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Erin

I am a PhD candidate in Art History working hard to finish my dissertation! I'm originally from the PNW, but I've spent the last 8 years living in New York. Experiencing different worldviews is very important to me. I've lived abroad in France and love to travel and explore new spaces and ideas. I'm a creative visual thinker and respect that everyone is different in their learning processes.

Undergraduate Degree:

 The Evergreen State College - Bachelors, French

Graduate Degree:

 SUNY Stony Brook University - PhD, Art History

Reading, Writing, Thrifting, Biking, Hiking, Traveling, Photography, Blogging, Painting, Museums, Galleries, Swimming, Running, Gardening, Playing music

American Literature

AP Research

AP Seminar

Art History

College Application Essays

College English

College Level American Literature

Conversational French

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing

French 1

GRE

GRE Subject Tests

High School English

High School Level American Literature

High School Writing

IB Literature and Performance

Mac Basic Computer Skills

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing

Other

Technology and Computer Science

What is your teaching philosophy?

To address higher order concerns while completing the job at hand in order to empower students by equipping them with the skills they can use to succeed and grow on their own.

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

Establish a rapport and set up goals. Talk about what has and has not worked in the past. Start on a first lesson, and evaluate how it went at the end.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Equip them with the tools they can employ when on their own. Talk about their learning process in a positive and motivating way. Help them to understand what their learning process is so they can become self-aware of what works and what doesn't.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

First and foremost, with words of encouragement and being open to listening to their fears and concerns. Acknowledging that there will be difficulties, but that with perseverance they will succeed. Homework assignments that are fun can keep them looking forward to the next session. Always finding something they have succeeded on in a meeting will keep up the morale. Sessions should always end on a positive note.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

Find a different way to approach the subject. Different media may help, or varying ways to visualize to concept. Moving on to something easier, and then coming back to it once they are feeling more confident.

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

Often by focusing on the structure of the text. Starting with the title can be an easy and helpful way to get the student thinking about the big ideas of the essay. Summarize each paragraph into one sentence so that they can get the larger picture broken down into smaller parts.

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

Establishing a rapport by asking them about what they like and don't like about what they are working on. Honesty can clear the air and help determine successful angles from which to approach the material. Paying attention to body language, tone of voice, and other signs of engagement can also help gauge a student's comfort level with the material, and signal when they begin to become more comfortable and engaged.

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

If it is possible to apply it to real-life experience, then do so with stories and examples. Find even small, subtle ways that they can be or have been successful in learning the material, and build on that. Show them that there are multiple approaches to learning subjects, and that it is just a matter of finding the approach that best suits them. Talking about what they don't like or understand about the subject in specific ways is important, as this can open up opportunity for positive things about the subject to emerge that they haven't yet thought of.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Ask them questions in different formats, and ask for them to provide examples. Ask them to write their own questions. It is important to repeatedly return to the material in ongoing sessions or multiple times during the same session at different intervals to make sure that they are retaining the knowledge. Waiting for the student to answer the question in their own words and providing examples ensures that they are not simply repeating what they hear, but that they are truly grasping the concept.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Focus on the positive aspects of their comprehension. End each session on a positive note. Be sure to remind them that they are indeed making progress in the subject. It is very important to set manageable goals and to ensure that the tutor isn't setting the student up for failure.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

By asking questions and paying attention to body language in gauging their level of comfort with different aspects of a subject. Talking candidly about their fears and understanding how they got to that point is a good way to get to know their learning process. Asking them about their hopes for the future and why they scheduled the session in the first place.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

By evaluating their learning style and process. If a student is a visual learner, then we might need to have a lot of scratch paper to sketch ideas in diagrams and spatial analogies. If a student is ESL, then it is important to take that into consideration when explaining concepts in terms of idioms or informal language they may not be familiar with. If a student has trouble concentrating, then we may have to make changes to the space where we meet. Sometimes students themselves don't realize what their needs are, so just getting them to talk about their needs is a great place to start.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

I always have lots of blank sheets of paper and writing utensils. Sometimes we need to have videos on hand when subjects require visual examples. If a student is struggling with a particular reading material, then we would focus on that article but also have separate sheets of paper to jot out ideas in our own words (especially the student). Molding clay can be helpful in some scenarios. When working with languages, handouts are almost always required. ESL grammar handouts are especially valuable.