I believe that my past experience working as a tutor, high level of academic achievement, and passion for learning make me a great tutor.
I tutor a variety of subjects, including SAT Prep, but my true passion is Classics. As a child, my favorite book was D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths. I have been fascinated by the language, literature, and culture of the ancient Mediterranean ever since. This passion is reflected in my coursework and high level of achievement throughout my academic career. I graduated from the University of Chicago with honors in Classics and received a special commendation for my Bachelor of Arts thesis. I took on independent research projects during my undergraduate summers. I plan to one day pursue a Ph.D in Classics.
I am also committed to improving the education experience of my students, and have demonstrated that commitment in both my professional and personal life. Currently, I am working as a freelance writer, editor, and assistant to a scholar at the University of Washington who works on education policy. As an undergraduate, I was involved with a student organization that tutored students at a local K-8 school who were struggling with reading and writing. My student was thirteen years old, and most of the resources for his reading level were aimed at students much younger. In order to keep him engaged, I had to get creative. We would practice reading comprehension using the sports section of the newspaper, and did short creative writing exercises. I learned a lot about how to get students excited about subjects that at first seem intimidating or frustrating, how to think on my feet, and how to connect with and engage students from different backgrounds than my own.
In my free time, I enjoy reading fantasy and science fiction novels, trying out new recipes, swimming, and hiking.
Undergraduate Degree: University of Chicago - Bachelor in Arts, Classics
SAT Verbal: 800
SAT Writing: 720
SAT Subject Test in Latin: 730
SAT Subject Test in Literature: 770
Fantasy and science fiction novels, cooking, swimming, the outdoors
What is your teaching philosophy?
When covering difficult subjects, I strive to teach not only the how and the what, but also the why. Learning verb paradigms or memorizing long vocabulary lists can seem like grueling and boring tasks. But when a student understands that completing these tasks is the key to reading amazing and inspiring literature, writing killer essays, and acing their standardized tests, suddenly the assignment doesn't seem so daunting.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First, I would try and make the student feel comfortable and relaxed by asking them a bit about themselves and their hobbies, and sharing the same information about myself. Next, I would ask them to explain in their own words why they decided to start meeting with a tutor. What aspects of their classes are they finding most challenging? What topics have they covered in class so far, and what did they have trouble understanding? What do they believe are their strengths and weaknesses as a student? We would then discuss how we would tackle these issues, and I would outline my plans for the next few sessions. We would then spend the rest of the session going over the student's most recent test or homework assignment, discussing what was confusing or hard.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The key characteristics of an independent learner are curiosity, motivation, and holding oneself accountable. I try to help my students develop these traits by encouraging them to ask questions about things that pique their interest, sharing my own excitement about the subjects we are studying, and keeping a detailed record of improvements and setbacks that the student and I discuss.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
In order to help a student stay motivated, I would make clear the connection between the exercises and problems that the student is working on and future successes and achievements. I know that, for example, reviewing vocabulary for the SAT can seem grueling. But if the student is reminded that learning these vocabulary lists is the key to becoming a better writer and achieving a better score, suddenly the task is much more appealing. I would also offer lots of positive encouragement and solid feedback. Furthermore, I also believe that, with older students, encouraging them to take responsibility for their own learning can help motivate them.