I'm a Truman State University graduate with a degree in Linguistics. While there, I tutored for three years at both high school and college levels in courses including Japanese and Linguistics. I also helped peers with their essays and presentations. Outside of class, I founded and presided over the now-official Linguistics Club.
I love tutoring because it not only allows me to work with and help other people but also encourages me to reinforce and improve my own knowledge. I especially enjoy working with people on their reading and writing, because I believe writing skills empower people to express themselves. I believe the best way to teach people is to connect what they're learning with what the already know and what they're passionate about. In addition, I think it's important to give students the ability to practice and learn on their own time.
In my free time I am usually found reading, going for walks and hikes, biking, or playing games with friends.
Undergraduate Degree: Truman State University - Bachelors, Linguistics
GRE Quantitative: 156
GRE Verbal: 168
hiking, biking, walking, reading, games
Elementary School Math
High School English
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First, get to know the student a bit. Being able to connect the material with them and their interests is extremely helpful. Next I'd work to figure out where they are in the subject; ask them what they're struggling with and what they understand, and look at previous work to see if there are any problems or strengths they haven't noticed. From there, it would be building a plan around their goals and needs.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Providing students with external resources, especially free ones, empowers them to continue their education. Some common specific resources I'd recommend would be wikibooks, certain YouTube video series, and getting a library card so they can obtain otherwise expensive texts for free. For general-purpose studying, I'd recommend online resources for notecard studying, and setting up a proper study environment: a space you don't normally use for other things, some music you enjoy that's not distracting, and a warm drink.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
In general, having a variety of different exercises and techniques for tutoring and switching between these can help prevent a student from getting bored and frustrated. Activities that are rewarding for success but not punishing for failure also help to motivate students, especially error-prone students.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
This depends on where the difficulty stems from. Often times, difficulty with a concept comes from not fully understanding certain lower-level concepts. Going back and making sure the student is properly prepared can help greatly in this case.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
There are a few methods that I typically use to measure comprehension, and they vary with student and subject.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
A student's own explanation of their needs can be extremely helpful, and is the first thing to consider when trying to develop a plan. Just as important is their previous work in the material, or a quick assessment if they don't have previous work.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I tend to shy away from purchased materials unless I truly think they are necessary, and primarily focus on free online materials. This way, I can share resources with students, who can use them in their free time.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I think that teaching should be a way to empower students. Not only in achieving their goals and mastering a specific skill, but also by providing them with the tools, skills, and confidence to continue to develop and learn on their own. By developing the ability to learn on their own, students can more readily pursue their own goals in life.