I believe every student has more potential than they realize, and recognizing this is the first step to success. Whether you need help organizing and editing your essay or research paper, or studying for your upcoming test, I want to help you do your best work.
A little about me: I'm originally from Portland, Oregon and currently reside in Brooklyn, New York. I graduated cum laude from American University in 2013 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in dance.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: American University - Bachelors, Political Science and Government
Dance, hiking, cooking, podcasts, and the NYT cross word puzzle.
College Application Essays
College Level American Literature
College Political Science
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Writing
GED Reasoning Through Language Arts
GED Social Studies
High School English
High School Level American History
High School Level American Literature
High School Political Science
High School Writing
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Writing
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that every student has more potential than they realize. Too often learning takes a back seat to assessment. By that, I mean that education focuses too much on results and not enough on process. I believe that when you are truly passionate about a subject and are focused on learning the material not just for the sake of a test, but for gaining knowledge, that is when you will be the most successful.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In our first session, I would want to assess where a student feels comfortable, and where they feel they need help, so we can make the best use of our future sessions. Additionally, I would want to discuss strategies that have worked in the past for studying and test prep, as well as ones that haven't. Lastly, I want to learn about you! What do you hope to get out of this class, this test, or this essay?
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
It definitely depends on the student, but for the most part the process is gradual. Ideally there is always a component that is done away from our session, because my job as a tutor is not to hover over the student while they do their homework; my job is to assist and guide the student.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try to approach the subject from a different angle. For example, if we are studying the differences of Parliamentary systems and Presidential systems, maybe we can look at it through the lens of current events to give us a better perspective. What types of new governments have chosen parliamentary systems over presidential systems? Why does the presidential system work so well for the United States but not for other countries? If we look at the division of power between these two systems, can we find patterns between how change comes about? Sometimes the reason we're having difficulty is that we can't see past the first step; if we come at a problem from a different angle, the solution can be clearer.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
If a student is having trouble with reading comprehension, there are a few key ways to improve understanding. 1) The first time through, highlight salient details, for example: names of characters and information about time and place. 2) Highlight any words you do not know 3) Once we have these first details covered, let's answer a few questions: Who's narrating? Does the narrator a reliable storyteller? Are the elements of foreshadowing? Metaphor? Juxtaposition? Often the biggest problem with reading comprehension is that there is so much information, we don't know what to prioritize. Finding the basic details first and then moving on to larger questions and themes will help with developing reading comprehension.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Different people are wired for different things, and learning is much easier and much more enjoyable when you feel engaged and excited about the subject you're learning. That being said, let's try and find a perspective on the subject that interests you. Are you more of a numbers-oriented person, and you find yourself struggling in your comparative government and politics class? Then why don't we look at polling data and the types of statistics that go in to predicting election results? Or do you enjoy learning about current events, but have no interest in history that predates 2000? Then maybe we can identify patterns in history and relate what's happening now with what has occurred in the past.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Every student differs, but I find that attainable goal setting is an excellent way to stay motivated. Rather than focus solely on the big test, why don't we focus on slightly smaller goals: like getting an A on a 10-question quiz, or even just feeling confident enough in the material to speak up in class?
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Every student is different, because all students learn in slightly different ways, but one of the things I've found helpful for nearly all students is simply discussion. Making a subject livelier through open discussion is a good early tool for finding how a student relates to the work. In terms of learning strategies, there are different things that work for different students: flashcards, mock quizzes, PowerPoint presentations, practice problems, field trips, hands-on learning, etc.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would ask them to try to teach me the material. Teaching is honestly the best way to learn a subject and figure out where you might be glossing over something, without knowing how you got there.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
There are a few ways to evaluate a student's needs. First, it's important to understand why a student is seeking tutoring. Does the student struggle with completing homework on time? With anxiety during tests? With confidence in their work? Next, are there any particular goals that we are working towards? For example, a higher test score, a better understanding of a concept, a stronger thesis, etc.? After our first session, I can work to better address specific needs that might be less concrete, such as essay structure, reading comprehension, and information memorization.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Most people feel confident when they are good at something. With that in mind, the best way to build confidence in a subject is to show you how it connects to areas that you are good at or understand better. For example: if you are a more math-oriented student, and you are having trouble with your government class, we can look at elections or voting systems through the lens of statistics.