I am a dedicated and enthusiastic tutor who strongly believes that anyone can learn anything with the right attitude and an open mind.
My main background is in test prep and college readiness, with a focus on test-taking strategies that build self-esteem and improve performance. I began tutoring for a private company while I was a student at Columbia University in New York. While there, I had the opportunity to teach students of all backgrounds and levels of ability. My unique approach to SAT and ACT test-prep focuses just as much on "learning the test" as it does learning the material, which gives students a sense of confidence and courage on test day.
My expertise in "big test" prep translates to the regular school environment as well, whether it be building better study habits, better relationships to class material, or finding new ways to make material accessible--at any age, in any subject, it is the job of a great tutor to find a way in!
Undergraduate Degree: Columbia University in the City of New York - Bachelors, Visual Arts
SAT Writing: 750
puzzles, crosswords, riddles, swimming, crafting, creative writing, film, cooking
10th Grade Reading
10th Grade Writing
11th Grade Reading
11th Grade Writing
12th Grade Reading
12th Grade Writing
High School English
High School Writing
Study Skills and Organization
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By focusing on successes as well as areas of improvement. Often, students need to be reminded of how far they've come from week to week as a way to maintain confidence when they are struggling with material.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would refine my approach. If a student is having trouble with a math concept while working on paper, maybe we need to include more visual tools that allow them to see the problem physically. Some learners are conceptual, some hands on, etc. If a method isn't working, I'll change it.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
One strategy is to have students underline important information as they're reading, or to summarize each paragraph in a sentence. This method of dissecting a passage as you go can help students that struggle with comprehension by building a scaffold, rather than expecting them to just "get it."
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
At the start, I find it most effective to establish mutual respect and understanding. I want to make sure that the student knows that I'm there to help them and adapt to them, rather than the other way around. Also, having students talk through their process when reviewing practice quizzes can be illuminating, and often allows them to discover their errors without my help.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Learning is for everyone. "At any age, in any subject, it is the job of a great tutor to find a way in!" An effective tutor has unlimited strategies for making material accessible and engaging. Engagement improves retention, which improves confidence, which improves performance!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
A good first session would start with an informal interview. What areas are you already confident in? What areas are you wanting to improve? What has your experience been like with tutoring in the past? From this place of mutual understanding, we can proceed to the usual diagnostic test, practice quiz, etc. to find their starting point.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By recognizing successes as much as areas of struggle. When a student unlocks a problem or sees a mistake in a way that helps them avoid it in the future, they become empowered. They feel good! And that feeling pushes them to take opportunities between sessions for independent study and learning. The cycle of self-esteem building and positive affirmation becomes exciting.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Approach is everything. If a student is struggling with geometry on paper, maybe they need more visual tools--like cutouts or props. There are conceptual learners, visual learners, and those who learn by doing. Together, we will find what works and keep at it.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
The best technique is to have them "teach it back." When a student gets a problem right, it's just as important that they know why. Having them explain their thought process demonstrates a deeper understanding of concepts that can be applied to similar problems.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
With praise and reassurance, as well as reminding them how far they've come from week to week. If a student is losing confidence or self-esteem because something is particularly difficult, I will always call back to a moment of success: "Remember how hard the sentence corrections used to be? And now you can do them like you're saying the ABC's. Don't give up."
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
A teacher created survey, questionnaire, or diagnostic assessment that identifies what the deficit is, as well as where they need to be. It is also important to get to know the student and what they think they need or would like to improve in, in addition to a standardized diagnostic approach.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
The most common thing I adapt as a tutor is pace. Other tools, like visual aids, brain games, and reward structures are also useful.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Flashcards, whiteboards, practice tests, pencil and paper. Also occasionally craft materials and age appropriate visual aids.