I attained my B.A. in French from Texas A&M University, where I studied abroad in Normandy, France for a year to enhance my cultural and linguistic knowledge. After coming back from France, I taught the language labs for French 101, where our goal was to practice the vocabulary learned in class and gain confidence using French. I then moved to Houston and received my M.A. in Linguistics from Rice University, where I researched speech acoustics and perception. Additionally, I was Teaching Assistant for the Intro to Linguistics and Phonetics classes, where I graded papers and answered students questions, occasionally even lecturing.
After grad school, I taught English as a second language to adults, while at the same time continuing to tutor languages. At this time, I began to add other subjects to my teaching experience, including writing, pronunciation, listening and speaking, Spanish, SAT, GRE Verbal, GMAT, IELTS, TOEFL, and piano. My favorite subjects to tutor are language classes.
My tutoring style can be characterized as patient and interactive; While Im confident that the content that I communicate benefits, feedback from the student is an integral part of my teaching. I believe that if the student can be communicative about what they do and do not understand, it will not only help me as the tutor, but more importantly, this will inform the students understanding of their own learning processes and where they are on their journey of learning. This concept of being self-aware in the learning process is central to my teaching style.
When I am not tutoring, teaching, or helping others increase their communication skills, I can be found playing piano and saxophone around town with some bands, being upside down while practicing Acroyoga, biking around with friends, or playing with my dog.
Undergraduate Degree: Texas A & M University-College Station - Bachelors, French
Graduate Degree: Rice University - Masters, Linguistics
Playing music (piano and saxophone), acroyoga, playing with my dog
COMPASS Writing Skills
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
First and foremost, learning should be informative and enjoyable! Trying to find something funny, interesting, or relatable in every subject helps us as learners to better internalize what we're trying to learn. It's always great to practice having a good attitude. Secondly, I believe that there are many ways of becoming self-aware of our learning, or understanding where we are in the learning process. One of the best ways is by asking questions. Another is identifying learning goals early on in the learning process. It's important to understand where you are in the learning process in order to set reachable goals. That way, even if something is challenging, you still have the opportunity to have some fun with the material.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Typically, first sessions involve us getting to know each other better, both in terms of our background with the material and what our eventual goals are. With that in mind, we can discuss what we find challenging or easy with the material. Knowing this helps me to plan our subsequent sessions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Becoming an independent learner isn't always easy, although becoming self-aware of our learning allows us to grow many steps closer to this goal. Additionally, staying organized helps us concentrate on the important stuff and place our energy where it needs to be.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Every student is different! For me, that's my favorite part of tutoring. That said, there's no one sure-fire way of helping a student stay motivated. Sometimes playing a game helps a student relate to the subject better. Sometimes, if we get frustrated with something, the best thing to do at that point is to put it down and come back to it later.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading can be hard and overwhelming, especially if you don't know where to start. I've found that many strategies work towards understanding how a passage is organized. Once you can break down the passage into parts, it's a lot easier to tackle each individual paragraph.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
A lot of times, we're not confident in a subject, even though we've spent a lot of time on it. Oftentimes, we know more than we think we do and we just need that extra push.