Hello future students!
You’re probably curious about whether we would work well together and whether I know my stuff. I hold a BA in Letters from the University of Oklahoma, which includes English, Classical languages, History, and Philosophy. I’m a certified English teacher, an Oklahoma Writing Project teacher-consultant, and a National Writing Project Fellow, and I have taught writing workshops for teachers and students across the state.
My favorite thing to teach is creative writing. I am an award-winning writer with 14 professionally-published stories, and I’m currently working on my third novel. I love to read epic fantasy novels like Lord of the Rings, but I also love any writing that’s well-crafted or makes you think, like Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 or Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.
I teach because I fell in love with that “aha” moment when a concept clicks and you can see on someone’s face that they “get it.” I was raised by teachers, and I’ve always believed that anyone can succeed academically, no matter what their challenges, if they have the motivation to keep working and a skilled mentor who believes in their potential. My students are not just successful; they exceed their expectations because I help them see and build on their strengths.
One of my favorite teaching stories is about a young man who “hated” poetry. About a week after I read one of his poems in class and talked about all the things he was doing right, he brought me a notebook with poems he had written on his own; he had become a poet.
I’ve been teaching for 16 years. I started out working as a tutor in the college writing center at the University of Oklahoma for 4 years, helping students understand assignments, revise essays, write resumes, and perfect research papers. During and after college, I volunteered teaching English as a Second Language to international students at OSU, OU, and Fairmont State University, and I also taught English overseas in Riga, Latvia and Buenos Aires, Argentina for two summers. I’ve taught Pre-AP and on-level World Literature for 6 years at Moore High School, where I helped students with grammar, literary analysis, creative writing, and reading comprehension. I taught an intersession literary analysis class for the University of Oklahoma for three semesters. Most recently, I’ve tutored individual high school, middle school, and elementary students who needed extra support in reading, writing essays, or coaching to pass a big exam.
In my spare time, I like to try new things, like kayaking, learning tai chi, listening to indie bands, wandering through art galleries, or making food from other countries.
I look forward to meeting you!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Oklahoma Norman Campus - Bachelors, Letters
Graduate Degree: West Virginia University - Masters, Counseling
Art, Kayaking, Music, Travel, Cooking, Hiking, Learning Languages
College Application Essays
College Level American Literature
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Writing
GED Social Studies
High School English
High School Level American Literature
High School Writing
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Writing
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I've always believed that anyone can succeed academically, no matter what their challenges, if they have the motivation to keep working and a skilled mentor who believes in their potential. My students are not just successful; they exceed their expectations because I help them see and build on their strengths.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I will always start by getting to know you, establishing your goals for tutoring, and making a game plan for reaching your goals. The first session is also the time for you to ask questions and get to know me. You should leave with a clear idea of our path for tutoring and a sense of confidence that we'll work well together.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
It's always best to find a way to connect back to your interests. Curiosity is the spark that ignites investigation. If a subject hasn't sparked a student's interest, probably we need to dig deeper to find that connection to why it's relevant. We start that process by asking questions until you realize you want to know the answer.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Goals and action steps. We'll establish a plan with intermediate stages, and we'll highlight every time you complete an action step toward your goal.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
First off, I would normalize the experience. Everyone meets a challenge at some point. Maybe the concept needs to be broken down into smaller parts. It might be an issue of vocabulary, or it could be an issue with the method of instruction not making sense. For example, a visual method of instruction might not work as well for a hands-on learner. I would provide examples and model the skill and have the student practice. With feedback, you can see what you're getting right and fine tune the process.