A photo of Mercedes, a tutor from Lasell College

Mercedes

Certified Tutor

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As a passionate and dedicated educator, I am thrilled to be a part of the Varsity Tutors team. I am certified to teach English grades 7-12 in CT, I have my master's degree in English Literature, and my bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in secondary education. I have tutored and taught in college, high school, and middle school environments. Most recently, I held high school teaching positions teaching 9th and 11th grade English. In my freshman classes, we focused on composition, and finding a voice in writing. We worked with different mentor texts to refine our writing skills, as well as read an array of literature including classics like The Odyssey and Romeo and Juliet, and more modern texts including the graphic novel, A Monster Calls. I also have teaching experience at the middle school level, teaching 7th and 8th grade Language Arts. From this position, I have experience in SBAC exam preparation. I also am a scorer for the PARCC and SAT exams, making me an expert in their layout and content. When I teach and tutor, I foster an environment that is rigorous, well-supported, and comfortable. I look forward to adding to my love of teaching English by tutoring students as well!

Mercedes’ Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Lasell College - Bachelors, English and Secondary Education

Graduate Degree: Western Connecticut State University - Masters, English Literature

Hobbies

Hiking, drawing, reading, crafting, drinking coffee, listening to music, going to the movies, Netflix, kayaking, writing, exploring new places, traveling

Tutoring Subjects

College English

College Essays

Comparative Literature

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

High School English

Literature

Public Speaking

Reading

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that in order for children to grow emotionally, intellectually, and socially, they need a learning environment that is comfortable and invigorating. As an educator, I want to help my students reach their full potential by establishing a sense of community in the classroom, balancing different teaching and learning styles, and supporting risk-taking. Teaching is also an opportunity for educators to learn and grow intellectually, emotionally, and socially. As an educator, one of my hopes is to inspire students to choose who they wish to become, whether it be a leader or not. I do not wish to mold my students into my own vision, but rather influence students to find the potential within themselves to learn and grow. As a teacher of English and Language Arts, I hope to instill my knowledge and love of books and writing into all of my students. While they do not need to fall in love with reading and writing, I would like them to understand the importance of literacy and knowledge in today's society and use that understanding to continue to impact society.

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

In a typical first session, I want to get to know the student both on a personal and academic basis. I would have the student do some pre-assessments to see how they prefer to learn, which methods will bring out the student's full learning potential, and see where they are at in terms of reading comprehension and writing skills. I would also be interested in seeing some past graded assignments to see where the student needs the most improvement in the eyes of their teacher. I would ask the student where he or she feels improvement is needed. All of these steps are essential to ensuring future tutoring sessions are effective and efficient.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

My personal teaching style in the classroom is cooperative learning, which places the responsibility of learning on students. Cooperative learning is having students work together to learn and teach themselves material, but also having a teacher there to guide and mentor as needed. In a tutoring environment, I will strive to adapt these skills to a one-on-one environment, by keeping the session student-centered. Rather than going through a paper and editing all the mistakes, handing it back, and saying here you go fix the things in red, I would have the student go through the paper first, tell me where they think there is room for improvement, and guide the student to make those improvements. Then, we would go through the paper together to find other errors and areas for improvement that the student may have missed, ensuring that the student understands why the area needs improvement, and how to improve it so he or she can apply such skills to their next assignment.