Nothing succeeds like success! I will help you build on your successes as you reach your goals. I have taught history and expository writing to students at some of the best area colleges for many years. I'm passionate about helping students gain the tools and confidence they need to succeed. I'm also a parent, so I know first-hand both the frustration of homework struggles and the joy of accomplishment. I'm a PhD candidate in history at Rutgers University and I have taught history classes there, and in the Expository Writing program as well. I'm well acquainted with the standards professors are expecting from their students. I'm also extremely dedicated to helping students attain the reading and writing skills that are so critical to success in the classroom. I will be the "guide on the side" as I patiently help any student attain their academic or career goals.
Undergraduate Degree: SUNY New Paltz - Bachelors, Anthropology
Graduate Degree: Rutgers University-New Brunswick - Current Grad Student, History
travel, dancing, bike riding, reading, and my dogs!
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that every student can succeed. Difficulties in school often occur because basic skills need improvement, or because a student's special learning needs have not been taken into account. Every student learns differently, and I will find the way to reach every student.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In the first session I try to get to know a bit about the student and the student's areas of strength and weakness. Like a doctor, I try to diagnose the problem before beginning a treatment. Once I get a sense of the student's needs, we will spend time working on particular areas that need an urgent response, and then in future meetings work on building skills overall.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I never lecture to students or insist on doing things in a particular way. I think of myself as a "guide on the side" who will help your student develop the skills, the critical focus, and the confidence to find answers for him or herself.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation comes from a feeling of success and a sense of accomplishment. Working towards both short term and long term goals is a good way to build confidence and keep a student motivated. Everyone likes to feel that they have done a good job or conquered a particularly difficult challenge, and I always let my students know when they have done that.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I always try to gain some insight into what part of a concept or skill is difficult to a student. Sometimes it is a matter of taking a few steps back, which could mean working on reading comprehension or basic skills. It could also mean slowing down the explanation and using other methods, such as visual aids, to reach a student. Often, students take a lot of notes and pay attention, but then when it comes time to take an exam they do poorly. For those students, I help them assess what are the most important things they should focus on so that they learn to study more efficiently.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Understanding what one reads is probably the most crucial skill in education. I help students build vocabulary skills, help them to identify the key parts of any reading, and to break reading into manageable chunks. I also show them how to take notes on what they read. And I remind them that reading often means re-reading to gain full understanding.