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SaraJane

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In 2015, I graduated from Columbia College with a BA in Comedy Writing and Performance. However, I have a long and extensive background in English. I started tutoring all elementary subjects while still in high school. I edited essays and short stories for my peers and some graduates while in college. I also took many writing courses while there. My great grandmother, grandmother, and mother used to be English teachers, so it seems to be in my blood! I have a passion for grammar, as well as performance. I currently work for the International Performing Arts Academy. I teach acting and modeling to students aged 6-17. As much as I enjoy acting and writing, I prefer teaching. Teaching is so rewarding. I love being able to watch students learn and grow. It is important for me to relate to my students. I never want to make them feel like I'm "above them." I don't think people learn when they're intimidated. I encourage questions and try to connect on a personal level. Every student learns differently, and I make sure I find those differences to come up with the perfect education method for each student.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions!

SaraJane’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Columbia College-Chicago - Bachelors, Comedy Writing and Performance

Hobbies

Teaching, writing, improvisation, acting, and creating art.

Tutoring Subjects

College English

Elementary School

Elementary School Writing

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

High School English

High School Writing

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing

Public Speaking

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is simple: students first. I care about my student's education above all. I alter my teaching style to properly educate each student. Not everyone learns the same way, so it's important I learn the most efficient way each student learns. I also like to make learning fun!

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

I definitely like to get to know my students. I never want the student to feel like I'm on an entirely different scale than they are. I try to relate to the student as much as I can to create a comfortable learning environment. I would ask questions to see how the student learns best. I'll also go over the current study material the student has and make sure they understand all of it.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I believe in the Montessori method. I think it's important for the students to yearn for education and seek it out on their own, with some guidance. If I can make them enjoy a subject, I believe they will feel inclined to learn more.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

It depends on what type of motivation they are lacking. Most of all, I try to get them to like the subjects they hate. I also like to provide outcomes of what might happen if they get good at learning a certain subject. If they want to be an engineer, I'd hope to explain why math is important to do what they want, and have them really hear me so they get excited. A lot of kids don't understand why they're learning what they're learning, so I'd like to explain that to them.

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

I find out what it is that is most confusing them, and then alter the style in which they are being taught. Some people are auditory learners and some are visual. If auditory isn't working, I'll try visual education.

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

Students respond to how they are responded to, as silly as that sounds. If I go in acting like there's a big difference between us, they won't get comfortable. I encourage questions and try to make sure whatever question they have gets asked. Sometimes asking questions is intimidating. For example, when someone asks a question, I'll first say, "Wow! Great question! I am so glad you asked!" and then answer the question. It takes encouragement to make someone learn.

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

I would use a wide variety of materials. It's easy to memorize answers if you just go over the same ones again and again. Switching up new questions on the same subject will show if the student comprehends the material.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I learn what they understand and what they're having difficulty with. That way, I can see if I can teach what they don't understand based off how they learned something else.

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

Typically, I start with the materials the student has received from class. If I find I need something else, I usually will create my own question or activity based on what the student is struggling with. If I need more, I will use the tutoring platform or search the Internet.

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

Teaching reading comprehension can be tricky, because if you keep using the same materials, the student will just memorize the words and not really read. It's important to go through the alphabet and see if the student knows the sounds of the letters. Then, I'll take it a step further and break down words. After that, I'll break down sentences. I will practice doing that with several examples so that nothing is just being memorized.

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

I would try to relate it to something they do like. When I was struggling with math, my tutor used my cat's name as part of a triangle and created a question that included her. This made that activity entertaining. I would try to do something similar to make the student have a little more fun with the question. For example, I may create a sentence based on a sport they like or a pet they may have.

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

I find encouragement is a very strong tool. Some students struggle with being too scared to ask a question. Some students know the answers but don't think they do. I try to be extremely friendly and appreciative when the student does express a question. I try to encourage them when I know they're smarter than they think they are. If I can pull out that confidence, they'll start to feel safer answering or asking questions.

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

I figure out what type of learner they are. I'm an auditory learner, but not everyone is. I try to understand what they're having trouble understanding and why. If it seems they are not understanding because of how the information is presented, I'll try presenting it in a way that relates to how they learn.