I believe in the power of education. For the last eight years, I have been working in and out of schools as a teacher, media producer, and consultant, witnessing firsthand the effect that great education can have on a communit of people. I am especially interested in one-on-one learning, as it has improved my own life time and time again. This is why I joined Varsity Tutors: to contribute as much as I can to someone else's development as a student in the classroom and citizen of the world. Let's have a great time learning together!
Undergraduate Degree: University of Miami - Bachelors, Motion Pictures, Spanish
Music, guitar, movies, video production, hiking, camping, and more!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I'd want to learn as much as possible about what inspires the student. As a teacher, I know that if I can align the subject matter with their interests, the exchange will be much more successful.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
For many students, the best way to become an independent learner is to see the open mindset in action. The theory, developed by Carol Dweck, can be difficult to understand. However, when a good teacher makes it practical, creating an educational space that allows for its practice, the result is very empowering. Problem solving and self-empowerment can be instilled through practice. These are the keys to being an independent learner!
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I believe in the power of incremental progress, and I do my best to instill that belief in my students. On a practical level, the process of learning can be "chunked" into smaller tasks that lead to the achievement of larger goals. Tracking these accomplishments on a daily level through dialogue and reflection are a great way to stay motivated.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I would find new ways to connecting to it. Sometimes this can be as simple as finding a different definition or explanation of the thing in question. Other times, this can include adjusting the student's approach to connecting with the skill or concept that better suits his or her learning style. For example, if the student is struggling to understand an idiom in Spanish, is there a way to make it into a song? Perhaps the teacher can incorporate a kinetic component to that song? Or maybe the teacher can find a humorous comic or illustration that helps reinforce the underlying meaning of the idiom through comedy? Finding new, creative ways to connect the student with the material is key to furthering his or understanding of a skill or concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I often find that students who are struggling with reading comprehension are further inhibited by an awareness or a concern of the fact that they are struggling. For this reason, I try my best to establish a supportive, judgement-free environment, so that the student can focus on improvement, rather than obsess over perfection. From there, we can explore their strengths and build on them.