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Marsha

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My primary interest in tutoring comes from my background in history (BA from Brown University) and creative writing (MFA from The City College of New York).

I remember the fright and joy I felt the first time I worked with students. It was in a shabby classroom in India, at a volunteer organization called the Lha Institute. The students were teenage Tibetan refugees and one monk from Thailand who was in town to learn English. The class spoke a mixture of bad English, Tibetan, and Nepali, but they had signed up for my creative writing seminar anyway. Some of them couldn't write or were afraid to share their writing, and some of them were more than eager to read personal essays about what was meaningful to them. At the end of the seminar, they gave me a gift of a pen and a special writing pad. Given their economic circumstances, this was a tremendous gift from them.

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Marsha’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Brown University - Bachelors, History

Graduate Degree: City College of New York - Masters, Creative Writing

Test Scores

SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1460

SAT Verbal: 740

SAT Writing: 700

Hobbies

History, Creative Writing, Tibetan and Medieval Art, Medieval Reenactment

Tutoring Subjects

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

In tutoring, the most important thing is to tailor the session and material to the needs of the student, so that the student focuses on the areas they need to improve the most, and don't focus on material they have already mastered.

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

A first session is about assessing the needs of the specific student. I might ask to hear about their learning experiences, or see practice tests or homework where they haven't done well, to identify problem areas to target.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Different types of learning require different techniques. In essay writing, you need to know about paragraph and sentence structure. In history, certain tests will focus on names and dates, while other tests rely on conceptual knowledge. If the student knows how to understand what the school or test expects of them, they can better focus their own studies.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

A reminder that testing is not forever. It's only a temporary hurdle to the next thing.

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

Assessing the needs of the particular student: not just what areas they are weak in, but what areas they are strong in.

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