I am an experienced tutor and teacher in a wide variety of subjects who specializes in student-centered, personalized learning.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Oberlin College - Bachelors, English
Graduate Degree: Fordham University - Masters, Education: Curriculum and Teaching
Music, literature, theater, history.
AP Music Theory
College Level American Literature
High School English
High School Level American Literature
High School Writing
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Writing
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe you need to meet students where they are, match your teaching style to their personal interests, and let them have a role in setting their goals. Learning is something a student does with a teacher's help, not something a teacher does to a student.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Ask them what they like and don't like about the subject, what is hard and easy for them, and what really interests them, even if it's completely outside of school. Then I'd have them work through a few representative problems so I can zero in on their struggles and weaknesses and help them move forward.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Above all, inspire curiosity and encourage questions. Independent learners are people who are constantly striving to find that one next bit of knowledge that will help them understand a big idea better, not just looking to check the boxes and fill the requirements.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Make them aware of their progress. Show them how much they already understand of what they didn't understand before, and how things they've struggled with have become easy. It's easy to become frustrated when comparing yourself to external goals, but progress always happens and recognizing it helps it keep happening.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try to look more closely to see what exactly it is about that skill or concept that's giving them trouble. It might be a basic piece of prerequisite knowledge that's missing, or it might just be some study skills that needs to be honed. I would ask the student to walk me through their thought process, so I could identify exactly how far they're able to get in approaching the problem and at what point they tend to get stuck.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Find them reading materials that genuinely interest them and discuss them in ways that are relevant to them, only very gently leading the discussion to probe for deeper comprehension. A lot of students who struggle with reading comprehension are actually quite insightful and have a lot to say, they're just stuck with materials that don't capture their interest and discussion questions that don't seem relevant.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Highlighting strengths, showing them how much they *can* already do, and then re-framing weaknesses as "the next steps" to move them along further.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Find out what they're already interested in, and then find a way to relate it. Show how the subject is relevant to their daily life, not just to a distant abstract idea of their future.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Reframe the questions in multiple ways and ask them to explain the thought process. Too often, if assessments are always packed in the same way, students learn how to answer a type of assessment but not how to deeply understand, retain, and apply the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Let them warm up with some things they're already comfortable with and introduce new concepts as challenges I think they're ready to begin, not things they're already expected to know. Explain that everybody needs to mess around and have a little trial and error before they can really understand something.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By looking closely at their work rather than just their scores. That means looking through their math calculations, asking them to explain their approach to a science question, or carefully analyzing the language of their English paper. A lot of problems become obvious when you see the whole process instead of just the end result.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I find out what their interests are, what their strengths are, and what motivates them to succeed. I also constantly evaluate and reevaluate my own technique, constantly changing to serve my students better.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I love to use multimedia technology where possible. For example, a lot of math concepts become much clearer when shown in an animated graph, and a lot of history becomes far more engaging when you can watch it play out in a video. I also always come prepared with multiple problems or topics to work on to allow us to move faster or slower or review as needed.