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Four years ago, I moved across the country to pursue my passion, the academic field of history. I attended UNC-Chapel Hill where I was able to complete a master's thesis in Latin American history and gain valuable experience teaching undergraduate courses as diverse as Latin America since Independence, the Social History of Pop Music in the United States, and World History since 1945. I began with no teaching experience, but my love of the field is what motivated me to connect with my students every week, helping them understand how the past relates to the present, the historical context of world events, and how to develop their skills in writing and analysis.

Now that I have returned to my home state of Arizona, I would like to continue connecting with students through education, particularly in history, writing, and language. As a TA, I had the opportunity to teach in a classroom setting as well as meeting with students one-on-one in office hours to assist them on an individual level while understanding their diverse skill sets and learning styles, which is why I will be a great tutor.

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Shannon’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Arizona - Bachelors, History

Graduate Degree: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Masters, History

Test Scores

ACT English: 35

ACT Reading: 31

SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1450

SAT Writing: 720


Hiking, concerts, Latin American art and culture

Tutoring Subjects

ACT Reading

ACT Writing

AP United States History

AP US History

College Level American History

Conversational Spanish

Graduate Test Prep

GRE Analytical Writing

GRE Verbal

High School Level American History



Latin America History

SAT Writing and Language

Social Studies


Spanish 1

Spanish 2

Spanish 3

Spanish 4

Test Prep

US History

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is based on my experience as a history teacher at a large university. While some see history as a series of events, as a teacher, I try to illustrate how larger trends and processes unfold over many years and how seemingly distant events are intimately connected. To do so, I prefer focusing on these bigger trends and patterns, sketching a historical outline and then illustrating it with concrete examples, showing students the bigger picture as well as distinct case studies to explain how processes played out in different contexts. In these examples, I would stress the use of primary sources, bringing them right into the classroom and the story. On one hand, we can talk about, for instance, political repression in Latin America during the 1960s and 1970s. But letting historical actors speak for themselves through primary sources like political manifestos, protest songs, or images of brutal clashes between the government and the people allows students to witness that history from the present. As a history student during my undergraduate years, it was important to hear historical voices in the story, giving life and stakes to the information that I processed. The skills learned in the field of history can be translated to other areas involving writing, critical analysis of sources, and crafting an argument. Similarly, using media, art, and literary sources in language teaching can make a foreign language more accessible as well.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I believe in positive reinforcement, so I make a point to acknowledge when the student makes progress on his or her learning, emphasizing that as their tutor, I am looking at their work 'from the outside' and can therefore see where they have improved whereas the student might see their struggles more clearly than their progress. I also believe and emphasize that learning is an ongoing process, and academic skills don't come naturally to most people - they are skills which require practice over time. With a subject like Spanish, I try to relate to the student's struggles by talking about issues that I found difficult as well.

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

One strategy to practice comprehension is note-taking. The student can break down a longer passage, article, or chapter of a book into smaller pieces, taking notes paragraph by paragraph, which is much less daunting than looking at the reading as a whole. After taking notes on these smaller sections, they should answer questions such as, "What is the particular point, argument, or angle of each section?" "How do those contribute to the reading as a whole?" Additionally, we tend to remember information better if we write it down, so this strategy can help in multiple ways.

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