I am a skilled mentor and teacher. As an attorney, I currently handle sustainability law, environmental law and contracts. I have experience with developing mission sustainability plans for U.S. military bases that enhance long-term sustainability of testing and training operations. I have developed workshops and educational programs on goal setting, plan implementation, and stakeholder development. I have presented at national conferences on the topic of climate change adaptation planning and water management planning in water-stressed areas. I have also volunteered as an AmeriCorps Watershed Ambassador for the state of New Jersey and assessed the health of neighborhood streams in the Rancocas Creek Watershed, taught in the classroom and educational workshops on a variety of environmental issues, and trained citizen volunteers of all ages in the science of stream monitoring. In college, I was a member of the ROTC program. Upon graduation, I was commissioned as an officer in the Army. My military stint included a tour of duty in the Republic of Korea.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Dickinson College - Bachelors, Psychology and History (2)
Graduate Degree: Temple University - Masters, Law and a Masters of Environmental Studies at Penn
In my spare time, I enjoy surfing, yoga, running, weight lifting, hiking, reading and playing the guitar and writing music, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
AP US History
College Level American History
High School Business
High School Level American History
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy starts with the understanding that my students are from different backgrounds and cultures. As I teach, I relate the textbook material to everyday life by providing familiar examples to my students. This experience helps students to better remember the concepts and excel on the exams. In addition, it makes the process of learning fun.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In the first session, it is important to get to know the student and to understand his or her goals. Also, it will be important to know which are the specific areas of focus, and what the student hopes to gain from the tutor sessions. I'll map out a plan with the student that will specifically address his or her goals, follow-up work, and milestones to provide a pathway to success.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
In order to help a student become an independent learner, I will first start with time management skills to help the student become better at planning for taking tests and turning in papers on time. As a student develops their time management skills, they become better planners because they develop skills for allocating a specific amount of time to different tasks (e.g., setting time aside for after-school activities, time for homework, etc.). Once the time for homework and advanced learning is established, the student can then dedicate his or her energy to that given task. In addition, I will guide the student through the process of goal setting and help him or her make a plan to meet his or her goals. As students engage in this process, they are empowered with the ability to steer the course of their own academic journey. I will also help the student become a more efficient and effective researcher, which will enrich his or her learning process.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Maintaining a student's motivation involves keeping the subject material interesting to the student. I use different teaching styles and techniques to ensure that the subject material remains interesting to the student and that he or she approaches it in a meaningful way. This may involve a game such as passing a ball around to discuss the subject material or using another fun event to help keep the subject material interesting and relevant.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
To help a student with difficulty learning a skill or concept, I would assess the student's understanding of the subject material and where his or her lack of understanding lies. In addition, I would focus on his or her strengths and develop a lesson plan. I would then develop a lesson plan that would utilize the student's strengths and talents that would best address the difficulty in understanding the subject material.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
In order to help students struggling with reading comprehension, I break down the subject material into smaller segments and build towards an understanding of the material in each small segment. Reading comprehension can be developed by helping the student to clarify the purpose for reading the material and to preview the text. In addition, I will work with the student to adjust his/her reading speed to ensure comprehension of the material. For example, the student may read a bit slower so that he/she has time to think about the material. In addition, I will work with the student to ask questions about the text which will encourage the student to think actively as he or she reads.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
When I first meet with students, I first like to get to know what their interests are (e.g., career aspirations, hobbies, favorite subjects). In addition, I like to know a little bit about their classes and what they hope to gain from the tutor sessions. I will then map out a plan with the students that will help them to meet their goals.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Students may like one subject material over others. Generally, students tend to perform better in subjects in which they have an interest. Likewise, it is understandable when a student struggles in a subject they are not excited about/engaged in. To help get students excited/engaged in the material, I relate the material to them on a personal level. In addition, I build their enthusiasm for the material by using different teaching techniques, such as discussion about the material, devising learning games, and other strategies to help them see the material through a different lens.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
In order to ensure that the student understands the material, I employ several techniques depending on their individual needs. For example, some material may require a student to memorize facts, such as dates, names, and other information. In this instance, I may use a flashcard game or other memory game where I ask the students a question and have them respond back with the answer. In addition, I may have the students tell me a short story about the material they have reviewed to see if they comprehended it. I also have the students relate the material to everyday life to help them further expand their mastery of the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
In order to build a student's confidence in a subject, I first assess his/her understanding/mastery of the material. Using the current understanding/mastery of the subject as the foundation, I will then build upon that level and start adding new material at a pace that fits the student's needs. I will then begin to quiz the student on the material by asking questions about it. In addition, I will help the student build his/her confidence by highlighting the correct assessments and have the student reach for additional insight at a pace that continues to build confidence and understanding.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's needs by discussing his/her interest in the subject material. In addition, I assess the student's current understanding of the material, academic performance, and what his or her goals are. I will then devise a plan that will help a student meet his or her needs.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Students come to the classroom experience with different levels of interest and different ways of learning. For example, some students prefer hands-on learning, and others prefer more lecture type. Throughout the learning process, I assess the student's understanding of the material and gauge the level of enthusiasm. The tutoring sessions are flexible and can be adjusted to the student's needs to ensure the maximum learning potential.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use books, videos, PowerPoint presentations, flash cards, and other teaching aids to supplement classroom instruction or to stimulate the interest of students.