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Erin

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Hello Prospective Students!

I am a current doctoral candidate and student of Clinical Psychology at Alliant International University-California School of Professional Psychology. My background in psychology, coupled with my experience as an English tutor speaks strongly to my philosophy of tutoring.

My first job was at a Writing and Reading Success Center on a college campus. I worked here as a college level English and reading tutor, where I supported students who were just learning English as a second or third language as well as native speakers who needed additional support with grammar and essay composition. I worked here for roughly three years while also taking on a supplemental instructor position for an English composition course. In these two positions, I guided individuals toward independence and self-reliance through patience, a non-judgmental learning environment, and collaboration. Previous to these experiences, as part of high school volunteer services, I helped elementary school children--most of whom were non-native English speakers--with their reading fluency and comprehension abilities.

My tutoring philosophy is based on compassion and understanding. When students reach out for help, they may experience frustration and anxiety as a result of not understanding or not being proficient in a particular subject area. My job is to reveal your capabilities to you through supportive and guided instruction and help you achieve that competency that you need. Frustration can feel defeating, but you do not need to be defeated. By empowering students and coming from a strength-based approach to tutoring, I have been successful with most of my students.
Allow yourself to make mistakes, be intellectually curious, and be open to collaboration.

I wish you all the best of luck with your future endeavors!

Erin’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: California State University-Dominguez Hills - Bachelors, Psychology

Graduate Degree: Alliant International University - Current Grad Student, Clinical Psychology

Hobbies

I enjoy reading, listening to and playing music, going for walks, and spending time with animals.

Tutoring Subjects

Adult ESL/ELL

Clinical Psychology

College English

Elementary School Reading

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

High School Writing

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Other

Psychology

Public Speaking

Social Sciences

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Writing


Q & A

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

In our first session, I want to know why you are seeking tutoring help: how can I support you? I ask what kinds of concepts you are learning about in school, what you tend to struggle with most often, and what you would like to get out of working with me. I want to get to know you, and in turn, I introduce myself and my experience with the subject matter at hand.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Confidence is key. You are coming to me for support, and I intend on doing just that. With motivation and encouragement, I will support you until you feel confident enough to independently satisfy your learning needs without my help. I help you identify your own questions and answers, and I provide a safe, non-judgmental space for you to be wrong. We learn most, after all, from our mistakes.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Motivation can be hard to come by, especially if it is finding the motivation for difficult subject matter. What I found has worked for my students (and me) is setting goals for yourself! Each time you accomplish something new, or finally understand that concept that you could not before, treat yourself! Schedule a social outing with friends or pencil in a recreational activity that you enjoy. Accomplishments, no matter how small they seem, should be celebrated, especially when motivation is an obstacle.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

I like to start by understanding what the student's understanding of the material is. I also ask what methods the student has already tried in order to learn the material differently. I find that going slowly, exercising patience, and finding a way to make learning interesting helps students learn more difficult concepts.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I like to approach reading comprehension through storytelling. If a student is having difficulty understanding what a passage is about, I ask them to tell me the story (or passage) by memory so they can see what they remember and understand. Then, I have the student reread the passage and again tell me what they understand or remember. We repeat this process until the student is able to fill in the gaps of the storytelling, understanding what the main themes and purpose of the writing is.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Small goal setting has always worked wonders for a student's confidence. I like to start small, and then build up to larger, more difficult concepts. This is where goals and little rewards to celebrate understanding come in handy. Verbal reinforcements and acknowledgements also help to build confidence!

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I start by determining what the current method of instruction is, and then ask the student what kind of learner they are: do they learn better through experiential or hands on activities? Are they auditory and/or visual learners? Depending on what approach(es) work best for the student, I try to tailor my guidance to that learning need. I can provide a great deal of structure if that is most helpful for the student, or I can create activities that will help foster learning as needed.

What is your teaching philosophy?

There is a psychology involved in tutoring: compassion and patience are instrumental. Students need to believe that they have the capabilities to achieve and understand the content that they struggle with. My job, first and foremost, is to be that person for them. Tutoring needs to be conducted in an environment that is flexible, patient, and encouraging in order for a student to succeed.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

I like to let my students lead. I have approached tutoring a number of ways, and not all of them have been successful, historically. As a novice tutor, I equated being prepared with having numerous handouts and texts of my own in the tutoring space. What I found, however, was that my students became overwhelmed by this. When I let my students lead, and they let me know what they need and want from me, they have been successful in accomplishing their goals. I also like to understand the student's expectations of me and our time together before we start working, so that I can make sure that we have a shared understanding of what our time together will look like.