I graduated from New Trier High School and received my BBA in Finance from the University of Iowa in 2004. After working in finance for a year, I returned to school to study pathology. I completed Columbia University's post-baccalaureate pre-medical program in 2006, and received my Masters of Science in Pathology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2009. When I decided to become a teacher, I entered Teach For America's 2012 corp and received my Masters of Arts in Teaching from Dominican University in 2012.
My experience working with students is as a classroom reading, writing, math, social studies, and science teacher. I have taught math and science at every elementary level and specialize in upper-elementary math, middle school and high school biology. Math (to Algebra I) and Biology (to AP) are my favorite subjects to tutor because I am personally interested in helping students discover how inherently fascinating these subjects can be.
My philosophy is that, with proper scaffolding and differentiation, all students can master any subject. I play and coach soccer and love watching baseball.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Iowa - Bachelors, Finance
Graduate Degree: University of Illinois at Chicago - Masters, Pathology
SAT Composite: 1290
Q & A
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Understand their goals for tutoring and their learning style.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Use a diagnostic reading assessment to identify their independent reading level. Find reading passages that are 1-2 levels higher than the student's independent level. Listen to the student read aloud to identify such issues with phonics, decoding, fluency, etc. Discuss the passage with the student and ask probing questions to assess issues with reading comprehension.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
1) Identifying their personal goals and preferred learning styles prior to teaching. 2) Breaking down their learning goal into discrete steps that can be tracked. 3) Tracking (and celebrating) each milestone achieved on the way to the student's mastery of their goal.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Help them to find a connection between what we are learning and what arouses their innate passions.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Create rigorous assessments of the discrete pieces of the skill/concept and track mastery.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Use their own tracked data to help them to visualize/understand the progress they are making towards their learning goal.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy is that, with proper scaffolding and differentiation, all students can master any subject.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By helping them to discover what is inherently fascinating about the concept.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By helping the student to set realistic goals towards mastery and tracking their progress at every step.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would work with the student and material to discover what fundamental aspects of the skill/concept they are missing. Breaking down difficult concepts into easier components will allow the student to build their way towards mastery.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Through a conversation and diagnostic assessments designed to discover what is impeding their learning.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I talk to the student and evaluate the progress they have made. If they are not progressing, we will continually change our approach until we find a method that works.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
The material depends on the student's needs, their learning style, and their personal preference.