I'm an Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at my local community college, where I teach Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. I also substitute for 100-level and 200-level French classes occasionally, and I volunteer weekly in an English as a Second Language class. I received my Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis, where I double-majored in Anthropology and Archaeology and minored in French. I spent my junior year abroad at University College London, where I took classes in anthropology and Egyptology. After graduating from Wash U, I attended Pembroke College at the University of Cambridge, England, where I received my Master of Philosophy in Archaeology. My thesis topic was a stone toolkit produced by Neanderthals in southwestern France.
I love foreign languages and traveling abroad. I have been lucky enough to visit Morocco, Hungary, Mexico, Canada, and several countries in western Europe. Besides French, I also speak a little Italian and a tiny bit of Spanish. I enjoy working with foreign students, as I have been one myselftwice!
The word that best describes my teaching style is inclusivity. I want to make the material I teach accessible and enjoyable to everyone, regardless of their prior familiarity with the topic. My teaching methods incorporate a combination of written materials (textbooks, workbooks, homework assignments) and discussion. I realize that some people learn better by reading the material, while others learn better by talking about it.
In my free time I enjoy reading, swimming, and doing Zumba!
Undergraduate Degree: Washington University in St Louis - Bachelors, Anthropology
Graduate Degree: University of Cambridge - Masters, Archaeology
foreign languages, reading, swimming, geocaching, zumba
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, I would try to get to know the student a little bit, to "break the ice." Then I would ask which particular subject or problem the student wanted to address. If the student had a homework assignment, I'd go over it with him/her. If the student wanted additional resources for further study or practice, I would recommend the student watch YouTube videos and go out to a coffee shop or a grocery store to practice his/her English (if it was an ESL student); if it was an anthropology student, I would suggest he/she use his/her college's library database to search for scholarly articles on the topic he/she was studying.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help an ESL student become an independent learner by teaching him/her how to practice speaking and reading English in a variety of settings. This would include going out in public places, such as a coffee shop or grocery store, to practice listening to native speakers and speaking English him/herself. For a French student, I would suggest he/she look online for French movies and TV shows. I would also suggest he/she use apps to practice speaking French. For my anthropology students, I would recommend he/she do his/her own research on relevant topics.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would find out what the student's goal is for taking the class, or whatever reason the student was interested in my tutoring. I would remind the student of that goal any time he/she failed to complete an assignment, or otherwise came to a tutoring session unprepared.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would first try to figure out why the student was having difficulty learning the skill or concept. If it was a French or ESL student who was having trouble with pronunciation, I would refer him to videos on YouTube that we could watch together, and then he/she could watch later for practice. If it was a French or ESL student having trouble grasping a point of grammar, then I would assign additional written exercises for the student to complete.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
If a student was having a hard time understanding something in his/her textbook, I would try talking with the student about the concept; some people learn better aurally than visually. If I thought the student was having difficulty because of some sort of learning disability, then I would refer the student to the disability office at his/her college or school. If it was a client just taking lessons from me outside of any school, then I would suggest he/she talk to his/her doctor about the problem. But I would certainly be willing to try different teaching strategies to find the one that works best for my student.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would use both oral and written assessments to determine if a student understands the material. If it is a French or ESL student, he/she probably already has a workbook of grammar and reading comprehension exercises. I would also talk with the student and ask him/her questions to see how well he/she could use French/English to answer. For anthropology students, I have written test questions to determine how well students are retaining the material. I also ask questions of the students that require them to draw on concepts from previous lessons.
What is your teaching philosophy?
The word that best describes my teaching philosophy is inclusivity. I want to make the material I teach accessible and enjoyable to everyone, regardless of their prior familiarity with the topic. My teaching methods incorporate a combination of written materials (textbooks, workbooks, homework assignments) and discussion. I realize that some people learn better by reading the material, while others learn better by talking about it.