I love teaching! I'm currently a substitute teacher working towards my Master's in Teaching (Science, Secondary), my primary interest is in writing new, comprehensive and engaging material which makes sense to students. I love students of all ages, I enjoy watching the "lightbulbs" go one when they understand a difficult concept, or when they are elated because they remember a fact they couldn't before. I am young and I am still learning, and I can't wait to become an even better tutor!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point - Bachelors, Biology and Art
Graduate Degree: Wheaton College (Illinois) - Current Grad Student, Teaching
ACT Composite: 30
ACT English: 28
ACT Math: 31
ACT Reading: 34
ACT Science: 25
GRE Quantitative: 159
GRE Verbal: 167
Climbing, biking, hiking, swimming, drawing
AP Studio Art: 2-D Design
AP Studio Art: 3-D Design
AP Studio Art: Drawing
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Writing
High School Chemistry
High School English
High School Writing
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Writing
Technology and Computer Science
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe every person is intelligent and capable of learning any subject, but in order to use that intelligence for every subject, they need excellent teaching methods which allow them to engage in the material.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get to know them by finding out their interests and how they think I can use future sessions more wisely and get more out of them. I do cover some material the first time, too, just to understand where they are right away so we can move forward.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I set clear expectations, which must be met before each session, and encourage them to go above and beyond those expectations. For example, I will instruct them to bring me a minimum number of completed problems to the next session, but I will give them the expected grade outcome if they do not do additional work. The student must motivate themselves to go beyond "C" work.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Allow the material to be exciting and engaging. Every subject truly does have interesting parts. As a tutor, I have to focus on what the student is having the most trouble with, but sometimes it's more important to take a few minutes and just let them enjoy learning a part of the material that is interesting to them, before moving on and applying what they know.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I have to be patient, before all else. Everyone has a different rate of understanding, and I have to be flexible to approach each and every skill or concept with wisdom and focus in order to be able to explain in multiple terms, or find a new way of practicing that makes more sense to the student. Sometimes it's also necessary to focus on a different concept for a while and return to the "problem" concept later after the student is refreshed and prepared to approach it with new eyes.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
It depends on what level they are when they are struggling. If they are beginners, I will alternate reading to them and have them read to me; then I will ask them to explain to me what they just read, if it's a story, what they think will happen next or how it's affecting the main character. If it's a problem in a content area, I will ask them to tell me in their own words what they think the problem is telling them to do. These methods also work for more advanced learners, but additionally, I ask those struggling with reading comprehension at a higher level to think of synonyms to explain the word or phrase they are struggling with or rephrase the concept and explain it to me.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Smiling, being patient, and encouraging them to keep going through failure. It's important when first working with a student for them to know that I don't expect them to be perfect or the best in that content just because I'm helping them. Failure is not only acceptable, it's useful, and every mistake is a learning moment. Another strategy I find successful is to remember which methods students found helpful and applying that to as many other concepts as possible, this gives them confidence and helps them see the connections in the work they are doing.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Two of my favorite subjects are biology and chemistry; because of this, there are two things that I hear most often: "Man, I hated biology, too many things to remember," or "I failed chemistry in high school; I hope I never see it again." That's so sad! Those subjects have so much to offer to each individual, they are broad subjects and have many interesting details! I think this way about every subject. When I am tutoring, I always do it with a smile on my face and interest in my mind. Even if I am tutoring a subject I have spent years in, I make an effort to approach it with curiosity and engagement. Usually, this makes it possible for the student to see the value of what they are studying as well. In addition, I always try to connect "boring" subjects to subjects the students find interesting or connect the methods they are learning with their favorite hobbies (taking data in chemistry is similar to the accuracy required to make music that sounds good). Students are often surprised at the connectedness of what they are learning!
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Revisiting and quizzing, phrases like "Before we go into this next chapter, can you remind me how we used _______ to solve for y and explain your reasoning?" or "Wait, which dynasty did the Huns attack again? Did they win?" I've also found that students are more confident when I personally write questions for them to do on the spot, in a skill they were struggling with, so while they are working on a concept, I'll write a problem for them, and they have to talk me through the answer before we move on.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Make them the teacher! When it's just them and me, I have more freedom to let them teach with confidence. I can correct misconceptions on the spot and give them the feedback they need to feel comfortable in new material.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I have to find out what they need to know, and how much they know already. I have students lay out the assignments due before our next session and quickly summarize their level of understanding in each part of their homework before we start a session, sometimes this is like a quick review for them and sometimes it's more like a quiz. If they don't need to cover one part of the new subject, then we're not going to spend much time on it!