I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and received my masters in Social Work. I completed my undergraduate degree from the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) in Spanish and business. I am an independent coach in sports and education when I am not tutoring. I work with hundreds of children and youth in Pittsburgh, PA.
I have been tutoring Spanish , organizational skills, life skills, and other subjects with Varsity Tutors for five years. I enjoy working with VT and helping students achieve great success through hard work, guidance, and perseverance. Over the years I've had the great opportunities in bridging learning gaps in students, and helping them internalize long lasting changes to help them continue to grow as scholars and as students. I completed my undergraduate degree from the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) in Spanish and business.
My experiences working with students started when I was a volunteer, and later a coach in sports and recreation at the Jewish Community Center (J.C.C) in Pittsburgh. I am passionate about coaching sports, and developing sports educational programs for children. I have coached sports over 20 years at various facilities, gyms, schools, and outdoor camps.
My experiences working directly in academia began when I was a tutor at PSU where I tutored Spanish to undergraduate students. Upon graduating from PSU, I tutored Spanish privately as a great opportunity to help people. In addition to tutoring Spanish, I enjoy helping students in other subjects such as reading, writing, and English. I enjoy revising and editing papers for students who may struggle in these subjects.
My teaching philosophy is to help people help themselves. I use a strengths base approach to guide students in discovering their strengths, but I also address their weaknesses. I believe that each student learns and processes information differently. As a tutor, I pay attention to what students are receptive to, and then cater and customize a learning environment to the student's needs. I believe using different teaching styles is imperative in helping students achieve and succeed. I use a variety of tools and resources. I have compiled my own resource portafolio over the years as a result of working with students. It has been great to build my own lesson plans and curriculums.
Their is a wealth of educational resources. Some of these tools can be accessed easily through various online servers. Youtube, Khan Academy, Coursera, libraries, e-Learning platforms, digital documents, and educational teaching books. The local library has prep materials and practice materials that can be utilized at no cost. I believe the more resources available to people, the better chance a student has in improving on their academics.
Asides from helping people grow, develop, and learn; I am a soft spoke person who enjoys to wander in nature. I am enthusiastic about riding my mountain bike or road bike. I enjoy cooking new foods, I also enjoy spending time at coffee shops reading or browsing the internet for online Journal articles. I'm always picking up new books to read, browsing the internet to download learning resources, and taking on small projects challenge myself.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus - Bachelors, Spanish
Graduate Degree: Pittsburgh University - Masters, Masters of Social Work
Biking, cooking, Netflix, Reading, fixing bikes, listening to music. Working on projects, traveling, spending time with family, playing board games, playing soccer and golf, drawing, and occasionally playing video games.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that we are all capable of discovering, unraveling, and learning new information. We need to find the means, tools, and methods in order to process new information.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Build rapport with the student, and build a positive relationship that is nonthreatening, warm, and professional.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Students can become independent learners by having fun and making small gains daily.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Students can stay motivated when they make goals, stay focused on these goals, and successfully reach their goals. Even a failed attempt is a closer step towards succeeding.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student is having a difficulty with a subject area, I would say that it is completely normal not to know everything. I would try to work around their strengths, and then find techniques to improve on areas that are more challenging.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would help them break reading comprehension in small parts. I would help them refocus, help them learn general concepts, and then focus on more specific concepts. Breaking things down in smaller blocks allows students to build confidence.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Communication is key to understanding how a student feels about a subject, and what their apprehensions, fears, or struggles may be. A tutor needs to discover first how a student processes information before they can guide them appropriately.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Have fun! And share that each person has challenges, but we can all learn to achieve greatness. I would help them stay motivated and share some personal struggles I have had too. I would share my personal experiences in order to help the student understand that it is normal to face uneasy challenges in our lives.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would use practice questions, advise with online learning tools and videos, and use the tutoring platform to break down questions for the student. I would reword the language and use visuals to help the student learn. I would use various examples of real-life scenarios.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Anytime a student shows any small sign of success, I cheer them on. Any small gain is success. Confidence is subjective, and it's up to the tutor to measure that success to the student.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's needs by discussing what they need. I also assess their needs by the outcomes of our sessions. It's a relationship between the tutor and student, however it is up to the tutor to pay attention to the student's needs based on the results of each session.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt my tutoring to the student's needs by using a strengths-based approach. If a student is receptive to certain techniques, those are tools. The more tools I can get, the easier it will be to teach, and the more receptive the student will be to new information.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Pen and paper. Lots of paper, lots of examples, videos, books, and shared apps that a student may be able to use on their computer or phone to improve a subject area.