I have always loved to write. I love expressing my views and using strong evidence to back them up. I also enjoy writing compare/contrast papers and how-to essays, among others.
I have taught many students how to write these and other essays over the last 13 years and have loved watching their writing improve as we worked together individually on different essays. I also love literature and have taught students how to read 18th and 19th century works and how to write excellent essays about them.
Whether you are a college student or the parent of an elementary, middle school, or secondary school student, I am confident that a session or more with me will lead to higher reading and writing grades.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Seattle University - Bachelors, English
Graduate Degree: Washington State University - PHD, English
I love cats and enjoy playing with my two cats, Buddy and Misty. I also reading stories about cats. I also like to write in my journal. I also love playing with my three great nieces.
College Level American Literature
High School English
High School Level American Literature
High School Writing
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Writing
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that I am more a facilitator, helping the student discover answers for him or herself.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In the first session, I want to get to know the student (finding out his or her hobbies, interests, and passions) and finding out the concerns that brought him or her to me. I would look at their work and point out the positive things I see in their writing and let them know making improvements is not going to be as hard as they think it will.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I would give them tools they can use on their own like learning the proper format of the paper they are writing. I could lead the student in developing a thesis statement, paragraph, and a conclusion. I can also show the student what to look for in an article or story, so they can be a more effective reader.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
The best way to do this to point out areas where the student is improving. This will encourage and motivate the student. Also, to show him or her where he or she succeeds in accomplishing what they are trying to in the paper.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Again, I would be positive and show the student areas where he or she has improved and would build on those areas as we move forward. I would also have the student teach me the concept they are having a hard time understanding.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I will work with the student to put together a strategy for how to read a piece of writing. For an article, we would work on looking at the topic sentences to see what ideas are expressed there. This can point us to the main idea of the work. For literature, we would look for answers to the 5 W's: who did it? why? etc.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Students are calmed down when I point out the good things they did in the paper they are struggling with. I would then ask how she or he can build on this positive aspect of the paper.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
My own enthusiasm about the subject will be a great start. I can then let him or her tell me why they chose to write about the subject. Students often get very excited talking about their passions. Often, they express views that will work very well in the paper.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
From time to time, I would have them repeat back to me the reason we write a certain way. I also ask why when they answer a question.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By being positive and encouraging. Also, showing the student where he or she has improved.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I check their piece of writing for any weaknesses. I also ask them what they feel uncomfortable with and what they want to improve upon.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I let the student's concerns and needs determine what tactics I take and how I use my tools.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
The student's writing, the piece of writing they are responding to or writing about, the assignment they are doing, and a writing handbook.