I am an educator who loves to help students reach their goals. I have taught for many years, and always enjoy the challenge of working with a student who is struggling with the content they've been assigned. My goal as a tutor is to help students succeed while challenging them to use their critical thinking skills, regardless of the subject.
Undergraduate Degree: University of Wisconsin Madison - Bachelors, English with an emphasis in Creative Writing
Graduate Degree: University of Missouri-Columbia - Masters, Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum with a TESOL emphasis
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I spend some time getting to know the student and try to quickly understand their needs, strengths, and weaknesses. I also ask them about their honest attitude to their subject.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I help them by presenting them with all the tools that are available to them, and then make sure they know how to use them.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I help them stay motivated by celebrating their successes, no matter how small, along the way.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I change the way I'm presenting the material. I try to relate it to something that they are likely to understand, or that is relevant to their life.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I keep asking them to tell me what they think the writer is trying to say. I get them to ask questions based on the text. As a professional writer and long-term writing teacher, I also help them understand the typical organization and purpose of different types of readings that they encounter.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I quickly determine what they already know and what they are struggling with. This involves lots of questions and possibly a diagnostic, depending on what we're working on.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Make it relevant to their lives! Every subject, from politics to love, has some relevance to each life; it's just a matter of connecting the dots. I also try to make them very aware of what they can achieve in life if they master, say, persuasive writing.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Assessment is important, but that assessment should also be progressive. I do drafts for writing to make sure the student is getting feedback before the final assessment. I also ask the students a lot of questions to make sure they are understanding the material... that way they're kind of teaching me.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I make sure they see the many victories, however small, that they've made along the way in their subject. I point out what they're doing really well.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I ask a lot of questions and also try to understand what their end goal is with the subject they're studying.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I change the way I present the material and what I ask them to do, depending on where they're coming from with their needs in the subject.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Anything and everything including books, papers, readings, songs, video, or whatever I think is going to be interesting and help them learn.
What is your teaching philosophy?
All students can learn, but all students must be understood by their teacher first.