I am an English teacher in the local colleges around Boston for the past six years now. I graduated from Syracuse University (B.S. 2005) and Harvard University (M.A 2010). I also have a law degree (2011). I have a Certificate of TESOL Studies from UCLA, too. Currently, I am working towards my Spanish and Mandarin Chinese proficiency exams.
Right now, I am the Head of English in a Pre-Master's degree program at Merrimack College. I am focusing on Critical Thinking and Argument Writing with those students. In the past, I have taught journalism and media courses, Communications courses, and as you might expect a variety of English courses. I have also taught some Government courses, too.
I can meet just about any need you have as far as writing goes. I know what teachers like to see, and I also know what frustrates students the most as I have spent a lot of time on both sides of the situation. So if you need step by step help, I am the right person to call.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Syracuse University - Bachelors, Communications
Graduate Degree: Harvard University - Masters, Writing
Distance running, reading, travelling, health and fitness aficionado
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to understand each student learns differently, and it is important to try my best to adapt to each student.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During our first session, I would like to assess what the student's strengths and weaknesses are in regards to the subject matter. After that, we can create a game plan for the rest of the session and possible future sessions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I think students can become independent learners when they receive more confidence in themselves. By this, I mean constantly criticizing a student will not help. Rather, talking about where or how the student thinks he or she can find the answer to a problem or question is the best policy.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I think giving students praise when they make an effort is important. Conveying that nothing comes easy is one important step. Also, showing students to pay attention to the little steps of improvement that tend to show before the major ones keeps people motivated.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I like to apply the subjects being taught to real-world scenarios. If people can relate to subjects, then they are more likely to stay interested.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I like to give small homework assignments such as reading or writing practice. If I can see a student improving by doing this, then I know they are understanding the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Everyone starts from somewhere, and that is important to remember. Everyone always wants to jump right in and be perfect from the start. That will never happen, but getting better over time always helps. Looking for the little areas of improvement and how to spot them will increase confidence.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I often ask them specific questions, and I like to also see past work in order to figure out where the problem areas are.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
If a student is a more visual learner, then I will use more videos and PowerPoints. If a student is more hands on, then I will come up with exercises accordingly.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I like to use YouTube videos when possible, but I really love PowerPoints.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I will try to start at the beginning. Often starting over can alleviate an issue or problem area if it was not understood properly the first time.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I often tell students to take notes in the margins or highlight areas they do not understand. Overall, it is important to take it one paragraph at a time, and it is equally important to write a summary of what was just read, and then explain it to someone. If they understand what you explained, then you know your stuff.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Talking about the problem areas, and then figuring out how the student best learns concepts and what ways have not worked in the past.