I first realized I wanted to be a teacher when I was 15; my 10th grade English teacher was absolutely phenomenal, and I decided then and there that I wanted to do what she did-- I wanted to help students become invested in literature and learn how to think critically. The following year, I had a Chemistry teacher who struggled with teaching our class. I was still able to learn the material from the textbook, but many of my classmates floundered. I found myself tutoring some of them, and was reminded how much I enjoyed helping someone understand a concept. I love seeing a student have that 'oh' moment-- the moment when something finally clicks for them, and the concept they're learning about becomes clear.
I attended Occidental College, where I earned my preliminary teaching credential and my BA in English and Comparative Literary Studies. For the last three years, I've worked at a private middle school, doing teaching and administrative work. I had the wonderful opportunity to teach Creative Writing as an elective, which was one of the great joys of my time there-- my students were so creative, and they became wonderfully invested in writing, and in stories.
I enjoy working with students of all ages. I have found a home in tutoring both academic subjects as well as test prep. When tutoring, I bring my own passion and experience to these subjects. I work with students to help them understand their strengths and their areas for opportunity. I believe that it is important for students to understand their own learning style, as this plays into the learning, studying, and test taking experience. I aim to support, challenge, and build confidence in my students.
Now I've decided to go to graduate school, so I'm back at university working on my Masters in English, with the goal of moving on to a PhD and eventually teaching in the classroom again-- either at the secondary or college level. When I'm not studying, I spend much of my time reading, writing, singing, and watching hockey or baseball.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Occidental College - Bachelors, English and Comparative Literary Studies
Graduate Degree: University of Rochester - Current Grad Student, English
reading, writing, singing, musical theater, history, science fiction and fantasy, fiber arts, hockey, baseball, figure skating, gymnastics
College Level American Literature
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Writing
High School English
High School Level American Literature
High School Writing
ISEE-Lower Level Mathematics Achievement
ISEE-Lower Level Quantitative Reasoning
ISEE-Lower Level Reading Comprehension
ISEE-Lower Level Verbal Reasoning
ISEE-Lower Level Writing
ISEE-Middle Level Mathematics Achievement
ISEE-Middle Level Quantitative Reasoning
ISEE-Middle Level Reading Comprehension
ISEE-Middle Level Verbal Reasoning
ISEE-Middle Level Writing
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Writing
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that it's important to teach students in a way that helps them retain information in the long term--not just for the next test or the final. The key to doing this is student investment--it's far easier to remember something you find interesting or something you care about rather than something you've been forced to memorize. I also believe that retention is helped by placing the information in context--giving a student a why and a how they can latch onto, not just a who, what, where, or when.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, I would typically try to establish what a student's overall goal is, as well as assessing where they are currently. I would also try to figure out how the student learns--what has and hasn't worked for them in the past and what sort of things trip them up or help them out. Finding out all of these pieces of information will allow me to start creating a plan for our sessions going forward and will help us begin to build a rapport, as well.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I'm a big believer in extrinsic motivation. Depending on the age and temperament of the student, I might use something as simple as stickers on assignments to recognize their success. I have also found that tracking success--on a chart, or maybe something more fun like a maze or a quest--can be very helpful. It can also be useful to involve a student's interests in what I'm teaching--interest and engagement is frequently key to motivation.