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Erica

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I am a graduate of Oberlin College, where I attained two Bachelor's degrees in English and Ancient Latin Language and Literature. I am a licensed teacher with a diversity of experience working with young people. For the past 10 years, I have tutored students of all ages and in a variety of subjects, with a strong focus on K-12 mathematics. I am pursuing a Master's degree in Elementary Education and a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification. I am extremely passionate about teaching and work daily to improve my craft. Students, parents, supervisors, and colleagues have described me as efficient, extremely patient, creative, and caring.

I am certified to tutor in a variety of subjects and consider the following areas to be my specialties:

*Standardized tests, such as the ISEE, SSAT, and AP examinations

*Students who demonstrate challenging behaviors

*Long-term tutoring in math and reading--I love to guide a student who initially struggled to meet and exceed expectations!

Outside of my direct work with students, I have coordinated a math tutoring program that placed K-12 math tutors into local public schools. I have also served as a Crisis Services Supervisor at the National Runaway Safeline (NRS). At NRS, I was able to support volunteers in providing trauma-informed services to runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth.

I look forward to meeting you and your child!

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Erica’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Oberlin College - Bachelor in Arts, English; Latin Language and Literature

Test Scores

SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1470

SAT Verbal: 760

SAT Writing: 750

SAT Subject Test in Literature: 740

Hobbies

Reading, traveling, hiking, crafting and making art, knitting, interior decorating, plants and gardening

Tutoring Subjects

6th Grade AP Language Composition

Academic Coaching

Admissions

Algebra

AP Art History

AP English Language and Composition

AP English Literature and Composition

Arithmetic

College Application Essays

College English

College Essays

Comparative Literature

Elementary Math

Elementary School

Elementary School English

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Science

Elementary School Writing

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

GED Prep

GED Math

GED Reasoning Through Language Arts

GED Science

GED Social Studies

Geometry

High School English

High School Writing

History

ISEE Prep

ISEE- Lower Level

ISEE- Middle Level

Languages

Latin

Latin 1

Latin 2

Literature

Math

Middle School

Middle School English

Middle School Math

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing

Other

Pre-Algebra

PSAT Critical Reading

PSAT Writing Skills

Public Speaking

Reading

SAT Reading

SAT Subject Test in Literature

SAT Subject Tests Prep

SAT Writing and Language

Science

Social Studies

SSAT Prep

SSAT- Elementary Level

SSAT- Middle Level

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Summer

Test Prep

Writing

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that all tutoring must be student-centered. As much as possible, a tutor must help a student develop their own ideas about the world around them rather than lecturing. The student must be actively speaking and engaged.

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

Trust is the most important foundational block in a tutor-tutee relationship. Without trust, very little can be accomplished. Before we start, we must spend time getting to know each other and developing Community Standards about our relationship (ex: "I (the student) feel respected when my tutor is prepared with a lesson plan" and "I (the tutor) feel respected when my student asks questions."). Following this, we will discuss the areas my student feels they are struggling in and what sorts of teaching styles they feel have been effective in the past. I may give a short assessment. From here, we'll develop short-term and long-term goals and plans.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I favor a very student-centered approach. That is, I encourage my students to answer their own questions through research questions, debates, and reading. While I may discuss possible "answers" and guide students, I will never give my students the answer.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

The most motivated students are students who enjoy what they are doing. It is important to frame any lesson or idea in a way that is interesting and relevant to students' lives--and to insist that most of the things we are talking about are things that occur in the real world. I work to develop relationships with students in order to find out what interests them most (be it Pokémon or Greek mythology) and cater my lessons towards their interests.

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

When a student is struggling with a skill or concept, it is important to pinpoint the origin of the issue and to treat the issue, not the symptoms. For example, if a student struggles with multiplication, they may not have a strong grasp of addition, a foundational block of multiplication. If this is not the case, the student may have been taught a concept in a confusing way. In this case, we should go over the concept once more in a way that suits their learning style best (ex: if they were taught a math concept only by hearing it, perhaps they need more of a visual representation).

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

Assuming we have ruled out the possibility of learning disabilities, the single best way to encourage reading comprehension is simply to practice. It is important that the student go slowly and take their time, as much of the difficulty likely comes from a lack of self-confidence. We may start by reading only a few sentences at a time and then talking about what is happening. When the student has developed small-scale comprehension, we can move on to paragraphs, pages, etc.

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

The most important factor in a successful tutor-tutee relationship is trust. I work hard to ensure that my students understand what is expected of them AND that I understand what they expect of me. During the first session, we create "Community Standards" or a "Learning Contract" to establish what environment will be most conducive to the student's success. As far as learning, it is important to determine what the student's learning style is (all students will be different) and to cater all lessons towards this style.

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

It is important that students see the lesson as relevant to their own lives. As much as possible, lessons should revolve around a student's interests (ex: if a student is interested in Ancient Rome, we might use the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii to explore anything from graphing parabolas to earth science to climate change).

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

Because tutoring sessions tend to be short (1-1.5 hours), assessment should be varied and continuous. Asking "do you understand?" is not enough. When working with students, I may ask students to "teach" a lesson to me or to write about what they have learned for the day or week in a journal. I often also ask "extension questions" to gauge my student's understanding of how and why a problem works. These questions are often phrased as "what happens if....?"

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

I follow the "ISME" philosophy--that is, Instant Success with Minimum Effort. In the beginning, when a student lacks confidence in an area, I want to make learning "effortless." I may accomplish this by asking simple questions or breaking problems into smaller segments. That way, a student cannot possibly fail. As they become more comfortable, I increase the difficulty of the problem. It is also important that students do not feel like they are inherently "bad" or "good" at a subject. I praise a student's hard work regardless of whether the answer was "right." In this way, the student comes to enjoy the process of finding the answer.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

The students know more about what they need than you do. The first step is to simply ask, "What sorts of things do you think you are good at?" Other evaluations will depend on the age of the student. I may present young students (k-8) with a series of "games" that can help me figure out what sorts of concepts they struggle to grasp. I may give older students a quick 10-question assessment and move forward from there.

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

The materials will depend on a student's needs, age, and the subject we are studying. In the past, I have used everything from workbooks and prep. books to laptops to arts and crafts materials. I will always have my laptop with me, and I encourage students to have one, as well, if they are able.

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

I am quite flexible to my students' needs and have some experience working with students on the autism spectrum.

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