I've been tutoring for nearly six years now, and teaching in a classroom setting for three years. I became a tutor originally at Southeastern Louisiana University where I was involved in the Center for Student Excellence's Supplemental Instructor Program. Through that campus service, I was able to be a specialized tutor for English and Writing classes, primarily those offered to freshmen and sophomores. I'm very fortunate that I have been brought on as a faculty member at my alma mater, St. Charles Catholic High School, where I teach English II and English III to high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors. I've had the privilege of teaching eighth grade Reading as well in my time at SCC. I believe in the power of education and ideas, and I hope to help students reach their personal goals and create new passions through their learning.
My path to reaching my goals began in high school where I discovered a deep interest in language, in its power, its rhythm, its flexibility, and its history. I had a great teacher who helped me to understand the mysteries of poetry, of grammar, and of writing techniques, and through her guidance, I decided to pursue the study of English as my major at SELU. During my time at SELU, I was an active member of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society, serving as Vice President of the campus chapter during my last semester. I was also able to travel as a representative of my school as part of the International Sigma Tau Delta Convention, twice traveling with my fellow club members to present original writing to an international audience.
After SELU, I knew I wanted to continue to learn about people and about poetry, so I elected to pursue an MFA in Poetry at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, where poets from around the world traveled twice a year to discuss poetry and learn more about the craft through a low-residency study program. I worked with wonderful established poets as well as fellow up-and-comers as we shared our ideas about creative writing and the world. I completed my Master's program in June of 2015, and I've since moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, where I live with my husband Ryan and my dog ZuZu.
As stated, I love creative writing, but also find that many students react positively to my approach for writing academic papers. The biggest struggle to writing a good essay of any kind is to understand the prompt thoroughly and then attempt to answer the prompt in a unique and memorable way. I love helping students to discover their own voices as they develop as academic or creative writers. I'm also available to tutor for the ACT English test, literary analysis, the reading of literature, study skills, vocabulary, and essay revision techniques.
Undergraduate Degree: Southeastern Louisiana University - Bachelors, English
Graduate Degree: Pacific University - Masters, Poetry
Poetry, Music, Bike Riding, Movies, Books
What is your teaching philosophy?
Teaching is not so much about being the one with the knowledge; it's about leading someone else to the knowledge, and then leading her even past you to where ideas and innovation can breed creation.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I hope to get to know students by speaking casually with them. I think tutoring is about filling-in gaps, so I also want to be able to directly address their goals and insecurities throughout our sessions, which can only be achieved through genuine conversation.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Once a student understands her ability to reason through ideas and concepts, she can begin to ask herself the right questions when she approaches difficult material. Also, once she hones the skills that were lacking, she can proceed with higher confidence and success.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Once a student presents me with her goal, I would constantly remind her of what is necessary for the completion of her goal. Also, I make it point to tell my students that they are capable, because doubt tries to tell us we are weak when we really are not.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Most skills are actually just mental processes, so I'd observe the student at work or ask him to explain his process to me. That way, we can fill-in the missing steps and progress toward a new habit.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Students who struggle with reading comprehension need to learn to read actively--how to engage the mind with the words. I'd teach the student several strategies for approaching a text actively.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Usually a change in study habits makes the biggest difference. Once a student learns a new way to process information, he can approach new information with an arsenal of techniques and tricks to make learning easier and more efficient.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Finding a real-life application for information is often the best connector for students. If they can understand where the subject may appear again in their lives, then they can more readily store information.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Formative assessments, such as quick prompted questions and continuous practice, are often the most effective ways to gauge student understanding.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
When giving formative assessments, a student should be praised for doing well. We're so quick to lose hope when we are wrong, so we must counteract the negativity with positivity when progress takes place.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By looking at previous performance and by discussing honestly with the students, often the needs present themselves clearly.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
A student's body language helps me to know what is engaging them versus what isn't. If sitting and practicing isn't working, we can change things up until I can tell the student is engaged again.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use pen and paper almost always since handwriting is scientifically proven to connect more directly with memory. I also like to have any course materials the student owns in order to be able to refer quickly to notes and terms.