I began tutoring during my freshman year at Hamilton College, during which I volunteered at the local refugee center in Utica, NY. As an English tutor, I worked with the refugees to improve their written and oral language skills. This opportunity exposed me to the exciting and rewarding world of tutoring and motivated me to continue down this line of work. During my junior and senior years at Hamilton, I worked both as a German Teaching Assistant in the German department and as a Writing Tutor at the Hamilton Writing Center. As a T.A., I helped my students develop study skills, complete homework, and improve their German language skills. As a writing tutor, I worked with peers to strengthen their essays, develop writing techniques, and explore their ideas on paper.
These experiences helped me learn the importance of patience, encouragement, and flexibility while tutoring. I feel best when I know my student feels more sure and excited about a subject. That's when I've truly done my job! I believe it's important to tailor each lesson to the student's personal learning style and interests. That way a subject becomes approachable and intriguing for the student, as opposed to intimidating and stressful.
I currently live and work in Germany as the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship. I work at local middle and high schools, teaching English to students and running an "American Group" in my free time. I am also a freelance Writing Tutor for an education consulting company in Beijing. These vast and varied experiences has exposed me to students of different ages, ethnicities, and abilities. I am always happy to accommodate my students personal goals and needs.
When I am not working, I enjoy reading novels, playing the piano, hiking, horseback riding and travelling throughout Europe.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Hamilton College - Bachelors, English Literature, German Studies
Reading, Hiking, Piano, Horseback riding, Volunteer work with immigrants & refugees
High School English
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in an encouraging and open learning environment. The student should always feel comfortable asking questions. From my experience, such an environment leads to accelerated learning. I also believe in tailored tutoring. It is always my goal to create sessions that match the students' needs, learning style, and interests. This way the lesson becomes pertinent to the student's life. Learning should be exciting and interesting, not stressful or intimidating, and it is always my goal to make it so.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During a typical first session, I think it is important to gauge my student's strengths and weaknesses. I would prepare a few activities that cover different aspects of the subject matter. This would allow me to note what we should focus on in upcoming sessions. And of course, this is an opportunity to hear the student's concerns and goals directly. I would hope to leave the lesson with a better understanding of my student and our upcoming sessions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Independent learning is the ultimate goal, but it is important that the student feel comfortable and sure in his/herself before such learning can occur. In my experience, you must first give the student the tools necessary to become independent. For example, if I want the student to be able to edit his/her own essays, we must first work together on essay editing techniques. We may look at specific sentences and work together to rewrite them to avoid wordiness. We would discuss specific phrases to avoid and how to make verbs more active. Then, I may give the student a couple practice sentences to be completed on his/her own. This is a simple task, but it would ultimately prepare the student to edit an entire essay for wordiness in the future.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Learning should be fun! I try to incorporate numerous activities into a session, so the student is constantly challenging him/herself in a new way. Thus, the student is less likely to become disinterested or discouraged. I also believe it's important to start a lesson with a review from the previous session. This way the student is reinforcing his/her knowledge and also proving to him/herself that he/she has gained knowledge and is improving in the subject. Lastly, I try to incorporate the students' interests. If a student loves basketball and our lesson is about German grammar, I may prepare a game that involves throwing a ball into different baskets based on the correct conjugation of a verb.