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I recently graduated from the University of North Carolina with highest honors, and will be attending Johns Hopkins University in the fall to receive my Master of Health Administration. As an undergrad, I wrote for my campus newspaper (The Daily Tar Heel), served as an English tutor for Chinese students, and volunteered as an after school tutor at a local middle school. In addition to my love for writing, I am passionate about helping to improve the health care system. For instance, as a public health major, I had the opportunity to travel to Malawi, Africa, to conduct and publish research on burn prevention strategies. In my free time, I enjoy long distance running and cooking healthy meals for my family.

Marissa’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Current Undergrad, Public Health

Graduate Degree: Johns Hopkins University - Masters, Public Health


Running, hiking, spending time with family, reading, traveling

Tutoring Subjects

10th Grade Reading

10th Grade Writing

11th Grade Reading

11th Grade Writing

12th Grade Reading

12th Grade Writing

1st Grade Reading

1st Grade Writing

2nd Grade Writing

3rd Grade Reading

5th Grade Writing

Adult Literacy

American Literature

AP U.S. Government & Politics

College English

College Essays

College Level American Literature

College World History

Comparative Literature

Creative Writing

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing


English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

European History

GRE Analytical Writing

High School English

High School Level American Literature

High School World History

High School Writing

Homework Support

Human Geography

Introduction to Fiction


Persuasive Writing

Political Science

Public Health

Public Speaking


Social studies

Study Skills and Organization


US History


World Civilization

World History

World Literature


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I teach because I want to make a positive impact in the lives of others. As a teacher, I want to engage, challenge, and inspire growth in my students. Further, I seek to challenge my students and ensure they are continuously becoming better in all they do. If one style of teaching is not effective for them, I will adjust until I am best meeting their needs.

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

When I first meet with a student, I ask what their goals are for our time together. I then propose how I believe I can be most effective as a teacher, and make sure we are on the same page before proceeding. It is most important for the student to know that this initial conversation can be revisited at any time, as their goals may need to be updated.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I believe it is most important to explain to students why something is correct. For instance, when editing an essay, I would not simply make the necessary corrections and send it back to the student. Instead, I would walk the student through each correction and ask him/her to explain why a change was needed. This would lead to an open discussion about the editing process to ensure the student could make the corrections on his/her own in the future.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

As a student myself, I understand that it can be challenging at times to stay motivated. If a student were struggling with motivation, I would have an open discussion with him or her about it. I would ask him or her why motivation was lacking, then help to find a solution (e.g. taking a short break, looking for a fresh perspective).

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

I would work to present the skill or concept in a new way. For instance, if I was trying to help a student memorize a speech, I might try making a song with the words or having the student write the speech out over and over (depending on his or her learning style) to provide a fresh perspective.

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

I believe it is important to best meet the needs of students. This means forming a unique strategy based on each student. Some examples of ways I would help a struggling student would be providing different types of readings for them, ranging from short stories to poems to biographies. In my experience, sometimes students struggle to read because they are not engaged, and this strategy would help to address that problem. Additionally, I would try different methods for encouraging reading. For instance, I would try books on tape, reading out loud, etc.

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

I would sit down with the student and get to know him or her outside of the tutoring assignment. I want to know about their family, hobbies, passions, etc. Therefore, when we start our tutoring assignment, the student is more likely to trust me because we have already have build a relationship. The next step would be making sure I understand the student's goals. I would ask the student to clearly lie out what he or she hopes to get from the tutoring session so I can make sure these goals are addressed. Finally, at the end of the tutoring session, I will review the goals with the student to make sure he or she feels confident in the work that has been covered.

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

As previously mentioned, I would find different ways to present the material. We all learn different ways, so I would work to find the way the student best leaned (e.g. visual, audio). Next, I would find different types of materials to engage the student. For instance, if the student were struggling with reading comprehension, I would try presenting the student with different types of readings.

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

I would have the student explain to me what he or she did. For example, if we were editing a paper, I would have the student explain to me why the edit needed to be made. Additionally, I would have the student read the material to me so he or she could catch mistakes without my help. For instance, if the student was writing an essay, I would have the student read it out loud to me the first round so he or she could find mistakes (without necessarily trying) so they understood the material without my direct help.

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

Practice, practice, practice! I would make sure the student continued to work problems, write essays, read material (whatever they were trying to work on) to become more and more comfortable with the material.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I would meet with the parents/guardian to understand why they felt the student needed a tutor. Then, I would ask the student the same question to see what he or she identified as learning needs. Finally, I would conduct an assessment to see if the parents/guardian/student identified the same needs I saw.

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

It would depend on the subject. Assuming it was a session where we were working on essay editing, I would bring a hard copy of the essay to mark it up. I would also bring my laptop to look up material as needed (e.g. APA citations). Finally, I would bring a handful of handouts to leave the student with depending on our next action steps.

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

I would use different materials based on their goals and learning styles. For instance, if a student learned best through hands-on learning, I would bring multiple different essays for him or her to edit on paper.