Hello and Welcome!
A little bit about myself: I have a BA in History from Christopher Newport University, and a Master's in Secondary Social Studies Education from Virginia Commonwealth University. I currently live in the Richmond, VA area, and I am an avid bibliophile.
I take great pride in creating customized learning plans for students, helping them not only learn history, but also see how it affects their own lives. I am passionate about a wide range of Social Studies topics, which helps me bring a great enthusiasm to my work.
My mantra as a tutor is: "My goal is your success". I am here to help you succeed. I look forward to working with you!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Christopher Newport University - Bachelors, History
Graduate Degree: Virginia Commonwealth University - Current Grad Student, Teaching
My hobbies and interests include reading, collecting books, trying new restaurants, visiting Civil War battlefields, and going to the movies
College Level American History
College World History
High School Level American History
High School World History
SAT Subject Tests Prep
What is your teaching philosophy?
I seek to engage students by tying a student's interests to the subject material using personalized, tailored instruction and coaching. An engaged student will learn more willingly than one being forced to learn.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first session will act as both an introduction and a diagnostic. The student and I will get to know each other, what our interests are, etc. Also, through conversation and informal pre-testing, I will get an idea of where the student is at academically. This will give us a solid foundation on which to build in future sessions.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Building student confidence in a subject is like learning to walk or ride a bike. It is a matter of scaffolding. I would walk the student through the early material to give them the confidence that the material isn't insurmountable; as the student progresses, I would allow them to take more and more ownership of their learning until they feel confident in the material and don't require my services any longer.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I am a big fan of primary sources (documents, letters, pictures, illustrations, etc. from the time period in question). I like students to be able to interact with history first hand. I also like to utilize graphic organizers to help organize thoughts and ideas during the lesson. Finally, to assess the lesson, I like to do things beyond the traditional written or multiple choice response. If you can convey to me the importance of an event through a drawing, cartoon, etc., that is just as valid as writing an essay response.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Often, the material can seem overwhelming. I like to help students break up this imposing mass of information into more manageable chunks that the student can more easily handle. Also, I like to tie material to the student's life and interests, both to make history come alive, as well as keep them engaged in the material.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty with a concept, the best course of action is to find a different way to familiarize the student with the concept. This can take different shapes, from changing the information delivery method (i.e., using a video clip as opposed to written primary source) to changing the structure of the lesson (i.e., build up the concepts around the difficult concept in question, and then coming back to it with more contextual information).
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
When dealing with primary sources, which may be written in complex or archaic language, I can re-write the source for clarity and comprehension, which can later be compared against the original source. Additionally, I like students to keep a list of words they don't understand or are unfamiliar with that have encountered in their readings for class. By helping students define these words, and teaching them how to use context clues, they can build their reading comprehension, as well as their content knowledge.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Relate it to their life or interests. People are inherently interested in things that affect themselves, so by drawing links between historical events and their own lives and interests, students can move beyond the complaint that "history is just boring facts that don't have anything to do with me."