I am currently an undergraduate student at Washington University in St. Louis working towards a Bachelors degree in Spanish. Over the years, I have volunteered as a tutor with various organizations, including the Refugee Empowerment Program in Memphis, Tennessee, and the Collegebound program that is part of Washington Universitys main tutoring initiative, Each One Teach One. In college, I have also taught ESL. In my experience working with students in elementary through high school and even with graduate students, I have found that students learn best and are more motivated to take on challenges in environments in which they feel comfortable enough to make mistakes. I believe that patience and compassion are key in creating an academic environment in which students can excel. Independent thinking is also extremely crucial; it is important to recognize multiple approaches to learning and problem-solving and to be able to think critically and form ones own opinions. I tutor Spanish, English as a Second Language, Grammar, Reading, Writing, and Test Prep in the Reading and Writing sections. My personal favorite is writing; as an avid reader and writer, I appreciate the power of words and the beauty of language. Outside of academics, I am a deep lover of music. I also enjoy reading, writing, drawing, and exploring different creative outlets.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Washington University in St Louis - Current Undergrad, Spanish
ACT Composite: 33
SAT Composite: 2250
SAT Verbal: 800
SAT Writing: 800
Reading, writing, singing, guitar, jewelry-making, drawing
College Level American Literature
High School English
High School Level American Literature
High School Writing
SAT Subject Test in Spanish with Listening
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in patience, understanding, and open-mindedness. An absolute necessity for making academic and intellectual progress is an environment that nurtures curiosity and exploration, and that encourages mistakes. Compassion goes a long way, and people excel in environments in which they are comfortable and secure. I believe in the merits of flexibility and of trying any and all methods of learning and comprehending various concepts; where one approach fails, another may succeed. The key is to keep trying and never give up, no matter how difficult a problem, concept, or subject is.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, I would love to get to know a student and have him or her feel comfortable and simply get acclimated in this learning and teaching environment. We can talk about interests, hobbies, passions, and goals. Knowing what a student wants out of the lessons and his or her hopes overall is a great place to start.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I will focus on helping a student learn different styles of thinking and problem-solving, and stress the importance of the thought process over simply getting the right answers. I will also encourage brainstorming for multiple different approaches to learning and analyzing concepts.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
We can work together to set challenging but manageable goals, use organizational tools, or explore any other options that make learning and studying easier. There is no one way to learn, and by incorporating different techniques and learning styles, every lesson can be different and interesting. And of course, if a student struggles, I will do my best to help him or her through the difficulty he or she is facing to show that we can overcome these obstacles.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I will try any and all methods possible of explaining and illuminating different skills and concepts. If one approach does not work, I will simply try the next. I will also work to include methods that best fit the student's learning style and that build on his or her existing skills and strengths. Together, we can consult a number of different resources and combine different tactics that best fit his or her individual style of learning.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I will teach fundamental aspects of reading, such as vocabulary and grammar, but I will also process and analyze passages with the student and discuss and engage with the reading. Vocabulary and grammar are important, but in order to fully understand when reading, other aspects, such as a popular culture, different dialects, figures of speech, and social, historical, or political contexts, come into play. Working to better understand these aspects helps students to obtain more than just comprehension of the literal definition of the words they read.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I would like to utilize whatever materials are available, including: books, magazines, websites, videos, models, and any other resources that could be helpful.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Taking the time to know a student and his or her learning style is important. It also helps to review the basics of whatever subject I'm teaching in order to identify the student's strengths and the areas that are a bit more challenging for him or her.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
There are different approaches to take that can make learning enjoyable. A sense of humor goes a long way, and finding ways to make learning more interactive can make all the difference. I would find ways to make learning a more hands-on experience so that the student can be pulled into the subject and find it more interesting.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Quizzing a student with several different kinds of questions can help in assessing how well he or she has grasped the material. In addition, if the student can successfully explain what he or she is doing and what I have taught and can describe his or her thought process, I will be more confident that the student has understood the material well instead of simply having memorized information.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Patience and encouragement are key. I would encourage my student to keep trying and to be open to making mistakes. Starting out with easier material and slowly building up to more challenging concepts will help a student make steady progress. Encouraging independent thinking is also crucial; every time that a student can solve a problem independently or make sense of a challenging concept, he or she will gain confidence in his or her abilities and will want to continue moving forward in the subject.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I will review the basics of the material with the student and see what areas are easy and what areas are more challenging. I will also look at how he or she has done in class and make note of any areas of difficulty. Also, by incorporating a wide variety of tools and resources into lessons, I can better identify how the student learns best, and this will help in future lessons to make sure that the student gets the most out of them.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I am willing to try whatever methods work best in tutoring a student. If certain approaches are better for the student, then I am more than happy to focus on those methods and to expand on them. I will utilize resources that fit the student's needs and that help him or her get the most out of our lessons and best understand and master the material.