A photo of Alyssa, a tutor from Ursinus College

Alyssa

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I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in English Literature with a focus on 20th and 21st century British fiction. I also hold a B.A. and M.A. in English. While pursuing my own passion for education, I have found a secondary passion in helping students find their voice in their writing. I love working one-on-one with students to help them develop their own interests and skills while achieving their personal education goals. I have had success tutoring students on a variety of reading and writing assignments, particularly for their English classes and in preparation for standardized tests. In addition to my work in literature, I enjoy traveling to new places, watching action and adventure movies, and cooking meals for family and friends.

Alyssa’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Ursinus College - Bachelors, English

Graduate Degree: University of Massachusetts-Boston - Masters, English Literature

Test Scores

GRE Verbal: 167

GRE Analytical Writing: 5

Hobbies

I love to travel, watch action and adventure movies, and try out new recipes.

Tutoring Subjects

College English

College Essays

Comparative Literature

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

Graduate Test Prep

GRE Analytical Writing

High School English

Literature

Other

Reading

SAT Reading

SAT Verbal

SAT Writing and Language

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Test Prep

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

When I teach, my main goal is always to help the student take ownership of their education and tailor my lessons to the student's own interests and strengths as much as possible. I certainly want to share my own experience and knowledge with students, but what is most important is the the student's voice and opinions. This requires teaching methods that are conversational and interactive.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

A first session is a great opportunity for the student and myself to get to know each other. Typically, I will ask about the materials and goals for tutoring before the session. This leaves room in the session to begin working toward achieving the student's education goals. The first session is also usually a good time to plan out future sessions and figure out what type of learning style works best for the student.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

When a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I try to explain the concept in a different way or come up with a new activity to develop the skill. Students all learn differently, so I try to vary my teaching methods as much as possible to give each student an opportunity to approach a skill or concept in a way that makes the most sense to them.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I've found that the best way to help a student get excited about a subject they have difficulty with is to find ways to integrate their strengths and interests into the lessons. When students understand how what they already know can help them in the subject, or if they can see how the subject will let them engage with an interest they already have in a new way, they are generally responsive.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

I use a variety of methods to assess a student's understanding of the material. Sometimes I may give the student a quick quiz to see if they're able to reproduce the skills or knowledge on their own. Other times, I may have the students try to explain or teach a concept back to me. Those types of conversations can be enlightening, because they force the students to put the concept in their own words and allow me to better understand where there might be gaps in their knowledge.