A photo of Kristen, a tutor from Southern Methodist University

Kristen

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I am a current graduate student at Marquette University studying to earn a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. I previously graduated from Southern Methodist University (SMU) with a B.A. in Psychology (with Distinction) and Sociology. While attending SMU, I worked as a tutor for high school and college students in the Dallas area. Prior to college, I also had the opportunity to tutor students in elementary, middle, and high school, while I attended high-school in California. The primary subjects I tutor include mathematics, psychology, and sociology, as well as help with study skills and test preparation. I also tutor students for the SAT math, GRE Quantitative, GRE Analytical Writing sections.

I really enjoy all of these subjects equally so my ultimate goal is to create an individualized and enjoyable learning environment that fits each student's style in order to promote the most success. Each and every type of successful experience builds an individual's confidence, which will further motivate a student to learn more challenging concepts and subjects. I truly believe that every student has the ability to learn and be successful, which requires the right approach to the material and dedication to master the small goals in order to conquer the larger goal.

In my free time I enjoy outdoor activities, such as bike riding, walking trails, and horseback riding. I also enjoy cooking and baking, reading mystery novels, and trying new coffee shops and restaurants.

Kristen’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Southern Methodist University - Bachelors, Psychology and Sociology

Graduate Degree: Marquette University - Current Grad Student, Clinical Psychology Ph.D

Hobbies

Reading, horseback riding, going for walks, cooking, baking, watching tv/movies

Tutoring Subjects

Algebra

Algebra 2

Arithmetic

Clinical Psychiatry

Clinical Psychology

College Algebra

Elementary Algebra

Elementary Math

Elementary School Math

Geometry

Homework Support

Math

Middle School Math

Other

Pre-Algebra

Psychology

Social Sciences

Sociology

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Summer


Q & A

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I strive to provide students learning opportunities to achieve success, which tends to keep a student motivated. I also aim to provide consistent encouragement and positive feedback.

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

I tend to use a number of different strategies to help a student learn a new skill or concept, including working step-by-step through problems together with students; scaffolding the material for students to build up to the more complex problems; and providing students a number of different examples and problems to work through.

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

I always aim to provide students with opportunities where they can achieve success. Also, as a way to increase engagement, I strive to help students understand the relevance of subjects that may pose a challenge and be more difficult to grasp. Additionally, I like to set goals with each student and track their progress towards mastering their short and long-term goals.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

I would provide students with a set of questions that range in type and difficulty, which they would first work through on their own before reviewing it together. Another strategy would include having students explain to me their understanding of a particular topic or concept in their own words in order to assess their comprehension.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I help students develop a personal studying schedule. This includes helping students identify personal learning styles and goals; finding specific activities that are engaging for each student; and encouraging students to consistently ask questions in order to facilitate a more thorough and effective learning style.

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

A first session will typically include reviewing past and future assignments; establishing short and long term goals; and forming a schedule that fits the student's style of learning.

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

I like to learn how each student studies as a way to develop the most effective teaching approach for each individual depending on their personal learning style. This might include having students working on a set of practice problems or reviewing past work or assignments. Additionally, I like to have students explain to me their understanding of different concepts and subjects so that I can understand how they are evaluating different problems.

What is your teaching philosophy?

I truly believe that every student has the ability to learn and be successful, which requires the right approach to the material and dedication to master the small goals in order to conquer the larger goal.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

I aim to create opportunities for students to successfully practice newly learned skills and knowledge. I like to scaffold material by building upon prior knowledge, as well as mastering small objectives first in order to conquer the student's main, large goal. Therefore, through scaffolding and practice, I strive to build students' confidence in order to promote a more worthwhile and effective learning experience.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I like to review examples of students' work, such as previous exams and homework assignments, in addition to having students complete a series of practice problems in order to assess areas of strengths and weaknesses. I also like to get the student's perspective on their individual skills and which skill areas they would ultimately like to improve.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I try to be as flexible as possible to fit each student's needs, which involves discussing beforehand about the ideal type of learning environment that works for a student. I will then do my very best to make the necessary arrangements, which may include visual aids while teaching; providing more practice problems; and slowing down to explain concepts in small, distinct steps.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

I like to use the student's materials, including class notes, class textbooks, homework assignments, and other materials provided during class. Additionally, I like to incorporate other practice problems that are either personally developed or obtained from an outside source. Other materials include visual aids, color coding techniques, flash cards, and practice quizzes to help further learn and understand a subject.

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

Some strategies that I like to use include encouraging students to visually imagine a passage as they read; to note any questions that may come up while reading; and to summarize a passage afterwards. These strategies specifically help students further understand the topic and purpose of different passages.