Hi, how's it going? My name's Ryan. I am a second-year graduate student at UMass Boston. I am in the English MA program as well as the teaching licensure program. I have taken several teaching focused classes including teaching of literature, teaching of composition, and seminar for tutors; all of which provided great insight into cutting-edge pedagogical methods. In addition to my studies, I am also a teaching assistant.
Vis--vis my credentials: I have an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts- English from Quincy Community College and a Bachelor of Arts in English- Literature from Western New England University. I also have quite a bit of experience working in academic settings. These include two internships and a current position as a professional tutor for the Writing Proficiency Office at UMass.
As long as I can remember, I have always had a passion for reading and writing. These days I typically enjoy "classic" literature over anything else especially Victorian literature. In addition to my love of books, I have always really enjoyed sharing what I know with other people. That is part of the reason I enjoy tutoring so much. I believe that tutoring should be a fun and engaging experience for both the tutor and tutee. The tutor's role should be to present the student with new concepts and ideas; not to dictate the information onto the student. The tutor is more akin to a guide, whose job is to assist individual students in their own unique journeys.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me. look forward to working with you as we explore the exciting world of literature and the English language arts together.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Western New England University - Current Undergrad, English- Literature
GRE Verbal: 149
My interests include reading and writing (of course), trying to figure out the mysterious of the universe, long walks especially at night (usually the two coincide), helping others, meeting new people, having good conversation, learning new things, and spending time with people I care about
Q & A
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I feel the best way for a student to become an independent learner is by finding enjoyment in whatever they are learning. It's typically the teacher's job to introduce material to students in an interesting and engaging way that will make the student want to continue what they are learning on their own.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Typically I've found that if a student can find a personal connection to whatever the subject is, then they will naturally do better at it. A great way to make this connection is by using music.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Back-track! Often times if a student is having trouble with a skill or concept it is because they missed something while building up to it. Typically concepts are like houses. You have to lay the foundation for the skill before you can build upon it. When a student is having an issue with the concept when you start to build, the best thing to do is deconstruct and see where the student started to falter.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By having confidence in them. If a student knows that their teacher believes in them, it tremendously adds to their confidence level.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Typically a student's needs are evinced simply by looking over their writing or listening to them try and explain a story.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
The best way to know if a student understands the material is by having them apply it to something else. For instance, when helping students with their writing, I'm confident that they have learned a mechanic when they can use it correctly in an example.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Typically, I am able to pick up on a new student's personality fairly quickly, which allows me to assess what approach I should use. Once in the session, I can usually tell how much help they will need by going over a piece of their writing. I adjust my approach based on that as well.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Student's who are struggling with reading comprehension are usually having a tough time because they're going too fast. Such as with a new concept, reading is a skill that has to be gradually built up. For this reason, when I have experienced a student who was struggling with reading comprehension, I have suggested that they back-track. This usually consists of having them read less verbose pieces to make sure they understand the basics of reading comprehension.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Developing an interpersonal connection with students has always been the best strategy. Making sure that each and every student is comfortable and relaxed is so essential. I have worked with professors who have made me feel really uncomfortable, and I can say that those sessions resulted in me learning absolutely nothing. That's why I believe that a strong connection between the teacher and student will result in the most productive and enjoyable sessions.