I am a 24 year old filmmaker, animator, and plant enthusiast recently transplanted to the bustling city of Seattle. I grew up in the coulee region in Wisconsin and attended three colleges in the area: the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, and, my alma mater, the University of Wisconsin - Stout. My scenic route through college was the product of indecision and confusion regarding my future because I couldn’t find a way to mesh all of the things in life that excite me into one career. Film and animation have managed to do that for the most part, but as I grow older (and wiser?) I feel more certain that teaching at the collegiate level is my calling. I carry with me my overly nice, hard working, and cheese-loving qualities from my upbringing in Wisconsin, and I’m hoping to absorb all the exciting qualities that the west coast has to offer.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Wisconsin-Stout - Bachelors, Entertainment Design - Digital Cinema
ACT Composite: 31
ACT English: 31
ACT Math: 33
ACT Reading: 30
ACT Science: 31
Yoga, movies, hiking, gardening, retro video games, Lord of Rings nerding
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Every person and student is different, and the way in way they learn is different too. To be a good teacher, one has to know their student. Getting to know them is where the teaching process begins.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I'd like to get to know the student and for them to get to know me. Learning and teaching are difficult enough, so removing the barrier of unfamiliarity is both important and effective.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner by not giving them handouts. Teaching concepts, ideas, and principles will help a student in the future, whereas answers will help them only in the moment.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Enthusiasm! Slow progress is still progress, and progress is something to get excited about! Any cognitive victory, no matter how small, is worth celebrating and I want my students to understand that.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try a different approach or start over teaching a more basic skill or concept. To solve this problem, I need to know exactly what the student does and doesn't know, so I would try to assess that.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
First, a little empathy goes a long way since the English language is full of loopholes. Second, I'd assess where their strengths and weaknesses lie. Once I know the weaknesses, we can break down the problem into manageable pieces.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I've found that letting them do the mental work (rather than me giving an answer) is very effective. This can lead to frustration, but I like to counter that with a reminder that we both know they know how to do this problem or execute this skill. Repetition of a freshly learned skill can also help to boost confidence.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
It's always important to understand why a subject is important and applicable to everyday life. I believe that knowledge can boost a student's engagement. Enthusiasm on my part always helps too!
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would have the student apply the skills and techniques that I tried to teach to a new problem. If the skills carry over and the student can solve a problem independently, then I feel confident they understand the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I would highlight and celebrate small victories within understanding the subject. Focus on the positive!
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I break down the material into smaller, manageable, and measurable pieces. Reviewing those with a student and identifying which they understand and which they don't is a great starting point.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Taking into account a student's interests and attitude is important. Incorporating their hobbies into problems can help to excite a student and make working through the material more relevant. Leveling with a student can also help, like agreeing that long division really does seem like a lot of work or finding X seems irrelevant. However, after we're on the same level, I spin the situation into something positive and then bump the student's attitude up with mine.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
It depends on the subject, but drawings are usually very helpful. Adding a visual to a verbal description can add another layer of understanding to a subject or make something click mentally. Within the realm of verbiage, coming prepared with an arsenal of metaphors and analogies is very important to me. Application of concepts to a variety of situations helps a student make connections between ideas surrounding the subject.