One of the most important lessons that my grandmother ever taught me was that education is something that can never be taken away from you - it is something that you carry with you for your entire life. I resonate fully with this statement, and through my many years learning both in the academic environment and through personal growth, I understand what she means. To me, having an education inspires me to be a better human being and provide empathy to others, and I hope to be an inspiration to others through education as well!
I have worked as a tutor and teacher since high school, helping all students ranging from elementary school all the way to students in their senior year of high school. I taught English/Language Arts in my own classroom last summer for a program called Breakthrough in Austin, Texas, and have worked as a pre-calculus tutor as well as an ACT tutor all throughout college. I especially love working with students studying for the ACT and developing their college admission essays, but also am passionate about the humanities, language, and social science. I am fluent in Spanish and spent four months abroad in Ecuador, and studied Anthropology and Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology as well as a minor in English Writing while an undergrad at Washington University in St. Louis. Presently, I am a graduate student at Columbia University studying Narrative Medicine.
Outside of tutoring and classwork, I love writing, reading, traveling, hiking, canoeing, and playing music. I play four instruments and am trying to learn more!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Washington University in St Louis - Bachelors, Anthropology, Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology, English Writing
Graduate Degree: Columbia University in the City of New York - Current Grad Student, Narrative Medicine
ACT Composite: 33
ACT English: 35
ACT Math: 32
ACT Reading: 33
ACT Science: 31
Playing music (I play four instruments), hiking, canoeing, reading, writing, traveling
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Every student has the potential to succeed - all that student needs to do is find what works for them! (And I promise, there is something out there that works for you!)
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Sit down with the student and understand how they work and learn. It is extremely important to me to know the student's baseline skills or knowledge and grasp exactly where they want to end up at the end of our tutoring, and how THEY want to get there.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Do activities that are related to a student's interests! If we are practicing Spanish conversational skills, for example, we should talk about something that the student loves to talk about, whether it be soccer or video games. Learning the words for those interests and then utilizing them in conversation helps the student stay passionate about the material.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Do constant check-ins with the student while reading. I would have the student summarize their understanding and point out to me in the text itself where it says that. Depending on the student's need and the text, we would do this after every sentence, paragraph, or page.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Getting to know the student on a personal level goes a long way. When I consider my own academic career, the teachers and mentors that got to know me personally and expressed an interest in me as a human being inspired me the most to succeed.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Relate the subject to the student's interest! For the humanities or social sciences, they can easily be tied in. For example, when I was an English/Language Arts teacher, I brought in popular music to the classroom and we analyzed lyrics and looked up vocabulary from One Direction songs. I had the students write "fan fiction" for a book that we read in class. I taught lessons by re-writing song lyrics to explain material (e.g., the five elements of plot) and performing in front of the class with my ukulele. This kept the students excited for the material!
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Constant check-ins with the student! I really want the space to be as comfortable as possible for the student, so assuring them that it is okay if they don't understand the first time goes a really long way. Also, having them explain it back to me in their own words assures understanding.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I am there for the student, and am passionate about finding a way for the student to enjoy the lessons and get the most out of it as possible.