I have always been a writer. It is something that comes naturally for me. Starting at a young age I began keeping journals, and then in undergraduate school I majored in philosophy, which further enhanced my abilities as a writer.
Based on my background in philosophy, I am able to help students refine their reasoning and analytical abilities. What I learned about writing and editing academic papers during undergraduate school I have found to translate very easily to relevant skills for many other academic subjects. The ability to think critically, to form a coherent argument, to edit a paper, and to craft a persuasive essay are all tasks I am very familiar with and capable of helping students to excel at performing.
In addition to always having been a writer, I've always been an avid reader and "book worm" as well. Thus, if you are wanting to improve your reading and comprehension skills, that is also something I am able to help with too. (The areas I am most familiar with, in regards to more advanced reading, include philosophy, psychology, world religions, and nutrition.)
After completing my bachelors degree in philosophy, I went on to complete a masters degree in counseling, with a specialization in transpersonal psychology. My background in counseling has helped to shape who I am both as a person and as a teacher. I've taken what I learned from working as a counselor and used it to create a teaching style that is both personable and compassionate. Patience to me is the key in any learning context, as well as bringing a sense of humor and fun to each lesson. Based on my background in counseling, I feel comfortable helping students who are also working to learn more about the principles of psychology and their application.
After completing my masters degree in psychology, I went on to become a world traveler for several years, moving to and teaching in both Thailand and Taiwan. I completed a certification for teaching English as a foreign / second language and taught English in both countries. In those situations, I gained valuable experience teaching English to all ages and ability levels of students, including young children, high school students, and adults. Based on my background in teaching TESL and TEFL, I feel comfortable teaching and helping students who are working to improve their English abilities, whether that pertains to simple conversation or more detailed reading, writing, and / or grammar.
Outside of tutoring on-line, I enjoy living in Colorado, spending time with family and friends, enjoying the great outdoors, listening to music, watching movies, getting exercise, and just having fun in life in general. I also remain dedicated to and passionate about life-long and on-going learning with regard to many areas of study, including, philosophy, world religions, psychology, spirituality, health, nutrition, science, and more.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Purchase College, State University of New York - Bachelors, Philosophy
Graduate Degree: John F. Kennedy University - Masters, Counseling Psychology
Interests: World Religions, Holistic Health & Nutrition, Spirituality & Mysticism, Philosophy, Psychology, Counseling / Psychotherapy, Music, Movies, Nature, International Travel & Foreign Cultures, U.S. Politics, International Relations, Yoga, Meditation, Science, and Poetry. Hobbies: Nature hiking, yoga, meditation, reading, on-line learning, watching movies, listening to music, exercise, spending time with family and friends, travel.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that teaching should be a fun, interactive, and cooperative experience. My intention as a teacher is to nurture and bring out the potential that is already there within my students, and prepare them to be able to learn and perform independently. Key qualities I find essential for a successful teaching lesson include patience, humor, sensitivity, and focus.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session I will make time in the beginning for us to briefly get to know each other and to set some objectives for our time together. This is important because maintaining a positive and personable connection with my students I find to be critical for a successful teacher-student relationship, and setting objectives set the course for our time together. Once this is done, we can begin to focus on any immediate goals that are at hand and what needs to be done to accomplish them. There will be an opportunity during the session to provide feedback and input that will help me to know how best I can serve you as a student.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I help students to become independent learners by nurturing and bringing out the potential that is already there within them to be independent learners. My focus is on providing my students with the skills they need to know in a manner that is methodical and organized. By explaining each step of the process as we go, and encouraging students to take notes, I provide clear outlines for how to more effectively learn on one's own. In addition, independent learning can be made a focus of any lesson at the student's request, in which case I will provide more detailed explanations and instructions for how to apply what is covered during sessions for independent learning.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
There are situations in which a student's motivation can become clouded by discouragement and not believing in one's abilities. I encourage students to stay motivated by focusing on the talents and abilities I see emerging within them and providing feedback about those talents and abilities.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student is having difficulty learning a skill or concept, it can be beneficial to take a step back for a moment and just breathe. Let's create some space, fun, and light-heartedness around the subject matter, and approach it again more slowly.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Organization and goal setting is key. Outlining the objectives that are to be met, and discussing what roads we will take to meet them has been essential for setting the course of how lessons will proceed.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Adapting my tutoring to my student's needs is a matter of sensitivity. Some students want to move more quickly, and others more slowly. I gauge what is appropriate based on student feedback and student performance in the moment.