I completed my undergraduate degree at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI. There, I studied secondary education in the subjects of English and physics. The contrast between the arts and the sciences gave me great appreciation for different learning styles and different ways to grasp material. I myself had to learn to learn differently; I had to adjust to the different topics, and I spent a great deal of time studying how students learn in both the humanities and the sciences. During my time at GVSU, I worked at both the Frederick Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors and the CLAS Tutoring Center. In both places I worked with mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in the subjects as well as co-teaching with professors in the humanities and the sciences. Since then, I have completed my student teaching in both Warren, MI and Darwin, Australia in high school English and middle school English/geography classrooms respectively. I then continued to complete long-term sub assignments at the high school I student taught at. These two experiences, along with many others that I have had, have allowed me to pursue my two greatest passions: teaching and traveling. And it is my hope that I get to continue to travel, meet new people, and mentor, nourish, and collaborate with new relationships along the way.
My philosophy on tutoring is directly in line with this idea. A tutor is not meant to replace the teacher in the classroom. Rather, a tutor should play the role of a mentor, guiding students to find their own successes. In order to do this, a tutor takes on the role of a mentor to nourish relationships on an individual level, help students find out their own learning styles, and guide them on the path to using that knowledge to learn content. It is my belief that the first step of any mentor relationship is to get to know each other on a more personal level--to build a connection that creates a baseline of trust--before any core content can be taught. Each student has the potential to be successful, and it is up to educators at all levels to collaborate and guide them on the process of self discovery.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Grand Valley State University - Bachelors, Secondary Education English
Swimming, Traveling, Biking, Museums, Reading, Writing, Poetry
10th Grade Math
10th Grade Reading
10th Grade Writing
11th Grade Math
11th Grade Reading
11th Grade Writing
12th Grade Math
12th Grade Reading
12th Grade Writing
6th Grade Math
6th Grade Reading
6th Grade Writing
7th Grade Math
7th Grade Reading
7th Grade Writing
8th Grade Math
8th Grade Reading
8th Grade Writing
9th Grade Math
9th Grade Reading
9th Grade Writing
College Level American Literature
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Writing
High School Chemistry
High School English
High School Level American Literature
High School Writing
Middle School Reading
Middle School Writing
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Family are the people you turn to for help; they are the people you look up to, and they are the people who show you glimpses of the world until you decide to go out on your own. This group of people, this family, does not have to be blood related. It can be a group of friends you connect with. It can be a neighbor you feel safe with. It can be your school. You can have more than one of these families. Education should not replace the family at home, but rather open the doors to a new, extended family.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session with a student, I would spend the beginning getting to know the student on a personal level. The student would get to know who I am as a person, and I would hope to get to know the student as a person as well. From the beginning, we are two individuals who lead fascinating lives, and I think it is important for us each to get comfortable with each other before we can explore the content. After a relationship is established, I would like to learn about the goals of the student with the sessions that we have to follow. It is important to me that we have an end goal in sight, and that everything we are doing is with the student's best interest and intentions in mind.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner by following a modeling method. After establishing a trusting relationship with the student I would be able to model a variety of strategies and techniques for the student, who would then be able to apply those strategies and techniques on his/her own. This would not happen without the trust of our relationship--which the student knows that I am confident in what we have done together in order to be confident in learning and attempting learning on his/her own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would help a student stay motivated by finding ways to relate the material, the content, the goals, or the progress to the student's own life. By making real life comparisons and examples, students become more interested and more invested in their learning. Setting goals helps students to stay interested in keeping track of their progress as well, and in doing so helps keeps students motivated to continue to progress and find success in the content at hand.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student struggles, I would first and foremost want the student to know that it is ok, it is normal, and it is just another step forward. I would then begin to dissect the difficulty at hand. I would look for specific aspects that the student struggles with, while focusing on the strengths the student has and how to apply those strengths to better support the difficulties. In another way, I would also try different learning techniques or ways of explaining things. Sometimes, students need to see, hear, or learn material in a variety of ways before one of these ways finally clicks.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The most successful strategies I have found when first starting with a student are building connections: finding out what interests the student and sharing with the student what interests me. I like to build connections before we set goals. Goals are important because I want to know what the student wants out of the sessions. These help the student to understand that I am in this for their needs, and that we have an end goal in sight.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would connect the subject to areas that interest the student.