As a recent college graduate ('15) with a B.A. in English Literature, I was uncertain what I wanted to do after university. While I had been active in several tutoring organizations on campus during my undergraduate years, never would I have imagine that I would use it to teach...abroad! For one academic year, I taught English to middle school and high school students in France; the experience proved immensely enriching. Not only was I able to immerse myself in a culture that I was passionate about (I had also been a French minor), but also I returned to the United States with a new sense of self: I wanted to teach.
My philosophy for teaching is not only instructing, but also more importantly is motivating others to want to learn: whether it is through the use of pertinent examples or hands-on activities, inspiring people to desire knowledge in a particular subject goes a long way in education.
I am happy to be on-board with Varsity Tutors, and am eager to start working with others. My specialties include English literature, grammar, and writing, as well as beginning-level French (French 1-3). Looking forward to consulting with you!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of California-Los Angeles - Bachelors, English Literature
SAT Verbal: 710
SAT Writing: 770
English, writing, French, sports, blogging, traveling, culture, literature, art
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is not having long-winded lectures, but rather a creative, hands-on approach to learning. Guiding students through educational games and interaction with others not only furthers their studies, but also self-motivates them to want to keep learning.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would begin with a simple conversation to learn about the student's background, studies, and interests. This helps me better gauge what he/she needs help on in his/her studies.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Using self-motivation because if a student is not interested in learning, then it is very difficult to encourage him/her to work on his/her own. Making activities engaging and efficient are the essentials to independent learning.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Repetition is key. While it might be tiresome, going over a difficult skill or topic again and again is necessary to master it. Doing examples and refreshing during each lesson also helps it stick in the long term.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would tell students to slow down when reading. Take the time to better understand it. As a result, students will be able to comprehend the text's general meaning better, as well as find it easier to search for details to the questions.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Talking and getting to know a student's background and interests are very helpful when it comes to assessing his/her strengths and weaknesses. Such conversations also establish a good rapport, which helps both the student and instructor become more comfortable opening up and being honest.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Having a conversation with the student during the first lesson is imperative. It not only helps break the ice, but also it assists in gauging his/her strengths and weaknesses in the subjects that need improvement.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Being flexible with days and hours is necessary. Putting the student's needs before mine is essential to building trust and motivation in the student's studies.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I tend to use PowerPoint lessons and the whiteboard. The PowerPoint lessons help me introduce the topic at hand to the student by providing text, photos, and other visuals for those who are more visual learners. The whiteboard helps me get more involved in a hands-on approach to learning. It is especially beneficial to students who are more kinesthetic learners.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
To keep a student motivated in learning I switch how I help him/her. If I find that my student is losing interest in my lecture I try to keep it engaging by asking questions or inviting him/her up to the whiteboard.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Trying to relate the subject to the student's day-to-day activities is a good way of piquing interest. For instance, knowing how to speak another language other than English (e.g. French) is very valuable in broadening job opportunities. Knowing how to write well is especially important in effective communication with others, either in the workplace or in personal relationships.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Reviewing the material at the end of the lesson, and then refreshing it during the following one. A simple but effective way of keeping the student constantly engaged, which ultimately helps him/her master the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Trying different ways to relate the subject to the student's own personal interests is one way of helping him/her to engage in the subject. Preparing assessments lesson after lesson and showing him/her the improvement scores boost confidence as well as motivate the student to keep getting better and better.