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Rachel

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I take a holistic approach to student success and, in early sessions or prior to meeting with students, value consultation as a means towards achieving educational success. I care deeply for my clients and, within my tutoring sessions, build upon the goals I have used in my own classroom environments in the past. My tutoring philosophies revolve around: 1. valuing student inquiry whenever possible, and 2. utilizing tangible data as checkpoints to gauge student progress. As a teacher and tutor I pride myself on my ability to meet students where they are and to guide them towards their educational goals by utilizing as much data and anecdotal evidence as possible. It a positive challenge for me to continue to codify various academic benchmarks as standards for consultation and as pathways to student success.

As a certified teacher and an instructor of AP Literature, AP Language, and Honors American Literature in the NY Public School system as well as a standardized test and college essay tutor for over six years, I am dedicated to creating an individualized and enriching learning experience for each of my students. As a creative writer, I value creativity and inquiry which often spills over into tutoring sessions; I enjoy tackling new challenges with innovation and verve. It is for these reasons that I so value positivity and creativity within my tutoring sessions; learning should be challenging in a positive way, not in a way that brings frustration or low self-confidence.

Prior to moving to New York to work in the NYC Public School system, I worked with grades 9-12 in the Match Tutor Corps, a program dedicated to supplementing classroom learning with small group or one-on-one tutoring. My previous experience has also allowed me to work with a variety of grades from preschool to high school at a myriad of programs including the Arlington, MA Public School system, the A+ Student Center, Phoenix Charter Academy, the BELL Tutoring Program, and the Americorps Programs Breakthrough Collaborative and Jumpstart. I am truly passionate about student success for students of all abilities and backgrounds, and I am dedicated to supporting students and families as they set and achieve their academic goals.

As an AP English Language, AP English Literature, and SAT teacher, I am dedicated to breaking down English skills in a comprehensive and engaging way. I have attended numerous writing and AP training sessions including the Rutgers University Pre-College Writing Program, the Collegeboard AP Language Summer Intensive, and various graduate-level classes in teaching English while obtaining my Master's in Education. In addition, I am currently enrolled in Middlebury College's Bread Loaf School of English, studying towards an additional Master's in English Literature and taking courses with top professors from around the country.

I welcome any additional inquiries regarding my tutoring philosophies and look forward to hearing from you. It is wonderful that you are taking the next step towards academic achievement and success, and I look forward to working with you to help you achieve your educational goals.

Rachel’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Emerson College - Bachelors, Writing, Literature, and Publishing

Graduate Degree: Middlebury College - Current Grad Student, MA English

Test Scores

SAT Composite: 2040

SAT Math: 610

SAT Verbal: 730

SAT Writing: 700

Hobbies

Creative Writing, Acting, Singing, Dancing, Reading, Kickboxing.


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I value student inquiry and voice above all else while teaching or tutoring. Education needs to be a personalized experience driven by the client's goals and interests; if student voice goes unvalued, I believe educational growth stagnates.

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

My first sessions generally begin with a consultation. I will speak with the student and/or their guardian regarding their educational goals, current educational progress, and their general goals for tutoring sessions. This collaborative process allows us to establish checkpoints and action-oriented tasks that can then be used in order to make the most of every scheduled session.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

As a tutor, I am never considering a tutoring session as a time led fully by myself. Instead, I value student voice and inquiry, and I rely on my clients to partner with me in their own learning. Tutoring should not be only about completing homework assignments or increasing a grade; tutoring should be a way for students to take control of their own learning. Through the questioning techniques I have been trained in throughout my time as a tutor, I guide students to their own understanding, valuing their independence as learners over my own knowledge of a given subject.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Motivation is key for proper tutoring sessions. By initially setting key goals with students, I am able to identify ways in which students find internal and intrinsic motivation for success. If we reach a point where students are not feeling motivated to succeed, we re-assess and regroup in order to ensure students feel tutoring sessions are worthwhile and beneficial.

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

As a certified teacher, I have been trained to work with students of varying skill levels. Difficulty in learning is never something to view as a setback, only something to view as a challenge through which we can forge ahead. I pride myself on understanding various learning styles and on working creatively until I find strategies that work for my clients. I have unwavering patience and am more than willing and able to try a multitude of approaches in order to help a student tackle any educational difficulty they may face.

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

My strategies for improving reading comprehension are based on student read-alouds, tutor read-alouds, questioning strategies, re-reading, and annotation practice. Students need to build their own self-confidence as readers, and often that comes from repeated practice and celebration of small benchmarks as students progress. Reading is a skill that, at time requires an almost mathematical or scientific approach; I find that students who often make the most progress in their reading comprehension are those who can view a sentence, passage, or chapter as a problem set they are able to solve. Working in this vein, students are challenged to look at reading in a new light, and thus are able to make significant progress.

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

I always rely on guided practice in order to ensure students are confident and able to demonstrate learned skills. I generally follow an I Do/We Do/You Do model whereby the tutor models the skill for the student, the tutor and the student practice the skill together, and then the student practices the skill on their own. We then measure the final student product against the exemplar answer to gauge how close to demonstrated success the student has come. From the difference between exemplar and student product, we set next step goals for follow-up sessions.

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

Confidence comes from celebrating small accomplishments and from focusing not on specific test scores, but on demonstrated student growth. A student should never feel they are "bad" at a specific subject; instead, they should feel that they have the ability to grow in a subject and the ability to overcome a challenge by taking small steps towards measured success. By focusing on multiple aspects of success during reading and writing instruction (annotation, comprehension, interpretation, creativity, sentence fluency/structure, etc.), students are able to trace their progress in a multitude of areas and to measure their success in a variety of ways. This measured success builds confidence and allows the student to see that there are various aspects of these subjects within which they may excel.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I evaluate student needs based on my initial consultations with students and/or guardians as well as on various checkpoints throughout sessions with students. If working to supplement classroom instruction, I find it valuable to analyze any feedback given by the classroom teacher on tasks assigned. If working on standardized test prep, we will consult practice exams to ensure students are able to forge ahead in their preparation.