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Theresa

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My passion is to help students gain the confidence and skills necessary to achieve at their highest potential.

I began tutoring in high school in Northern California and I discovered I loved helping others realize their learning potential and working on school and exercising the brain. I studied American Studies and Politics at Pomona College in California and am very passionate about how a liberal arts education helps people think about topics from multiple points of view and see the synergy of all subjects. I have spent time traveling and just completed a year working for Denver Public Schools as a Math Fellow, teaching math intervention to small groups of middle school students.

Outside of tutoring, I enjoy camping and hiking, road trips and traveling. My roommate and I are working on some writing projects focused on investigating topics in sports and popular culture we hope to share soon. I follow baseball and basketball closely, and follow most sports casually. I love reading and am very proud of my bookshelf. I enjoy doing pottery and use knitting as an excuse to watch tv. I find most things interesting and am happy to be tutoring.

Theresa’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Pomona College - Bachelors, American Studies

Test Scores

SAT Composite: 2020

GRE Quantitative: 154

GRE Verbal: 165

Hobbies

Traveling, Pottery, U.S. History, Hiking, Movies, Knitting, Sports - Baseball & Basketball, Writing

Tutoring Subjects

Algebra

History

American Literature

AP U.S. Government & Politics

College Application Essays

College Level American History

English

Essay Editing

Geometry

High School English

High School Level American History

High School Level American Literature

High School Political Science

High School Writing

Math

Middle School Math

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing

Other

Political Science

Public Speaking

Social Sciences

Social studies

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Students do best when they feel comfortable and confident about the material they are working with. My philosophy is to find what works best for each student, and then help them develop tools to get them confident enough to approach new material on their own with proven strategies for success. Small victories beget big ones!

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

The first session is about the student feeling comfortable with me and starting to learn and explore their strengths, so we can move forward productively and efficiently. I want to get to know the student and see what their interests and hobbies are so I can tailor the sessions to their learning style and interests, and get them comfortable enough with me that they feel they can eventually set the tone of the sessions and advocate for their own learning.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Students become independent learners when they feel confident in the tools they have to learn. Some students need to learn and gain those tools; others just need to practice them. We'll work on study skills, close reading, thinking and analyzing, because those are skills that are required to be successful in all subjects, and once a student feels comfortable to approach any problem because they have those skills, they are well on their way to being an independent learner.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Sometimes it's about taking a break, remembering past successes and past struggles, and then figuring out how to approach a problem in a new way. Consciously and continually setting goals is a great way to keep motivation up, and recognizing how great success feels is important for students continuing to strive and reach for that feeling again.

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

Why is this concept difficult? Is it because the student hasn't mastered a foundational skill or concept to this one, or is it because the student needs it explained a different way? First, I'd assess the needs of the student and then work with them to figure out how to approach the problem in a new way. Then, practice practice practice!

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

Let's start by practicing with material that is of primary interest to the student. That way, we can practice comprehension skills and figure out strategies and methods with material that the student will connect with emotionally. Then, we'll move into different types of texts and make sure to follow our roadmap we came up with in previous texts.

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

I want the students to feel comfortable with me, because often the most difficult part of having a tutor is feeling like you're not good enough at something. The more a student can feel like the master of their own learning, the more invested and successful they will be, so I like to spend some time ascertaining their goals and motivations and making them a full partner from the beginning.

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

How can we relate this to something the student is passionate about? We have the opportunity to be creative and look at things from many different angles to find the part that connects. Again, each little success means more confidence and more investment, so let's work toward that!

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

I'd start with some basic questions to have the student explain to me how something works or what something means, and have them try to relate that to something else to see how well they understand and are making connections. Then we'd go from there.

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

We monitor successes, and I give ample opportunity for students to explain and show what they know until they realize how much they really do know and can feel confident about that!

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

The student is generally very good at self-assessing needs, and since I like to empower students to be the masters of their learning, I'd start with what the student believes their strengths and weaknesses are, and then work on assessing though questions and activities how their perceptions align to their needs.

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

If the student prefers lecture, we can do that. If the student prefers activities, we can do that. If the student likes to move quickly, we can do that. If they need more time on a concept, we can do that.

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

If we're working on math, I may use manipulatives, diagrams, and paper. For subjects like history and writing, I may bring in extra texts, videos, etc., to get students engaged. With everything, I believe that visuals and color are important, and we'd use those to help our sessions.