I studied English, History, and Philosophy in undergrad (triple major) and Philosophy in grad school. My objective in grad school was to study the intersection between Philosophy and other fields, including architecture, art, history, literature, environmentalism, etc. I have many varied interests, and philosop[hy informs each of them in interesting and important ways. It has also informed my teaching style, as I tend away from rote memorization and toward real-life integration.
Most of my teaching experience is in ESL, but I have tutored students and fellow students in writing, English, history, philosophy, and occasionally other areas.
My favorite subjects to tutor are ESL and writing, because I love helping people communicate better. Everyone has a voice and a message, but sometimes that message gets stuck—either because of language barriers or the ability to put the right words to thoughts. I like to help people get past these barriers and unleash their inner voice! Sometimes, though, people have other, more specific barriers to overcome (like passing a test!), and I love being able to help people with these objectives as well.
Besides teaching and literature, I have that keeps me busy. I'm a runner and a swimmer, also like biking and hiking and some recreational sports. I like to dance (swing/blues/ballroom/ballet), sing, and play the piano. I have a five-year-old son, and lots of friends and siblings to keep up with. I enjoy cooking, coffee, tea, healthy living, reading, sewing, painting, and oh so many other things. Some of my more serious interests include preventing human trafficking and slavery, and promoting better environmental stewardship. Having a variety of interests helps me connect with my students, and I like to focus our lessons on things that they care about, so that what they've learned becomes part of their lives and they don't forget it.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Greenville College - Bachelors, Philosophy, English, & History
Graduate Degree: Stony Brook University - Masters, Philosophy
ACT Composite: 31
ACT English: 30
ACT Math: 31
ACT Reading: 34
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe to help students excel, they must connect the language to their real lives. Their interests and needs are at the top of my priority list, bolstered by grammar and supplementary materials.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first time I meet a student, I like to get to know them. I want to know what they're like, what they're interested in, and what they need to learn the most. I also like to assess their current level.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I try to find simple things students can incorporate into their daily routines. Students often have interests that lend themselves to independent learning, but whether they do (and are too busy to implement them) or not, tiny daily habits are usually easy for students to keep up long term.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
This can be tricky, because motivation is often a personal affair. But I find new materials or approaches often provide inspiration.