I'm a graduate student in UC Berkeley's Department of French. I specialize in 20th and 21st century French Lit. and Philosophy.
I have extensive experience tutoring various levels of French, as well as writing in English and literature. My style approach to teaching relies heavily on dialogue and equal participation. I believe that the best way to teach anyone anything is to 1.) Demonstrate to them their capacity to learn on their own 2.) Emphasize how their present knowledge of other fields and experiences can help them to grasp new ideas.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Reed College - Bachelors, French
Graduate Degree: University of California-Berkeley - Current Grad Student, French
ACT Composite: 29
GRE Quantitative: 149
GRE Verbal: 166
bicycling, hiking, soccer, reading, playing music.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
As I wrote in my personal statement, I believe that the best way to teach anyone is to demonstrate to them their capacity to learn on their own and emphasize how their present knowledge of other fields and experiences can help them to grasp new ideas.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, I like to get to know the student, relying on them to present their skill level in the subject at hand. This is to ensure that we start out on the same page. Otherwise, a first session is for gathering information, interests, and frameworks for effective, personalized teaching.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I find that the best way to promote independent learning is to press students to work with their own minds, even in sessions. For instance, when working with a student on a series of problems or questions, I prefer to ask a student to try and retry different solutions on their own until they succeed, rather than relying directly on me. I see tutoring as a form of coaching, not direct instruction.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
In my experience, framing lessons and exercises within a broader scaffolding of interest to a student is quite effective. If a student likes cars; we work with cars. If a student likes sharks; the same thing. Any one interest unfolds into a vast web of possible exercises, vocabulary, etc.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Generally, I would slate extra time for this skill or concept, dedicating effort to finding ideas that the student already understands that might work as conceptual bridges.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
We take things very slowly, and don't worry about immediate progress. No one necessarily understands every word they read, even if the sense of a phrase is clear. I find that reminding my students of this can be quite helpful for instilling confidence.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Most of all, getting to know the student's personal interests and why it is that they want help learning a particular subject. With this knowledge at hand, it's much easier to map out points of entry into a subject, and a teaching plan that works with familiar content and ideas.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Any subject can be interesting if you turn it a certain way. I find that highlighting a goal beyond the subject that mastery of the subject will allow access to. For instance, if a student is interested in cars and needs to learn French, we'd work up towards learning about French cars.