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Darya

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I am a student of Amherst College. I'm in process to get my Bachelor of Arts in Film & Media Studies. I've been teaching since my main teacher at art school told me, "I have too many students and too little time. You know all I've taught you: would you be willing to step in as my Teacher's Assistant?" Since then, I've been connecting with students from 5 years old to 50 on the artistic and creative process. This love of teaching led me to become a tour guide at my college and at the campus art museum - the lucky thing is that at both positions I have the chance to both teach about what I love but also persuade my listeners to love it too: nothing's better than a potential college applicant saying, "I'll definitely apply!" or an elementary school kiddo asking, "So wait, museums are cool?" I am a true believer in education in all facets of life to be made available to all people: I know it's enriched my life, and I sure hope I can use my skills to enrich others'. I know there is nothing more satisfying than a job well done; I know my students will achieve the same satisfaction during our tutoring sessions! When I'm not doing all that, I enjoy hiking, cultural excursions, and social dance -- nothing like a swing beat to relax!

Darya’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Amherst College - Bachelors, Film & Media Studies

Test Scores

AP Biology: 4

AP Calculus AB: 5

AP Calculus BC: 5

AP French: 3

AP Physics B: 4

AP English Literature: 5

AP English Language: 5

AP US History: 5

AP European History: 4

AP Music Theory: 4

AP U.S. Government & Politics: 3

Hobbies

Dancing salsa, going on walks, listening to podcasts. But there's nothing better than cooking with loud music blaring -- then my social dance moves, even solo, truly shine.

Tutoring Subjects

Advanced Placement Prep

Algebra

Algebra 2

Algebra 3/4

History

AP European History

AP Studio Art: 2-D Design

AP Studio Art: Drawing

AP U.S. Government & Politics

AP United States History

AP US History

Art

College Algebra

College English

College Essays

College Level American History

Comparative Literature

English

Essay Editing

High School English

High School Level American History

Languages

Literature

Math

Middle School Math

Other

Pre-Algebra

Reading

Russian

Social studies

Summer

Test Prep

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy rests on the idea of building knowledge -- that no matter how many gaps there are in a student's knowledge it is the duty of a good teacher to not only patch those gaps, but also build them up so that in the end the student has full confidence in their knowledge of a subject.

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

During the first session, I like to cover two things: 1) what the student consciously knows he/she is missing - AKA, why he/she came to me, and 2) the inherent fundamentals of the subject the student needs help in. As soon as those larger concepts are learned, then we can delve deep into the intricacies of a subject and get those test points.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By reversing our roles -- instead of them asking me questions, I'll be the one asking them. The best way to learn something is to teach it anyways, isn't it? This method will instill confidence in their knowledge. Perhaps in the end their method of thinking something through can teach me something! With this confidence comes curiosity. Any independent learner treasures curiosity: that's what spurs learning outside of a classroom. That question "I wonder if..." can create so many self-made opportunities for learning for a student.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Think about the end-goal. Yes this is tedious and this may not be your strength, but by golly think about whatever motivates completion. Think about the prospect of being done, or that hypothetical higher grade that can only become real through hard work. All of a sudden the tediousness is justified, therefore it must continue.

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

I'd say to either tackle it from another angle (such as showing its parallel in a similar concept) or to leave it be to try another skill. Sometimes taking a break to work on other things helps the brain when we do return to that tough skill.

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

Depends on the reading level: -- Go through the readings strategically, paragraph-by-paragraph, sentence-by-sentence. -- Ask questions, going from concrete to figurative, about the content of the reading. See if there's a specific level where the reading comprehension drops off -- if so, then what is the student missing? Is it a simple question of not knowing what they're looking for? Is it not knowing the strategies of higher level reading comprehension? Once we figure out the issue, we can address it and rock that reading comprehension.

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

1) Going from fundamentals to specifics of an issue. Each subject has its overall fundamental concepts: once we get those down, the rest will follow. 2) Narratives. Stories are so much easier to remember than conglomerations of letters and numbers -- memorization doesn't work. So instead, we'll make small stories for ease of memorization. 3) Generally, applying values thought of as foreign to the subject at hand. Meaning: using creativity in STEM, and strategy in humanities. Seems odd? Let's try it out and you'll see that it works. 4) Visual learning. Carrying around information in our head is hard. It's so much easier once it's on paper; after all, nothing becomes real until it is seen. So that means that I want math problems visualized, written out, with every step shown. That means that I want faces to go along with names in history. That means that every "to be" verb in an essay will be painstakingly highlighted so that students can see how many boring verbs they use in their essays.

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

Connect them with something that they do enjoy in that subject --- the satisfaction of getting a problem right, the process of solving something, the potential of the knowledge they're learning. And if that's not enough, there's always the small comfort that they'll learn the concept and be one step closer to mastering or completing it.