A photo of Jennifer, a tutor from Cornell University

Jennifer

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I am a graduate of Cornell University college of engineering and a native Mandarin Chinese speaker fluent in both Chinese and English. I moved to the US when I was 9 years old. I am warm, attentive, and love to use humor and creativity in my tutoring. I have 2 young kids of my own and especially passionate about working with children in preschool to elementary school who are interested in Chinese language and culture. I also have deep experience in the business world so can guide adults in learning Mandarin for business and travel.

Additionally I love writing and literature and enjoy working with high-schoolers in perfecting their college admissions essays. I also have a background in engineering and can provide tutoring in elementary through college level math and science subjects.

Jennifer’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Cornell University - Bachelors, Material Science engineering

Graduate Degree: University of Michigan-Ann Arbor - Masters, Microsystems Engineering

Hobbies

piano, reading, literacy, books

Tutoring Subjects

AP Chinese Language and Culture

Conversational Mandarin

Creative Writing

English

ESL/ELL

Expository Writing

Languages

Mandarin Chinese

Mandarin Chinese 1

Materials Science

Science


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

The best teachers are the ones who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see.

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

Icebreakers! Let's learn about each other with a game of 2 truths and a lie.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By offering more resources, research, and open-ended questions for the student to explore on their own time. Independent challenge projects on topics that pique the students' interest!

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Set clear goals, both long-term and short term. Give proper congratulations when small goals are reached, and have regular review of how far we have come and the plan for the upcoming sessions. Refocusing when needed.

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

Switch up the approach. There are several different ways to teach any skill or concept. Everyone has different learning styles; assess the learning style of student, and try a different way to teach the same concept.

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

Break down the text, and teach the basic approach to comprehending the text. First, resolve unfamiliar vocabulary. Then help the student identify who, what, when, where, and why, and finally work with student to come up with a summary idea of the text.

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

Student-centered approaches work best for me. In the first sessions, we work on building trust, identifying goals, strengths and weaknesses, learning style, and work together to come up with a plan forward.

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

Find connections from the subject to practical life. No one wants to work hard to learn something they will never use. When we can show students practical applications to knowledge, they get excited!

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

Assess understanding through challenge questions that are slightly different in format compared to standard practice drills.

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

Have the student teach me what they learned by explaining a problem or question. I pretend to be the student.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

If the student is young, this is done through a consultation with his/her parents/guardians. Depending on the subject area, for older students (middle school and above), I would have an open conversation directly with students to understand what areas they would like to improve on. I always follow up with assessment questions just to be sure, and request parent or teacher consultation as needed.

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

Every student has different needs. For younger students, we keep segments of the session short to keep their attention focused. For older students, we do a deep dive in a certain subject or topic. For other special needs, I may use music, color, memory, and games to adapt material for each student.

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

A white board with color markers, puppets, stuffed animals, silly hats, objects for visual demonstrations, and a music (CD player) or instrument (piano or ukulele).