I'm a writer, artist and literary performer hailing from Brooklyn, NY. After recently graduating from Brown with a degree it Literary Arts, I'm back in my hometown making a name for myself by writing sound, sight and meta-religion. As a young, black woman from a Caribbean family who happens to be queer, I often focus (but don't limit) my work -- be it essays or songs -- around these intersecting identities and the ways they impact my interior and our exterior worlds. Apart from my end-all goal of cultivating spaces with other like-minded artists and teachers (the healers) for our people to be seen and heard, I'm out here continuing to lay the foundation for individual narratives, like my own, to be honest sources of light for kids, artists, and anyone else who needs it.
I consider myself a true people person. Always ready to wave, quick to say hello, and eager to know who you are.
I love working with kids of all ages -- whether babysitting, tutoring, or assisting student performances.
Other things I'm usually doing: singing in the shower; eating Talenti pistachio ice cream; binge-watching Netflix, reading on the subway; sleeping.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Brown University - Bachelors, Literary Arts
SAT Math: 700
I like to make music, write, and read creative non-fiction. I also like to play with my cat, Sassafras.
Basic Computer Literacy
College Level American Literature
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Writing
High School English
High School Level American Literature
High School Writing
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Writing
Technology and Computer Science
What is your teaching philosophy?
Personalize, have fun, be patient and encourage independence.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would start by getting to know the student and letting them get to know me, encouraging a relaxed environment. Share interests, hobbies and experiences. Then, with a questionnaire, I'd discover the student's learning style (seeing, listening, reading or doing). The same questionnaire will me to gauge the student's expectations and goals, assessing their needs and strengths. Then I'd determine the student's skills and understanding with an assessment test. From there, we'd work together to come up with a unique course of action. This way we keep communication open and get the ball rolling while encouraging the student to take agency in the learning process.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
First, I try to always provide a relaxed environment in which students feel comfortable "not knowing" and asking questions. "There's no such thing as a stupid question" is a philosophy I find fundamental in sessions. I try to be as encouraging as possible, pointing out improvements and building on strengths, and reassuring them that every mistake is an opportunity to learn. Making sure students are always active is another way to encourage independent learning. Also, providing tools and resources besides myself the student can use.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
First and foremost, I've got to be excited and motivated myself. Give credit and praise when and where due. Mix up the routine. Keep them as active as possible as opposed to passive. Grant autonomy. Work with their interests. Track progress. And always try to keep things fun.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Depending on the student's learning style, there's a number of ways to go about this. The first thing is to help the student maintain a positive outlook and try to determine the point of confusion. If this is clear, we can actively work around it. One way would be to give examples and counterexamples, building patterns visually or sonically. For instance, in Spanish, setting up a formula such as, Yo salgo (correct) - Yo hago (correct) - Yo tengo (correct) - Yo puedes (incorrect). Helping students locate a system. Get down to the basics and guide them to focus on what's necessary. For more abstract concepts like defining themes in literature or history, I'll try to break it down with the students. Simplify the concept and make it as accessible as possible. Encourage them to see things from a different angle by asking varied questions. Again, reassure the student that it's attainable and that anyone can have a difficulty understanding said concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Break it down. Use visuals and graphs like Venn diagrams, storyboards, character maps, and cause and effect charts to organize concepts and how they relate to each other. Ask questions. Generate questions. Let the student summarize what they remember. And preemptively encourage students to be active readers -- take notes, ask questions, and engage with the text as they read.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Reminding them I'm not their parent or a lecturer; I'm here to motivate, develop and integrate their learning. Being casual, really getting to know the student, looking towards specific goals and being fully supportive.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Try to relate it to their interests. For instance, a student struggles in math and plays on the basketball team. I would tailor lessons that use objects and themes found in sports, specifically basketball. Or a student struggles in reading comprehension but loves rap music. I'd bring in music and lyrics of their favorite artist and analyze them to illustrate the same tools can be utilized.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Have students reflect on what they believe they've learned/accomplished regularly. Using quizzes in conjunction with improvement tracks. Utilize "temp checks" regularly. ("Temp check" is a feeler technique to allow the students to voice how comfortable they are with our concepts, material, a session, or specific schoolwork. Ex. "Today I'm feeling yellow." Then I'd ask why. And a student may elaborate that they have a grasp on the concept but don't think they can apply it somewhere. With this information, we plan accordingly to work out kinks. If a student is feeling "red," then we pause the current course of action, and find a way to include a new lesson plan until the student is more comfortable and displaying improvement.)
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
We'll set realistic goals. Again, offer praise and acknowledge strengths and accomplishments. Give students autonomy and a more active role in the lesson. Give them time to reflect on what they've learned and the work they've done. Give students space to express what they think went right after sessions. And reinforce their skills.