I taught college English composition courses for eight years, so I have a firm grasp of the expectations of student writing at this level. I have also tutored ESL students in SAT prep and college application essay writing. As a former Fulbright grantee, I understand the importance of a clear and concise personal statement as the cornerstone of a successful application. My academic specializations include written and visual rhetoric, academic and creative writing, and 19th century British literature.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Glenville State College - Bachelors, English
Graduate Degree: Marshall University - Masters, English Composition and Rhetoric
ACT Composite: 27
ACT English: 30
ACT Math: 22
ACT Reading: 35
ACT Science: 22
GRE Quantitative: 149
GRE Verbal: 154
Hiking, running, kayaking, traveling, book arts, bookbinding
ACCUPLACER ESL - Reading Skills Prep
ACCUPLACER ESL - Sentence Meaning Prep
ACCUPLACER Language Use Prep
College Level American Literature
High School English
High School Level American Literature
High School Writing
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Writing is not a skill one must be born with. Writing is a learned skill. Becoming a better writer takes patience and dedication, but any student can learn the necessary skills to improve his or her writing while enjoying the process.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session with a student, I take time to get to know the student's interests and strengths. I like to perform small, low-stakes assessments to gauge the best place to begin for that student’s learning needs.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
A student becomes an independent learner when they are taught WHY a skill is important. Once a student understands what they are doing and why, they have the power to call on this knowledge when necessary independence from a tutor or teacher.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
To keep students motivated, I practice student-centered learning, where the student has a large measure of control over the direction of their learning. I also utilize various learning styles, such as visual, aural, and kinesthetic learning to engage all of a student's senses.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
To help students with reading comprehension, I teach a few basic skills: breaking words and sentences down into small parts, connecting the passage with the student's experiences or beliefs, and keeping a dictionary handy.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Getting to know a student and finding points of connection with him or her is important in the beginning. I like to set manageable goals, and it's important that the students know we can spend more time at any goal checkpoint when necessary. This way, the student feels he or she is always making steady progress, even though some goals may take longer to reach than others.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would guide the student to make a connection between the subject and the student's life experiences or beliefs. For example, Moby-Dick may seem too out-of-touch for a lot of students, but at its core, the novel is about a character whose personal beliefs are challenged by people very different from him. This is something we all experience as we enter new experiences, like high school, college, and adult life.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
To make sure a student understands the material, I would use a series of low-stakes assessments throughout the learning process, such as quizzes and brief written assignments. This helps to determine if there are areas in which the student struggles. Once any areas of difficulty are uncovered, we can focus on those particular skills or concepts before a high-stakes assessment, like a test or essay, is due.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Along with suggesting areas of improvement, it's important to let students know what they are doing right. Complimenting their strengths builds confidence and motivates them to further improve.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
To evaluate a student's needs, I perform periodic diagnostics in the form of brief quizzes or informal written assignments, like journal entries or mind maps.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Getting to know a student and how he or she learns is most important when adapting tutoring to a student's needs. If a student is a visual learner, I will incorporate more graphics or photographs. If a student is a kinesthetic learner, I will incorporate more project-based assessments.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I prefer that a student be as active and involved as possible during a tutoring session. Open dialogue is important, as are taking notes, asking questions, utilizing flash cards, highlighters, or markers.