A photo of Sharla, a tutor from George Fox University

Sharla

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I am a writer, editor, and educator with over 11 years experience teaching English at the college level. Classes I have taught include: First Year Writing, Writing with Research, Writing Composition, Writing Poetry, Creative Writing, and High Intermediate Writing for Second Language learners. I have also taught English to high school students during a Summer spent in Chengdu, China.

I work efficiently with wide-ranging populations. From my time as a community college instructor, I experienced teaching culturally and economically diverse students at a range of abilities, ages, and learning styles. I work to be flexible, adaptable and creative to engage students at their level. I am an avid user and proponent of technology to enhance learning and have experience teaching online for over seven years, making me an excellent resource for the many supplemental learning sites available.

Not only am I a teacher, but I am editor as well. As the Editor in Chief for the Young Adult online journal, The Crawl Space, I have developed and implemented editorial standards for both style and quality that are used by the editorial team. I have also worked as Copy Editor and Assistant Fiction Editor for The Fourth River journal wherein I read and evaluated submissions and contributed reviews for the online blog.

My education includes a Master in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Chatham University and a Master in Arts in Writing from Portland State University.

I'm lucky because my passions and hobbies eclipse. I am a multi genre writer of Nonfiction, Poetry, and Fiction. Presently I am working on a children's fantasy novel. I enjoy camping and hiking, traveling to new places with rich history and culture, cooking and baking vegan recipes, and spending time with family--doesn't even have to be my family.

Sharla’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: George Fox University - Bachelors, English and Literature

Graduate Degree: Chatham University - Masters, Creative Writing

Hobbies

Not only am I a teacher, but I am editor as well. As the Editor in Chief for the online journal, The Crawl Space, I have developed and implemented editorial standards for both style and quality that are used by the editorial team. I have also worked as Copy Editor and Assistant Fiction Editor for The Fourth River journal wherein I read and evaluated submissions and contributed reviews for the online blog.

Tutoring Subjects

College English

College Essays

Comparative Literature

English

English Grammar and Syntax

ESL/ELL

Essay Editing

High School English

Literature

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I strive to be an excellent teacher who helps students in their process of self-discovery by providing structure and opportunities for self-reflection and revision. I seek to create an egalitarian and nurturing community in each class meeting, where students know that they are valued, value that cannot be diminished by a grade. To stimulate intellectual development, I accept that I cannot teach everything about a subject and that more information does not equal more learning. Instead I let the course objectives guide my selections and determine what content best relates to the learning goals. I categorize the content in order of importance and when needed, consult with other experts in teaching and my field. I ask myself: Will this help students meet the course objectives? Is this must know, foundational knowledge that needs to be repeated, or only interesting once in a while information? Above all, I have learned to be flexible in my agendas, allowing student need to decide what we do each class hour. I attempt to introduce information in a new way each class, and challenge students to be active thinkers and participants in the class through experimentation, inventiveness, and taking chances. I have found that learning works best when it is seen as applicable to the real world and assessed by measurable outcomes. Therefore, I scaffold coursework so students are learning the basics before they take on more complicated assignments and include real-world scenarios and application of the material. Sometimes this includes requiring students to submit original work to a publication or to participate in service projects outside of the classroom. I often ask the students to reflect on what they’ve learned already, and how that can be best applied to their present assignment. I also make course learning objectives part of each assignment rubric, reinforcing how each objective is met and measured. In building rapport with students, I model respect. I have experienced students who seem apathetic towards completing coursework and participating, or unaware that others are affected by their actions. I have approached these challenges in a variety of ways by requiring students to compose and sign course contracts, and by giving a buy-in at the beginning of the class hour where students present questions they hope to have answered by the end of our time. As often as needed, I put it back to the students that in the classroom and beyond as active participants in many communities, learning is their responsibility. I will provide additional work for students who want it, and seek to engage even the most disinterested student by giving her or him a task. I stress to students that I am a resource and available outside of the classroom as well. Helping students form ideas and discover their voices is deeply gratifying; it is the answer to why I teach.

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

I'd love to get to know the student by asking what they enjoy doing, reading and writing, and their personal goals. I would then work with the student to set up a schedule and achievable goal(s) for our time together.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I would give the student tips on understanding instructions, recognizing steps, finding common errors, and provide supplemental resources.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Goals are key! I would like to set achievable goals for our time together and champion the student with each goal met!

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

Ask for the student to explain to me what he or she understands so that I can better understand what he or she needs to know. I would then give the student clear instruction, supplemental material if necessary, and a task to accomplish.

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

A reading log and close-reading tips.

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

Be engaging, invested, and enthusiastic.

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

Find a way to apply it to something they are interested in.

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

Indirect and direct assessment.

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

Finding at least one thing they are doing well, and reminding them of how much they already know

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

By asking, and by evaluating student work.

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

Pacing with the student’s level and need. Assessing my own practices as well as student work. Communicating clearly with the student.

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

Reading handouts, student work, video links.