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Erin

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I am a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Bachelor’s in Ecological and Evolutionary Biology. This year I completed my Peace Corps contract as an Agricultural volunteer in Tanzania, and I plan to attend doctoral school next year in pursuit of a PhD in public health. In my free time I love to travel, adventure outside, and play music. I also love to meet new people and find that working with others and teaching to be a very fulfilling job. I have experience tutoring high school students in Math, English, and Science from weekly sessions that I organized in the Peace Corps, and tutoring college students as a teacher's assistant for Genetics during my undergraduate degree. I love to work with students to help expand their knowledge and assist them to maximize their full learning potential. I teach a lot of subjects but my passion lies in the sciences and statistics, especially in environmental science, biology, chemistry, and biostats. I believe that there are so many ways to achieve an understanding for what’s being taught, which is why I value patience and approaching problems from a fun angle that is tailored to best suit a student's needs. So let’s get learning! And let’s have fun!

Erin’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Colorado Boulder - Bachelors, Ecological and Evolutionary Biology

Hobbies

Biking, Rock climbing, Running, Playing Guitar, Reading, and Socializing.

Tutoring Subjects

AP Environmental Science

Biology

Biostatistics

College Biology

College Geography

Ecology

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Science

Environmental Science

Evolutionary Biology

Geography

German

German 1

Graduate Level Biology

High School Biology

High School Chemistry

High School Geography

Languages

Math

Middle School Math

Middle School Science

Science

Social studies


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

The underpinnings of my teaching philosophy are understanding and patience. Understanding is important not only for the subject matter that is being taught, but also for creating relationships with the students. I believe that it is important to build rapport and personal relationships in order to create an environment that is suited for individual learning. This is accomplished by understanding the material that is being taught, as well as the students you're working with. I like to pair patience with understanding as it is an important characteristic for a teacher to have in any teaching environment. Patience for the material and patience for the students creates an open space in which the students may feel free to express themselves and ask questions without worry of criticism or judgement. As a returned Peace Corps volunteer, I also value sustainability. Although my experience concerning sustainability has primarily focused around project design and development, I think it can also be attributed to methods of teaching. As much as I enjoy teaching and providing students with examples, I do it in a way that encourages self-guidance by showing students how to figure out problems on their own. I also like to ask them questions to get them to problem solve, as well as to assess their level of understanding and to keep them actively engaged. As important as it is to memorize the rules, it's more important to know how to critically think and figure out solutions to something unknown. Finally, I believe learning can't be encouraged unless it's provided in a fun, real-world manner. I like to use my positive energy to keep the ball rolling during long stretches. Taking short breaks are sometimes necessary for continued learning and growth. I like to provide examples that relate to ourselves, our surrounding environment, and to provide a bigger picture of the material that is being taught and why it's important. Overall, I like to see myself as a guiding facilitator between the student and the information that is out there, to teach and encourage healthy study habits, and to develop a bigger-picture view of how it relates to the world around us.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

In a typical first session, I would spend the first 5-10 minutes getting to know the student and building rapport. I like to exchange information with them, such as asking them questions about what they like to do, and telling them a little about myself. I would end by playing the game, two truths and a lie, to make the interaction a little more fun and loosen up before we start. I would then want to establish some classroom guidelines. I would ask the student what they expect of me and tell them what I expect from them, and together we would create a short list of rules and expectations to be followed throughout the tutoring sessions. I would then want to know about the subject material they're learning. I would ask them what they see as their own personal strengths and weaknesses, and where they would like help. Reviewing past homework or exams could be useful. Afterwards, I would ask them to create and write down a personal goal which will be something to work towards and to achieve by a certain date. This will provide a measurement for the student to use to mark their progress and compare with over time.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I would help a student become an independent learner by teaching them the process of finding solutions to problems on their own. Instead of giving them answers to their questions, we would search for the material together, either by looking through their textbook, past examples from class, or (as a final resort) by looking online. I would teach them how to find solutions from using the material that is available to them and applying it to the problem they have.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or subject, then different approaches to the subject at hand would have to be taken until understanding is reached. If it is a skill, then lots of examples and practice would be an approach. If it is a subject, then looking at the problem in as many ways as possible, observing online videos and examples, and practicing the problem and ones similar to it could be an approach as well. Overall it is important, for myself, to observe patience until the student has reached understanding.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

For students struggling with reading comprehension, I would have them read out loud to me and assist them in sounding out difficult words. Words that are not understood would be looked up and then written down and defined on a word list. If there is time for review, we could create flash cards or play memory from words using the word list as a guide.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Strategies I have found most successful have been building a rapport, reviewing areas of difficulty, understanding a student's learning style, and creating short term goals.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

To help engage a student, I would try and make the material as fun and interesting as possible by keeping up a positive energy and relating the material to bigger-picture ideas. I would reward them with positive feedback and encouragement when they get through problems they struggled in, and track progress to show them how hard work pays off.