I am recent graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a passion for education and experience in multiple teaching arrangements as both a student and an instructor (such as Oxford tutorials, Goethe Institute German language classes, seminars, and standard tutoring). I have a background in working with children in after school programs and camp counseling and want to share my energy for learning in a professional environment.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Notre Dame - Bachelors, English, German
ACT Composite: 32
SAT Composite: 2230
SAT Math: 720
SAT Verbal: 730
SAT Writing: 780
I am big fan of all kinds of literature, especially contemporary American fiction, and a devotee of alternative German rock music. I also enjoy volunteering in my community and learning to play piano.
High School English
SAT Subject Test in German with Listening
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
A successful education starts with the right motivation. I aim to uncover that motivation through asking what students hope to achieve and placing those goals at the start of the learning process. If students have a strong sense of "why" they want to learn, "how" to learn becomes a matter of clear communication, diligence, and effort on part of both the teacher and the student.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
It's good to run through a student's expectations and problem areas to start, but it's equally important also to get a sense for the student's approach to and history with a subject as well.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Much of independent learning rests in recognizing one's own motivations and sparking interest in a subject. I aim to do this by bringing my own passion for language and literature, and helping students to find their own motivations.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation is partly a matter of keeping the goals of learning in mind--that even if a student doesn't find a subject interesting, learning about it can lead to greater opportunities. Additionally, I find it helpful to point to the parts of a subject that might actually be fun in order to conjure up motivation.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Teaching is largely about being able to explain concepts in different ways, whether through connections to simpler concepts or analogies. Difficulties often arise when a teacher keeps pressing a student with the same information without finding a fresh way of explaining it. For this reason, having a variety of explanations at the ready is one of the best ways to get around difficulties with learning.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension can be improved through a number of relatively simple methods. One of the more straightforward ways is to teach students to recognize the subject and main verb of a sentence, which helps a great deal with orienting oneself to the center of the information. Clarifying vocabulary or jargon also helps significantly. Finally, I also like to run through short readings and direct students toward important points so that they can identify the key parts of a passage when they read on their own.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Setting up learning goals from the start create a helpful foundation for future lessons. I also find that talking about a student's background in the particular subject, including previous courses and problem areas, can allow for clearer, less redundant lessons.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Even subjects that appear less exciting to students can be made to seem fun with the right kind of attention and angle. Essays, for example, can be thought of as conversations with a potential reader or as point-by-point arguments depending on what a student finds more compelling. This is all to say that getting a student engaged is partly about finding a more suitable angle of approach.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Asking questions is the probably the most effective way of doing this. Rather than simply evaluating the final product, I find that asking a student questions throughout the process of an assignment can uncover how much the student really understands.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Confidence is effectively self-trust. Students can build this sort of trust in themselves by being commended for what they understand at the start, as well as for the effort they exert. Charting progress is another way to build self-trust in subject matter that is at first very difficult.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Many students will be aware of the areas where they have obvious difficulties, but other areas of improvement might be harder to spot. I think the key to evaluating these needs is to pay a great deal of attention to how a student thinks and the work the student produces. This allows the instructor to target needs that students might not be aware of themselves.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Since not all students learn quite the same way, it is important for me to have a range of techniques for teaching material, from more traditional lecturing to more open-ended questioning. The first meeting can be a time to figure out which of these forms might work best for a student. The approach can, of course, be adapted to accommodate how a student's learning changes based on the subject matter. Attention is key.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
For test prep, I like to bring several study guide books which include prognostic tests. Having a laptop also helps me to pull up additional problems and examples. Traditional paper and pencil also have their uses for writing out problems and even illustrating concepts with pictures -- a technique which I found helpful when it was used by an instructor of mine. I also have a grammar guide that I like to bring.