I am a motivated and enthusiastic tutor with over 20 years of experience in tutoring students of all different ages. I have served as everything from a full-time classroom teacher, to a small group mentor, to a one-on-one tutor. I have mentored virtually every age learner, from Pre-K to adult, and have experience with everything from home-education to private and parochial schools to public school education.
When I'm not teaching, tutoring, or mothering my own 7 children, I enjoy a variety of activities. I love being outdoors in general, but my passion is for rock climbing. I also enjoy reading all kinds of literature and philosophy and cheering my kids on in their myriad sports and activities.
My number one priority in teaching is to empower my students to understand how they learn best and what motivates them. I want my students to feel a passion for learning, even if they do not feel it for every subject. I have been told that I bring energy, enthusiasm, and creativity to the learning environment, and that these qualities are contagious. I hope to pass this enthusiasm for learning on to my students and that my students will, in turn, pass it on to those around them.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of St Thomas - Bachelors, Philosophy/Theology
Graduate Degree: Western Governors University - Current Grad Student, Management and Leadership
ACT Composite: 31
GRE Verbal: 163
Reading dystopian fiction and medieval philosophy, rock climbing, backpacking, stargazing, eating Nashville Hot Chicken, and cheering my kids on in all that they do!
High School Business
High School English
High School Geography
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Writing
MCAT Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
Study Skills and Organization
Technology and Computer Science
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is very much about empowering the student to learn independently. If a student can identify how they learn best, then all studies and disciplines open up to them. In addition, if students can hone their analytic, reading, communication, and study skills, while at the same time opening themselves up to many different disciplines in order to discover what they are most passionate about, they become endowed with an unmistakable confidence in their own ability. This confidence, together with the curiosity that is conceived from such habits of study, is what engenders the greatness of mind that has so often brought about positive change in the world.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, I would introduce myself and spend a few minutes getting to know each other. Then, I would try to get a full picture of what the goals of the family are for the tutoring. Depending on those goals, we would spend a few minutes discussing a roadmap for how best to accomplish those goals. Lastly, we would spend some time on the first step on our roadmap, followed by a discussion of how to prepare for the next session and when that session should occur. From that time on, sessions would be conducted according to the roadmap and evaluated in terms of where we are in reference to accomplishing the goals established in our first meeting.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Becoming an independent learner involves many factors. A few factors that are within our control include: organizational and study skills, communication skills (both written and oral), an understanding of why any given subject-area is relevant to the learner, test-taking skills, and basic reading comprehension. These factors are all important for the actual learning process and for maximizing the student's ability to communicate that learning on an assessment.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I think it is incredibly important for tutors to both encourage their students to do their best and to let them know what they are already doing well. It is also important for students to see concrete improvements in their performance in order to continue to be motivated to give their best efforts.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
When a student encounters difficulty learning a concept, I find that I have the most success by finding a different way of teaching the concept that is more fitted to that particular student's learning style. Sometimes it takes trying three or four different approaches, but I have rarely encountered a situation in which I could not find an approach that at least improved clarity of the concept for the student. After finding the approach that works best for the student, it is often just a matter of practicing that approach until it becomes second nature.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I have found that one of the most effective ways to improve reading comprehension is by regularly practicing giving oral and/or written "narrations." Narrations are different from summaries or traditional book reports in that they require the student to retell the story or information as though they are telling it for the first time. In this way, students are forced to take mental note of more details and recall and relate these details in a logical and articulate manner. In doing so, students' reading comprehension is tested, exercised, and improved.