I am a joyful, passionate,and fun teacher. I have a BA in French, an MA in Teaching of Writing, and a PhD in Rhetoric. I have been teaching and tutoring writing for 24 years. I am an expert on grammar and mechanics. I can help you develop your thesis, your argument, your paragraphs, your introduction, and your conclusion. I am incredibly good at helping write college application essays. In addition, I can help you find quality research and integrate it professionally into your essays. I do test prep as well, from elementary through graduate student. I'm also patient and kind, and I care very much for my students. I look forward to working with you!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Washington University in St Louis - Bachelors, French
Graduate Degree: Carnegie Mellon University - PHD, Rhetoric
Poetry slam, creative writing, community theatre, geology, space sciences, evolution, American History, stand up comedy, archaeology, unconnected tribes, linguistics, film, revolutionary rock and roll, anthrolophology.
ACCUPLACER ESL - Listening
ACCUPLACER ESL - Reading Skills
ACCUPLACER ESL - Sentence Meaning
ACCUPLACER Language Use
Ancient and Medieval Heritage
Basic Computer Literacy
CLEP American Government
CLEP American Literature
CLEP Analyzing and Interpreting Literature
CLEP College Composition
CLEP College Composition Modular
CLEP English Literature
CLEP History of the United States II: 1865 to the Present
CLEP Human Growth and Development
CLEP Introduction to Educational Psychology
CLEP Introductory Psychology
CLEP Introductory Sociology
CLEP Social Sciences and History
College Application Essays
College Level American Literature
COMPASS Writing Skills
CSAP/ TCAP Prep
DAT Reading Comprehension
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Science
FCAT 2.0 Prep
GATE/ TAG Prep
GED Reasoning Through Language Arts
GED Social Studies
GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment
GRE Subject Test in Literature in English
GRE Subject Tests
High School English
High School Level American History
High School Level American Literature
High School Political Science
High School Writing
HSPT Language Skills
IB Language A: Language and Literature
IB Language ab initio
IB Language B
IB Literature and Performance
IB Social and Cultural Anthropology
Introduction to Fiction
Introduction to Poetry
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
ISEE-Upper Level Reading Comprehension
ISEE-Upper Level Verbal Reasoning
ISEE-Upper Level Writing
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
OAT Quantitative Reasoning
OAT Reading Comprehension
PCAT Quantitative Ability
PCAT Verbal Ability
SAT Subject Tests Prep
STAAR EOC Prep
Study Skills and Organization
Technology and Coding
WISC IV Prep
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that people learn much more efficiently and permanently when they are having fun. My lessons are fun and visual, and often include games. I do not provide strict answers ... I teach you how to learn on your own. If you are interested, my main influence is Paulo Freire and Lev Vygotsky. Both educators believe in starting in student experience and building from there. I am very, very good at what I do. Students love me, but much, much more importantly, they love me too. I can't wait to work with you!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First, I would find out what the topic is. Then I would assess if I could do the right thing by that student in helping them. In terms of writing, I'd be sure they had a thesis and content first, and then I'd focus on grammar and mechanics. I want students to come away from their experience with not just with a better grade, but with a better learning experience.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I won't give answers...instead, I will teach students how to become active learners in their own right. For example, when teaching grammar, I have specific fun exercises that help them visualize how to use commas. These exercises work. Students are in charge of their work. I am a mentor helping them to scaffold to the next level.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
There are several things I could do. I could ask a colleague with experience in developmental education. I could research pedagogy. And if it fails, I would recommend another tutor. I highly doubt it would come to that, but I am willing to ask others for help. After all, that is human.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I am trained in reading comprehension. First, I advise students to look up a word they don't know, and then incorporate them into their own sentences. Second, I highly recommend annotation for every single paragraph, paraphrasing what the paragraph is teaching.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I ask them about themselves. What are their strengths and weaknesses? What do they enjoy doing? Connecting pedagogy to what interests them is one of the very best ways to teach. In fact, this is probably my main strength. Students learn best when they can apply their knowledge to their own lives.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Again, connecting the subject matter to their hobbies and their future plans is the best way to engage students.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would ask them questions I devised myself. For example, in grammar, I would write sentences and ask them to correct them. Secondarily, I would ask them to correct their own work after I gave them lessons.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I tell them that if a person like me, a poor girl from the projects, can succeed -- with two Ivy League degrees -- then they can do ANYTHING they want. All it takes is perseverance and the ability to break big tasks into smaller, more doable tasks.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I will look at their work, first. Then, I will ask them what they think they need to work on, and additionally ask them what their instructors think they should be working on.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Adapting to student needs depends on each individual student. As I work at a community college, one of the first things I learned was to take an individual approach to EVERY student. I will do the same as a tutor, as some students may struggle with disabilities, with children and other jobs, and with other issues. I am sensitive to their lives.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
It depends on the lesson. I have many pre-made grammar and punctuation lessons. I also have premade guides on the writing process. Other times, I use my own experience.