I am a teacher of writing and literature with two Masters from Salem State University, one in English and one in Teaching English. I currently teach high school English, although I am a former biopharmaceutical engineer. I love rhetoric, writing pedagogy, digital composition, and feminist critical theory. My favorite subjects to tutor are writing and English literature. When I'm not tutoring, I love camping, hiking, and horseback riding with my dogs.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of New Hampshire - Bachelors, Chemical Engineering
Graduate Degree: Salem State University - Current Grad Student, MA in English, MA in Teaching English
SAT Verbal: 700
GRE Verbal: 166
GRE Analytical Writing: 5
reading, writing, hiking, horseback riding, blogging
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My goal as an educator is to do as little teaching as possible. Let me explain: I take my complex and intensive responsibilities to facilitate and oversee genuine learning seriously; however, I do not subscribe to a learning model that relies on the teacher to construct and convey knowledge to her passive and waiting students per Paulo Freire's description of the banking concept. On the contrary, my belief is that engaged, authentic learning happens when students take responsibility for and interest in the information I am asking them to confront and wrestle with. My pedagogical approaches rely on a constructivist view of learning, which pushes students to employ their own knowledge and experience to process information in meaningful ways. My hope is that my students will engage themselves in the search for and construction of their own understanding. Accordingly, in my role as a teacher or tutor, I choose to partner with my students and clients, coming alongside them and joining them as they work independently and with one another to make their own knowledge and meaning. My goal is to do as little of the teaching as possible; instead, I focus on facilitating scenarios, environments, and opportunities that encourage independent, original thought on the part of my students.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I like to begin by assessing student or client goals, interest levels, and current ability. From there we can design a plan that will work best for that student or client.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
This largely relies on a student's ability to work without support, which is something that I achieve gradually with the slow release model. I support my students as they accomplish new and unfamiliar tasks, slowly backing away in my support until they are able to function on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation requires a combination of positivity and personal interest. I try to keep my students feeling confident while also encouraging them to see the tangible goals they are working to achieve. A large part of this requires me to keep track of and demonstrate progress so that students can see all that they are accomplishing as we work.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Difficulty learning a skill or concept is just an opportunity to approach the problem in a new way! An important part of learning is discovering how each individual learns, and that process of exploration and experimentation is important. I work together with my students to help them find an approach to ideas and skills that works for them.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Difficulty with reading comprehension can be the result of a variety of issues including difficulty of content, complexity of exile level, or lack of interest on the part of the student. With reading comprehension struggles, I prefer to diagnose exactly what is causing the problems in the first place before working towards a solution with my clients.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The biggest strategy I rely on is to be sure that my students are clear on their goals and can see how our time together helps them achieve those goals. We remain focused and on task, maintaining motivation towards the goal that the student or client has set.