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Meridith

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I am an ivy league educated professional with a J.D. and work experience in higher education. I have always been passionate about education and helping other people. Additionally, I absolutely love children and am a parent myself. As such, I understand the importance of making sure you and/or your child is succeeding and learning at an age-appropriate level both for the benefit of learning and to boost confidence. I am extremely patient and organized and feel personally rewarded when I am able to help someone learn something new or understand a new concept. One of the most important ways to work toward positive results is to understand the person with whom you are working and what his/her learning style is. Everyone grasps concepts in different ways and at different rates. I modify my tutoring approach based on the individual's needs and comfort level.

I was a Psychology major in college and have been in counseling positions for the last 10 years. My approach involves spending some initial time discussing what the client's needs or concerns are in order to make sure I understand the goal. From there I discuss possible approaches, suggesting more than one to see what would work best for the client and motivate him/her the most, and then beginning the work. I try to make learning fun but am results oriented. Tutoring is a customer service position so I do modify my approach and assistance based on what the client's expectations are. I hope to have the opportunity to work with you!

Meridith’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Pennsylvania - Bachelors, Psychology

Graduate Degree: George Washington University - Masters, J.D.

Hobbies

I enjoy reading, walking, yoga, watching movies, and spending time with my family and friends.

Tutoring Subjects

College Application Essays

College English

College Essays

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

Family Law

Graduate Test Prep

High School English

Homework Support

Legal Research

Legal Writing

LSAT Logical Reasoning

Other

Persuasive Writing

Public Speaking

Reading

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Summer

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

One of the most important ways to work toward positive results is to understand the person with whom you are working and what his/her learning style is. Everyone grasps concepts in different ways and at different rates. I modify my tutoring approach based on the individual's needs and comfort level. I was a Psychology major in college and have been in counseling positions for the last 10 years. My approach involves spending some initial time discussing what the client's needs or concerns are in order to make sure I understand the goal. From there I discuss possible approaches, suggesting more than one to see what would work best for the client and motivate him/her the most, and then beginning the work. I try to make learning fun but am results oriented. Tutoring is a customer service position, so I do modify my approach and assistance based on what the client's expectations are. I hope to have the opportunity to work with you!

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

I would first like to learn about the student with whom I am working. This includes their education, work experience, and interests. I ask what he/she wants to get out of the tutoring experience - knowing what the student is looking for is critical. I will then ask about his/her goals and ask to see any materials, books, or papers that are relevant to the help he/she seeks. I will propose what approach I think will be helpful and ask if that would work. I explain that I work off of the student, so our sessions are fluid and follow the needs of the student.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I need to know what the student's concerns, weaknesses, and insecurities are. From there, I would come up with exercises for him/her to practice, which would also increase his/her confidence as the work is done well. For example, I would ask the student what his/her question is. Then I would turn it around to hear how he/she would answer the question. I would explain what was right and wrong so that next time he/she will do it a little better. It is very important to give positive reinforcement so the student's confidence in the ability to do the work independently increases.

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

After reviewing the material to the point where the individual feels that he/she understands it, I would put together some hypothetical questions. It is important that the student be able to apply the concepts to different situations. If he/she gets the new hypos correct, I am comfortable that the material is understood. If the hypos are incorrect, I would ask the student to explain his/her thought process so I can determine what we need to practice further.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

Tutoring is a customer service field. It is imperative for me to adapt to my student's needs. I always ask my student after I explain something if I made sense. If I didn't, I try another method and continue with this methodology until the student understands. People all learn differently. Some need visuals, some need reading materials, and some need to talk things out. I utilize whatever meets the needs of the person with whom I am working.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

This will vary tremendously depending on the needs of the student with whom I am working. I will always want to see any coursebooks, handouts, or other resources being used by the teacher. Some people need to see things written out differently (ex: outline form), some need charts, some people need to write things out themselves, etc. I work off of the needs of my student and will use any resources necessary to teach.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Staying motivated is a challenge for pretty much everyone. People have to keep in mind that learning is more of a marathon than a sprint. I think it is important to reward oneself in order to stay focused. Some people may need a small reward (ex: reading a favorite magazine/going out for dinner) each step of the way, while others may just look forward to one reward at the end.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

This really depends on the student. Some students may need to take a break and focus on something different for a while before we can go back to reviewing the concept. This will help them refocus and feel less discouraged.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Building confidence comes with repeated successes and positive reinforcement. Students will most certainly not understand things or answer questions incorrectly, so it is critical to highlight when they do something correctly. They need to feel that they are making progress.

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

I try to explain things in ways that relate to the student. I like to ask about interests and hobbies, so I can use examples that incorporate them. For example, if a student needs help with public speaking, and I know he/she enjoys soccer, I will have them practice with an exercise that is about soccer. I also like to highlight what the benefit is in learning this subject. Sometimes, when people can see the long terms advantages of learning materials with which they are struggling, it motivates them.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I begin by asking the student how I can help them and what they want to accomplish with my help. I ask about their learning styles. I want to know what has worked/not worked in the past. I then see how the student responds to certain explanations or styles of learning during our sessions (ex: does he need charts/outlines/visuals, does he learn by talking out the problem, does he learn by reading about it). I then adjust my approach accordingly.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Reading comprehension is difficult for many people. It is helpful to begin by having the student read a paragraph or paper about a topic he/she likes. When the topic is more engaging, the student is more likely to comprehend what is being read. Then, I begin with broad questions. The more I see that the student comprehends, the more specific the questions I ask will become. After practicing with some interesting topics, we can then read something less interesting, but shorter in length. The key is starting slow and not getting too discouraged.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

You must know your audience in order to succeed in tutoring. Every student learns differently and at different paces. I like to learn about the student's background and interests. I spend a lot of time in the beginning asking about concerns, challenges, and expectations. I modify my approach depending on how the student responds to my teaching styles. I pick up on whether the student learns better by reading, writing, doing, etc.