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Monica

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Looking for an engaging and supportive tutor? I am motivated to build your confidence and success in a variety of subject areas! I am a recent graduate of Miami University with a degree in psychology. In August, I will begin pursuing a doctorate degree in physical therapy at Washington University of St. Louis. I have tutored for several years and specialize in the following topic areas: standardized tests (including the GRE), math, biology and general sciences, psychology, Spanish, and overall study skills.

Monica’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Miami University-Oxford - Bachelors, Psychology

Graduate Degree: Washington University in St Louis - PHD, Physical Therapy

Test Scores

SAT Composite: 1210

SAT Math: 700

SAT Verbal: 730

SAT Writing: 620

GRE: 326

GRE Quantitative: 164

GRE Verbal: 162

Hobbies

yoga, traveling, running, reading, cooking

Tutoring Subjects

Algebra

Algebra 2

AP Psychology

Basic Computer Literacy

Biology

CLEP Prep

CLEP College Algebra

CLEP College Composition

CLEP College Mathematics

College Algebra

College Application Essays

College Physics

Elementary School

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Science

Elementary School Writing

English

Essay Editing

Graduate Test Prep

GRE

GRE Quantitative

GRE Verbal

High School Physics

Math

Microsoft Excel

Middle School Math

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Science

Middle School Writing

Other

Physics

Pre-Algebra

Psychology

Public Speaking

SAT Prep

SAT Math

Science

Social Sciences

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Technology and Computer Science

Test Prep


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I think too much emphasis is placed on whether or not we are "good" or "smart" in a certain subject rather than the reality that it is simply about putting in the work and taking the time to understand something. We aren't born knowing how glycolysis works or how to factor an algebraic equation, and we simply have to work to get the information into our brains. My teaching philosophy is about keeping students motivated and confident about their learning skills, and as a result they will be able to tackle whatever assignments or tests that may come their way. I take a positive and optimistic teaching approach, making learning as engaging and as applicable as I can, and catering the lesson to the specific student and their interests. I stay extremely patient for each student in order for them to stay patient with themselves and remain confident.

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

In a first session with a student, I would want to learn about what they want to work on and also learn about them as a person--what year in school, favorite subjects, and any big interests or hobbies. Then I would assess their knowledge on the subject at hand to see the baseline knowledge that we are working with. Then we would set some short-term and long-term goals to strive for through their tutoring lessons.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

It is often hard to find motivation to be autonomous over your own learning when you have experienced failure and find concepts confusing. A big part of becoming an independent learner relies on building back up your confidence as a learner. A tutor's role in this is to start slow at first and give students opportunities to be successful, and build off of existing knowledge. Taking a deep dive into complicated material without confidence-boosting and successful experiences could be detrimental to encouraging the learning to take autonomy over their learning in the future.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I would help a student stay motivated by setting some goals that allow them to see just beyond the academics. Do you want to earn or keep your scholarship? Get into a certain school? Maintain good grades to stay on your sports team? Intrinsic motivation is the key to keeping a student on track, so it is important to find something that is important to them that is worthy of working hard with their academic work.

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

Every student learns differently, and it is important for me to try my best to enter a "beginner's mind" and access different ways of looking at an assignment or concept. I do not think that repeating the same method will eventually hammer in an issue. Rather, I think that shifting the way that we are approaching a concept would be the best way to get a student to grasp a concept. For example, if a student is not understanding an algebraic concept by me explaining it, I would try to draw it out and see if creating a visual aid would increase comprehension. If the visual aid does not help, I would then try to explain the concept in different, more relatable terms in order to break it down into something that can be applied to the real world.

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

I use a variety of strategies to build reading comprehension. I like to look at a text from many different angles by summarizing, sequencing, organizing (with visual aids), asking and answering questions regarding the text, breaking down story structure, investigating characters and putting self in the shoes of characters, visualization, using context clues, etc.

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

When starting to work with a student, I find it most effective to connect with the student in a way I can learn about what they are motivated by and what their goals are. By going beyond the student and working with the person, I am able to cater lessons better to what exactly someone needs, while keeping them engaged.

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

I would try to relate the subject to something that interests the student or puts the subject into more realistic or useful context. For example, if a student is struggling with and not excited about fractions, I would encourage them to think about fractions in their daily life: their fraction that they ate of the family's dinner, the fraction of students absent from class today, the fraction of baseball players who make it big, etc. I would want to go beyond their homework and assignments and make the concept important to them in a real sense.

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

As a way to check for student understanding, I would quiz the student with a question or two before moving onto another concept. If possible, I would let the student choose the question they want to be quizzed on from their material. I would also have the student explain concepts to me, which is a great measure of understanding and can also help cement information into the mind.

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

Academic confidence-building is about experiencing success, which can be achieved through the zone of proximal development, in which the student is attempting difficult material with the help of a qualified individual (tutor). Building confidence cannot only be due to achieving success in what the student already knows. It should be about challenging the student to learn more and do more in a way that they will be successful, with your help, so that they will continue to persevere through such challenges.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I like to evaluate a student's needs by both speaking to the student directly about what they see their needs are as well as by having the student describe their current studying/organization process, and by taking a pre-test/assignment to gauge where the student's level of comprehension is.

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

Every tutoring session looks different depending on the student. Each student has their own needs depending on what subjects they need help with and their personal learning style. I adapt my tutoring to their specific subject (e.g. strategies to teach math differ greatly from the strategies to teach reading comprehension) and also to their specific learning style (e.g. student responds better to listening or visuals).

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

During a tutoring session, I'll typically use resources provided by the tutoring company. I would also recommend certain YouTube videos to students if they are available for a particular concept. Depending on the needs of the student, I would find the necessary materials to aid in comprehension.