I graduated from the University of Missouri in Columbia with a degree in General Studies. This degree embodies my values as a teacher and as a continuing student. Within my wide breadth of studied areas--including food science, psychology, music, and business studies--I learned to integrate various ideas and strategies from each field into any of the others. My tutoring method involves activating an individual's strengths in one area of academia to inform and galvanize aspects of another. A student who struggles with math may be excited to learn about how biology and music can help explain mathematical concepts, so much so that they forget that they are "bad at math." My main goal as a tutor is to get students excited about their own success and understanding in subjects they previously resented, e.g. mathematics, chemistry, biology, or philosophy. I believe that a passion for learning is every child's right and that with a more enthralling way of teaching it is possible to stir that passion even in children who were previously completely uninterested. This goal does not require some magic bullet but an attentive teacher willing to adjust the lesson to the mind of the student and their interests and needs. I believe that I have just the skills to be that kind of teacher.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Missouri-Columbia - Bachelors, General Studies
ACT Composite: 32
ACT English: 31
ACT Math: 33
ACT Reading: 31
Cooking, alternative medicine, rock climbing, disc golf, biking
Elementary School Math
High School English
What is your teaching philosophy?
Always be receiving information as you're giving information so that one can understand the student's particular ways of thinking and learning.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Curiosity; everyone has something that really interests and excites them. Then a student uses other subjects to understand their interest more fully and find passion for difficult subjects.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Backup and make sure that they are solid on the concepts that this idea is built on, and then try to give an example or tell a story to illustrate the point.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I like to look for areas where the student has had a misunderstanding of a core concept in the past that is causing the current confusion. I also usually reteach a more recent area that they are currently working on so that they will be prepared for any upcoming quizzes.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would work to set personal goals every week that were reasonable but challenging and potentially work with the parents to provide small treats for regularly reaching those goals.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I like to focus on vocabulary to increase reading comprehension. When the student runs into unfamiliar words less often their comprehension increases. This sometimes involves slowing the reading speed temporarily, but I feel that in all learning it is important to focus on accuracy first and then speed.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The strategy I like to start with involves using 4-5 explanations focused on different learning styles to assess the best way to teach this particular student.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I like encourage students to make up applications for the concept, like telling a story of when one might use it, or by making up our own word problem.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By setting goals for incremental gains and by looking back on their progress to challenge the belief that they can't excel at this subject.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I like to keep it simple. I use a pen, paper, the student's textbook (except for test prep for which I have my own book) and sometimes loose change to help visualize numbers and fractions.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would look for a topic that interested the student like sports and use it to put things in a context that engages the student’s interest and passion.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By looking at previous test (or a pretest for ACT/SAT) for the concepts that challenge that student the most. Then I target these areas and the core concepts they build from.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I do this by finding the interests they have that we could use for engaging examples and the learning styles they work best with to tailor my tutoring sessions.