A photo of Samhitha, a tutor from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Samhitha

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My love for school started early, and by the time I reached high school, I knew I wanted to challenge myself academically. I graduated from my high school in Omaha, NE after finishing the International Baccalaureate diploma path with focuses in French, Psychology and Film.

I moved to Minneapolis in 2012 and graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities with a B.S. in Psychology, a B.A. in Global Studies, and a minor in Public Health.

I first came into teaching through an internship I had while studying abroad. I lived in Montpellier, France for six months and during this time, I taught English to classes of 6-10 year olds at a small public school. In the classroom, I was forced to create engaging and fun lesson plans to keep the students on their toes, and I realized just how much I love teaching.

I am currently an Americorps member working at College Possible, a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization. College Possible aims to help low-income students with academic potential access the resources they need to enter and succeed in college. I teach 40 students at two high schools College Possible's curriculum, which focuses on ACT prep, college applications, and scholarship research. I am planning on staying at College Possible next year and work with the same group of students as high school seniors. My students have built a community for themselves and it has been a truly incredible experience watching them grow together and become invested in one another's achievements.

Varsity Tutors is an opportunity for me to stay involved in the subjects I loved most as a student. I look forward to working with you!

Samhitha’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities - Bachelors, Psychology B.S. / Global Studies B.A.

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 33

Hobbies

Reading anything from fiction to race / queer theory. Cooking. Photography. Astronomy / deep space.

Tutoring Subjects


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

"Students won't care how much you know until they know how much you care." In my experience, linking myself with the success and goals of the student (not just their academic merit) is the best way to have a student engage with the content presented.

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

Get to know each other! It's important to me that a student knows where I'm coming from, and I need to know their goals as well. Building a strong relationship with my student will ensure that our time together is valuable.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I want to help show students that they have a stake in the subjects that they are learning about. Showing students relevant aspects of each subject matter and connecting it with skills that they will use forever can help encourage students to be autonomous, lifelong learners.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Take breaks! I recognize that constant work without breaks or validation can be difficult, so I want to make sure to take time off to focus on what my student is doing well to re-motivate them. Additionally, in our first meeting, I would have students write a letter to themselves about why they want to work with me and what they hope to gain from the experience. I would return this letter to the student if I saw them struggling to remind them of their goals.

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

I would look for alternate methods to present the materials. I recognize that students have a vast variety of learning styles and what works best for me might not be completely compatible with my students. I'm willing to be flexible in incorporating outside resources as well as student successes in the past in order to master tricky material.

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

I encourage autonomous learning through reading on their own time. I would love to take some time to curate a reading list of books in subjects that my student would be interested in. While reading, I would encourage students to make a list of words that they struggle with so we can look them up together. Extending their vocabulary should help students with reading comprehension.

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

I believe deeply in a strong connection with my students. I plan to learn about what learning styles work best for my students and incorporate them intentionally into each lesson plan.

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

I would try to make connections to subjects that my students are interested in. I recognize that not every subject can be constantly engaging, but I think having a personal investment in individual subjects can re-frame the way a student thinks about it.