A photo of Mer, a tutor from San Francisco State University

Mer

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I am a graduate of John F. Kennedy University with a MA degree in Counseling Psychology. In addition to working in the field of mental health, I have always enjoyed teaching and learning languages. I have an appreciation for different cultures and using language as a way to build connections. I am passionate about helping people and bring this enthusiasm into my work as an ESL tutor (I am a certified TEFL/TESOL instructor).

I have a strong background in psychology, business, and the arts. Thus, I can customize English tutoring sessions to include language and concepts from these areas if that is relevant to my students.

Outside of teaching English, I enjoy hiking in nature, painting, yoga, meditation and watching movies.

Mer’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: San Francisco State University - Bachelors, Psychology

Graduate Degree: John F Kennedy University - Masters, Counseling and Somatic Psychology

Hobbies

Yoga, meditation, painting, hiking, baking, reading.

Tutoring Subjects

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing

English

English Grammar and Syntax

ESL/ELL

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that developing a skill can be interesting, efficient, and enjoyable at the same time.

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

I would get to know my new student, get a sense of their learning style, interests, and goals. Then we would try different tools and practices to see what is most effective and enjoyable at the same time.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I would help a student become an independent learner by being encouraging and using positive reinforcement. By keeping things interesting, the student will be inspired to want to learn more and engage in the practices that are required to master a new skill.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I would help a student stay motivated by being enthusiastic, keeping the sessions interesting, and by using positive reinforcement.

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

I would try to understand what is specifically causing the difficulty in learning. I would then offer suggestions such as encouragement to continue practicing, or I'd offer new perspectives and ways of learning the skill more easily.

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

I would help students create outlines, maps, notes, or storyboards to keep track of what they are reading. I would also teach them tools to help them understand and absorb the content they are reading.

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

I have found that it's important to create a warm, collaborative environment with mutual respect. I have also found that it's important to assess the student's interests, goals, and learning styles.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I would get to know what they are interested or excited in and see if there is a way to tie it into the subject they are struggling with. I would also use mixed media to engage the student (stories, games, video, and so forth).

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

I would ask the student if they understand and also ask them to demonstrate what they've learned. If needed, I would implement an assessment tool such as a multiple choice quiz or open-ended questions to confirm they have understood what we've discussed.

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

In addition to being encouraging, I would give positive feedback, set realistic goals, and create a non-judgmental atmosphere for learning and curiosity.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I would start by asking them what their needs are in terms of the learning process and the goal. I would also apply assessment tools to evaluate their learning style, their areas of strength, and also where they can use more review or practice.

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

I would make sure I understand their needs and goals so I can customize the tutoring session to fit their preferences. For example, if one person prefers visual learning and moving at a slow pace, I can adjust to that. If someone else prefers auditory learning and moving at a faster pace, I can adjust to that.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

I typically use a white dry erase board, worksheets, flashcards, YouTube videos (if needed), as well as maps, magazines, books, and mp3s. I also use materials that students bring to the session (such as homework and textbooks). For younger students, I also use stickers as rewards.