I love making complex ideas digestible. I discovered this during my eight years as a competitive debater in high school and college. I was lucky enough to coach high school debate for four years helping students learn how research, write and speak in front of an audience. At my undergraduate, Simpson College, I tutored college and high school students in mathematics, economics, accounting and edited papers. I firmly believe every student can succeed if they set a goal, seek out the right support (that's me!) and work hard. I graduated Simpson College in 2016 with degrees in Economics and History, and I am currently applying to Ph. D. programs in Latin American History. As a full-time dork, I also love playing board games, video games, reading with my cat and learning about new and interesting ideas and people.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Simpson College - Bachelors, Economics & History
GRE Quantitative: 165
GRE Analytical Writing: 5.5
Playing games, owning cats and binge watching movies.
College Level American History
High School Accounting
High School Business
High School Economics
High School English
High School Level American History
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in student centered education and serving all different kinds of learners. As an educator, I first identify what a student's goals are whether it’s to prepare for a large exam or simply getting through a tough course. Then we create a strategy to help the student reach those goals. I am convinced that no subject is out of grasp for a student using this method.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I introduce myself and my experience with the material at hand. I ask the student about themselves, their experience and comfort in the subject matter as well as what things in school they enjoy most/least. Finally, I would set a short-term and long-term goal with specific to-do's and metrics.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Once students understand what they are working for, why they are working for it and how to get there, even complex, difficult material becomes surmountable. Once semester or chapter long material is segmented, I help students find a process for working through each individual problem. This way students can do a few parts of the work at a time rather than all at once.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I believe students work best with a clear goal in mind. Long-term goals ("I want to get a B+ in the class." or "I want to pass this class!") can be broken up into short-term goals ("I need to get a certain grade on this homework assignment.") I challenge students to surmount each small goal as they approach it rather than worry about the long-term project even if this means doing just ONE more problem.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
First, I would review the teaching and problem-solving methods provided in their classroom and textbook. If these still don't "click", then I will move on to alternative approaches I use personally or have seen others use. Finally, if nothing seems to be working, I will suggest we move on and try something different. Sometimes the same concept will look clearer if you stop trying to force your way through it!
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension is a broad term that encompasses many different skills like vocabulary and pattern recognition. I would first identify which of these areas is most challenging for students. With this knowledge, together the student and I would practice improving that skill as we read or work in the future. It is equally important to recognize the pieces of reading comprehension that students are already competent or excelling in so that the task of reading seems less difficult.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found that students benefit most when we set a clear goal and identify how they prefer to learn. For example, an algebra student who learns best by verbally processing will need different care than a student in the same class who learns best by drawing out the problem.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
It's important to investigate what a student's interests are both in and outside of school. Being able to connect subject material to other classes, hobbies or future career plans always motivates students.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
To test a students understanding I often provide an example problem or situation from the material and ask the student to walk me through it. After this, I alter the problem or situation to reflect previous concepts from the course. Finally, I bring the examples back to the general principle and ask the student to write, in their own words, what principle they've learned.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I know how it feels when a subject feels impossible and daunting. It is important to celebrate progress and growth at every step. I also believe that students are given the false impression that to be good at subject means to never make a mistake. Whether its literature, mathematics or science, every expert makes mistakes and learns from them. Reminding students that it is ok to ask questions, erase their answers or try again is an important part in getting through difficult courses.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Often students can express their own needs and desires. If I think the problem is elsewhere, I ask the student when they feel most challenged and why. Often this can identify if the problem is simply poor study habits or test-taking issues. Even if a teacher or parent has already identified the problem, I believe it is best to frame the challenge in the language of the student.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I know that I personally learn best through verbal processing and practice problems. I am sure to check these tendencies at the door because not every student benefits from these tactics. After identifying student's needs, strengths, goals and learning type, I alter how I explain material and test understanding.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
As a habit, I always carry lots of paper, pencils, a calculator and whiteboard markers. Depending on the subject, I ask students to bring paper, pencils and a calculator of their own. I always prefer that students bring their textbooks. As much as possible, I try to get students off of screens and on to paper so they can work without distraction.