I was born in Berlin, Germany and raised French by my mother and German by my father. I started learning English in middle school as I was intrigued to decipher my favorite music songs. I was always fascinated with languages and thrilled that I am in a career that involves my passion.
Throughout my personal life and career I have witnessed the power of communication. Being able to understand and speak in different languages has been a huge advantage for me and I love sharing that language passion with people all over the world.
I have lived in Germany, England and the USA while also visiting my extended family in Belgium for much of my life. I have learned how much our identity is based on our culture as well as language. I have found that integrating cultural concepts facilitates the learning process and students simultaneously absorb the culture. I love opening up new horizons for my students. It is an amazing feeling to "hear" my students succeed, going from a rudimentary communication to their desired language level.
More about me and some of the cool experiences I have had with languages ...
I taught German and French at Oxford Brooks University while living in the UK. My students were my age which created an interesting peer dynamic which I enjoyed.
I worked for the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, VA. I had the honor to work with the United States Government teaching their Diplomats and their families to speak fluent German in just 9 months. At that time they would need to pass "Language Government Testing" in order to be approved and placed in this critical foreign role.
I am always humbled at the sight of any teacher student connection as all of our society and culture is based on knowledge transmission.
I have always admired this quote...
"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." -- Albert Einstein
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Oxford Brooks University - Associates, German
playing piano and flute, reading good books, going on travel, cook, go hiking
AP German Language and Culture
AP Music Theory
High School Biology
SAT Subject Test in German with Listening
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Starting a general conversation about my students and my own interests is a good way to begin our first session. I would exchange info on background, life circumstances, travel abroad and career. I would also like to get an idea of why the extra tutoring is needed and what kind of learning style my student has developed. At the end of our first session, I usually like to take away a clear view on what's needed to successfully improve my student's subject. Based on that, I will build a lesson plan.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I help my student by teaching him/her to be organized in their thought process before even getting started on their work, to stay on task and to not divert attention easily, to cope with difficulties, and to not give up until the given problem is solved. Giving positive reinforcements is very important and improves the self confidence of my student. Self-instruction between the sessions is a big part of retaining learned material, and homework is a great way to practice that. The more independent a student learns, the bigger the success their tutoring sessions will be.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I believe in inspirational teaching methods. I try to introduce material that relates to my student's own interests. Watching and listening to the news in the target language and discussing the understood material helps to stay connected to the real world, and it bridges the abstract and hard to understand context of the news video. To keep the interest centered in our session, I always try to teach at a level that is challenging and respectful to the intelligence of my student. I always make sure that all learned material is understood before moving on to the next challenge.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try different ways to approach the problem first. By finding out the reason for the disconnect, I can tackle the solution best. Sometimes, it is necessary to go back to previously learned material to correct and rebuild the skill or concept. My job is to help build a platform of knowledge and add on to it daily until the wanted result or perfection is achieved.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I hold high expectations and expect great accomplishments from my student. I believe that my student will master the challenges of learning at his/her best, when I communicate the confidence I place in my student. Through encouraging words great, things can happen. I try to think creatively on how to best help improve my student's area of concern. By thinking outside the box and norm, I can apply new ways of tackling a problem the student struggles with. By emphasizing the fun of learning, the actual session can become more lighthearted and creative.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would sit down with them and ask what exactly they are struggling with. I would continue by creating a lesson plan based on my student's needs and struggles. I would encourage and help them to set achievable goals throughout our sessions, and I would continue to boost their excitement by using level appropriate interactive learning material that makes them more interested in their subject.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
One way to finding out exactly how much my student understands the learned material would be a simple recounting of our last session by the student and what they thought they understood and where they struggled. Giving regular practice test is another way to secure continuous learning.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I challenge students, but don't overwhelm them. It's important that students feel a sense of progress with each session.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I believe that open communication is key to understanding the needs of any student. I routinely perform progress checks to make sure we are in alignment.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
In my experience, I have found that some students excel visually, while others audibly. As such, I adapt my teaching style accordingly. Other examples would include repetition styles. Some students excel with repetition during a single session, while others excel with repetition across multiple sessions. I look for these signs from my student interactions and their progress.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I prefer to use visual aids for both online and in-person tutoring. I mostly focus on verbal communications, as this is the most productive. At the student's request, I can give assignments for extra practice based on their availability and need.