biology

High School Chemistry

High School English

High School Writing

Homework Support

Math

MCAT Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior

Microbiology

Middle School

Middle School Math

Middle School Science

Other

Pre-Algebra

SAT Reading

SAT Writing and Language

Science

Special Education

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Summer

Test Prep

Trigonometry


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I feel as a tutor it is important to make connections with students and to be able to hone in on exactly what it is that the student needs. It is important for students who feel stuck or frustrated to know that mastery comes with experience, and it will also come with patience and determination. They might be struggling with a subject now, but that will not always be the case. A little hard work, some organization, and a positive attitude can make a world of difference.

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

In my first session with a student, I try to gather as much information as I can about the student, their needs, areas of concern, and the material and resources they have at their disposal. I may try out a few practice problems to gauge the student's ability in the subject of interest. From there, I would want to begin to formulate a realistic and workable study schedule or plan in order to move forward and help my student achieve the most of their potential.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Through my study schedules that are designed to be realistic yet push my students to their full potential, students learn how to become organized and self-sufficient. Additionally, one of my favorite things to teach my students is my knowledge of study skills and habits that I have acquired through many years as a pre-med student. I love helping a student find their "study rhythm" and guiding them to find their own system of organization that they are able to implement themselves.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I love to show unconditional positive regard with my students while still providing enough structure for my students to succeed. Whether it is a mid-week check-in to see how my student is doing or giving my students a code word for when my current explanation of a concept isn't doing the trick, I am committed to my students and their comprehensive understanding. I try to understand what motivates the student, why they want to succeed, and then hone in on ways to incorporate their own motivations into our study schedule and tutoring sessions. I believe students need encouragement and reassurance that failure is natural and success comes from practice. I also love to share my own experiences (and failures) as a student. Being a cheerleader for my students is one of my favorite parts of being a tutor.

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

If a student has difficulty in a particular area, I try to present the topic in as many different perspectives and ways as I can for the student until one particular way sticks. I love to scour the internet for helpful diagrams or charts to help aid a student's understanding. Once I have established a relationship with the student, I can identify what type of learner the student is (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or a mixture) and try to cater my tutoring to meet their needs. I also love to add humor when things get difficult to make things more lighthearted and keep my students from burning out. Furthermore, if the student is having serious difficulty with a concept, I like to craft an action plan and implement it into the student's study schedule to specifically address the weak area and focus on making it stronger.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

To help students who struggle with reading comprehension, I like to read aloud together at first to see if I can identify where the student is having trouble (whether it is unfamiliar vocabulary, unusual sentence structure, or dense subject matter) and then work to build up the student's skills in that area. I also like to break down passages and talk about them using everyday language. If the student has a semantic connection to the material and is able to connect what they are reading to their own lives, I have found that my students are able to excel in reading comprehension.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Organization is the single most successful strategy I have found when working with my students. Staying organized by dedicating time on regimented yet realistic schedule is how students become stronger academically. I also find that being a source of reassurance and emotional support for my students helps them in their cognitive understanding and stay less stressed. I give out my cell phone number and email and always encourage my students to reach out if they are very nervous for a test and need a pep talk or are confused by an assignment. One of my favorite things to say to students is that we are in this together! I don't ever want my students to feel alone and overwhelmed. I pride myself on being there for my students when they need me.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

After determining what motivates and interests my student, I would try to connect the subject they are struggling in to an area that they enjoy. For example, if they were having trouble with physics problems focusing on kinematics and my student was a field hockey player, I would construct a practice problem that would unite field hockey and kinematics to help my student become more engaged. I would also speak with my students about how sometimes subjects that seem boring are crucial for more interesting subjects and for success in the long run. I love to remind my students of the bigger picture and always try to put a positive spin on a challenging subject. Additionally, I like to find cool YouTube videos or articles on science, math, or even history topics that present seemingly "boring" material in a fun and inventive way.

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

I love to use "check-in" questions to make sure my student really understands the problem we just went over or a concept we are reviewing. Additionally, depending on the student's style, I even employ a code word that signals to me that the student is lost and we need to backtrack. I frequently like to end sessions with a few practice problems led by the student. I also start the subsequent sessions with quick review and check-in concerning the material we covered during the last time we had a session.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

I love to get to know my students on a personal level and share my own stories of academic successes and most importantly, my failures. I love to reassure my students and tell them that mastery comes with practice and it WILL come. I always try to be a source of support and positivity for my students. If they feel like they are bad at a particular concept or subject, I love to reframe the situation with my students to focus on the positives and create a plan we can implement to change the situation so the student can reach their desired goal. I find coming up with a plan for next steps after bad grade or rough patch helps to distress my students.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I evaluate my student's needs by asking the right questions. Do you feel like your teacher understands you as a student? What do you feel your strengths are? By watching my student's solve practice problems or listening to how they explain a particular topic to me, I am able to gauge what the student needs from me as a tutor. Also, over time and through building a relationship, I am able to learn exactly how the student learns best and cater to that need specifically.

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

I adapt to my student's needs by having a flexible schedule and making myself available to the student as much as possible. I also can alter my teaching methods to provide more or less structure depending on the student's schedule and needs at a particular time. I love to use the internet to supplement my own teaching and to provide different ways of explaining topics. I find my students learn best when they can see a difficult topic from multiple perspectives.

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

Depending on whether the session was in person or online, the materials I use would vary. During online sessions, I like to use the white board, previously prepared practice problems, and diagrams from the internet. I also love to prepare YouTube videos to explain scientific concepts so the student can visualize what the textbook is referring to when it talks about human cells or a chemical reaction. In person, I have a "Mary Poppins-esque" tutoring bag filled with supplies. I bring two white boards to every session so my students and I can solve problems side by side. I bring my box of highlighters, sharpies, crayons, colored pencils, and colored markers to make scientific diagrams or study guides fun, colorful, and organized. Of course, I bring my laptop so I can pull up anything on the internet to supplement my session.


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