I have always had an interest in learning. Whether it is new skills or new concepts, I am both fascinated by and curious about the world around me. After graduating from high school, I attended Transylvania University (a small liberal arts college in Lexington, KY) and graduated in the spring of 2014. While there I completed my Biochemistry major, but also took a number of classes in Psychology, Classical Latin, and other corresponding classes.
My primary interest was to pursue a career in food science with respect to food product research and development. As a student, I worked as a chemical researcher on food dye in children's food products, maturation of bourbon, and later the aromatics of wine. Part of these research was completed in New Zealand- a country I fell madly in love with. After graduation, I moved to New Zealand on a full tuition scholarship to culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu.
After the completion of my culinary schooling, I moved back stateside to Philadelphia. I currently work as a full time pastry chef, but still enjoy engaging in the academic community. I tutored math and science for two years in college and have always found myself in mentoring positions. I find immense fulfillment in helping others understand difficult concepts, and feel as though my patient and creative personality truly helps people feel comfortable while struggling through new material.
As a tutor, I value the advantage of being able to work with a student one on one. A teacher is bound to time limits and must divide their attention to a number of students. By getting to spend quality time digging into information with a student, it is easier to understand what areas the student is struggling with and how to best help them achieve their goals.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Transylvania University - Bachelors, Biochemistry
SAT Math: 740
SAT Verbal: 720
In my free time I enjoy baking, decorating, card making, and crochet.
Elementary School Science
High School Biology
High School English
High School Level American Literature
High School Writing
Study Skills and Organization
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension can be improved through a number of easy to learn skills. These skills include "active reading" by highlighting and taking notes in the margins, "summary sentences" at the ends of paragraphs to help register content, and the ability to retell a story at completion of reading without referencing notes. All of these strategies will help to improve critical reading and attention to detail during reading and create a better understanding of the material.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
My favorite strategies when mentoring are non-conventional note taking and reverse teaching. Having a student create a "mind map" or free-form outline of each chapter in a variety of colors and shapes can drastically improve their memory of materials and also help them discover links and connections between topics or ideas. Reverse teaching allows the student to explain the material back to the tutor. If a student can explain what it is that they have learned and walk another individual through the process, chances are they understand the material thoroughly enough to avoid the pitfalls and incorrect answers for themselves.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
As a tutor, in order to verify a student's understanding of material, I like to see if the student can teach the concept back to me, complete different styles and presentations of the same type of problem, and connect or combine that understanding with other chapter themes. Students are typically assessed at school through tests, essays, and presentations, and I think it is important that they could demonstrate new skills through each of those different venues when appropriate.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
It is always a great confidence booster to start with the information you do know. Start by reviewing a few familiar concepts to get the juices flowing, and then break down difficult material into more manageable pieces. Running a mile may seem overwhelming, but each individual step doesn't feel as challenging. Likewise, it is important to celebrate the understanding of each component of a problem all the way up until mastery of the entire concept.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Some materials you can't do without- paper, pens, pencils, calculators, textbooks- but there are a few other materials that can help to make this study time less dreary: bright highlighters, colored pens, and sticky notes for better active reading and note taking, videos/clips and visual presentations of topics that are hard to conceptualize, different source material for extra examples, and the occasional fresh baked chocolate chip cookie really helps make study time more bearable.
What is your teaching philosophy?
While school is important, it is natural for certain classes to provide extra challenges for a student, and I feel as though it is important to remember that in the real-world, material is not divided into subjects. There is natural mixing and blending of concepts and ideas, which means that that everyone is capable of success if they play to their natural strengths. As a tutor, I work to reframe difficult areas in terms of subjects that are more comfortable for the student.