Throughout my education I have loved learning. During my residency at New Canaan High School, I opted to take an immersion program in Italy for my junior year through Student Year Abroad. The quest to consume knowledge and present it in an understandable and interesting way as driven me to pursue media and education at Duke University. Passionate about teaching, innovation and clarity, I desire to merge my understanding of Media and Education to fuel new and exciting learning techniques. To gain an extensive knowledge of education, I have tutored for five years, worked with kids since I was thirteen and volunteer at local schools currently. I was lucky to have been granted a stupendous education and hope to provide the same for coming generations.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Duke University - Current Undergrad, English
SAT Composite: 2340
SAT Math: 770
SAT Verbal: 800
SAT Writing: 770
AP Calculus AB: 5
AP English Language: 5
AP US History: 5
AP World History: 5
AP World History: 5
AP U.S. Government & Politics: 5
AP Italian Language and Culture: 4
Journalism, Media, Film, Soccer, Rock Climbing, Hiking,
Elementary School Math
High School English
SAT Subject Test in Italian
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy with teaching is to ask questions and to listen. Instead of demonstrating how to do a problem to a student, I believe it is imperative that the student (with guidance) figures out the problem on his or her own. Prompting the student; unlocking the knowledge that he or she has requires listening to the student, and assessing each student on an individual basis.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In my first session with a student, I would advise them to create goals - one for the particular lesson at hand, and another for our long term studies together. I would then ask what the student wanted to focus on and begin with these studies. During our time together, I would assess areas in which the student is lacking or could use more practice. From their I would continuously adapt a lesson plan.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Key to facilitating a student's rise to independent learning is asking questions rather than telling answers. Instead of solving a problem for a student to memorize, it is imperative that the student learns to solve or answer questions by being prompted. What do you think is the next step? Do you see how this relates to the previous problem? How can we relate the two to answer this question? Questions like these inspire courage within a student - they do have all the necessary skills to answer these questions - rather than giving them solutions. Additionally, encouraging students interest in pursuing further knowledge is imperative to helping a student become an independent learner.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Positive encouragement. In critiquing an answer, a problem or a method, it is imperative that the student also learns something they have done right. Even if the student fails to get the correct answer, dissecting the method with which he or she approached the issue, a tutor must comment on both the advantages and disadvantages to this path.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If the student has difficulty learning a skill or a concept, I would first make sure the necessary knowledge to understand or learn that particular skill or concept is coherent and complete. After expanding on these previous concepts, I would return to the particular skill or concept that has been difficult for the student and create a lesson in which the student integrates concepts he or she has a hold on in relation with the difficult concept, in order to form a basis for understanding and mastery.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
To help advise students struggling in reading comprehension, it is first important to return to the breakdown of paragraph formation and placement of important information. I.e. the thesis marks the beginning of the paragraph. How does the later information in the paragraph relate to the thesis? How paragraphs and passages are created, fundamentally, relates to reading comprehension on the whole. After this, I would assess what specifically the student is struggling with in reading comprehension, and attempt to work on the specific skills he or she lacks.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found encouragement to be a successful strategy when beginning to work with a student. I have also found that working together on a problem is imperative to fostering a relationship with a student and allowing the student to ask questions and feel comfortable doing so. I believe it also places the tutor within learning, rather than an observational role.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
It is important as a tutor to show interest in a subject yourself if you endeavor to get a student interested in the subject. Beyond this, relating a topic, be it math or reading, to a student's interests (art, sports, games) helps to ground the student in areas of interest and relate them to the subject at hand.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would first give the student a variety of examples on which to practice the knowledge he or she has learned. Once I have assessed these practice materials for accuracy, I would ask the student to explain the particular material and concepts to me in order to make sure he or she has a handle on the material. To be able to teach the material is to have learned it completely.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I ask the student. I believe most students know what is lacking in their academic skill set. They know the areas in which they need more practice, aid or comfort. I believe parents, too, play a key role in understanding the needs of a student. The combination of these two sources with my own eye-witness account of the student’s needs helps to create a fully formed picture of the necessary improvements in a student.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I believe tutoring is specific to the particular student and that particular student only. There are basic methods which should be employed when tutoring-- i.e. do not tell the answer; work with the student to arrive at that point, ask questions, and prompt the student before giving information. However, none of these methods are important if you are not listening to the student and their families in order to assess the needs of the student. Additionally, it is important to respond and adapt lessons and teaching methods to the student’s behaviors and responses. The symbiotic relationship between tutor and pupil must be formed on a student by student basis.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
If I have met with the student and been asked to focus on particular subjects, I come prepared with practice materials outside that of which the student has been given by the teacher in order to increase the breadth and depth of the student's understanding. Beyond that, I use my ears and eyes to adapt plans to how I receive the student's response to learning.