As a Master's student in English, I adore words. Writing is a passion of mine, as is tutoring. Communication is more important than ever in today's world, and wielding the written word helps students of all ages both inside and outside of school. Writing allows us to communicate, but it also allows us to express ourselves. The writing process teaches skills like forming arguments, understanding logic, and thinking, and these skills apply to far more than term papers.
I have experience tutoring at the university level, and I enjoy working with students of all ages on pieces of writing for any purpose. I enjoy working with research papers, scientific lab reports, application letters, book reports, creative fiction and non-fiction, and all other pieces of writing. Writing is a multi-step project, and because I understand the process in its entirety, I am capable of helping students learn any, or all, stages, from brainstorming to organization to the final grammatical editing.
Undergraduate Degree: University of Northern Colorado - Current Undergrad, English
ACT Composite: 33
ACT English: 32
ACT Math: 32
ACT Reading: 36
ACT Science: 33
reading anything I can get my hands on, creative writing, scrapbooking, photography, singing
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would introduce myself to the student and establish what their goals are for both the session and our time together as a whole. It's important for the student and I to both establish expectations and become comfortable with one another.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Helping students learn what questions to ask of themselves, as well as showing them how to view their own work critically, helps students become effective at independent learning. Cultivating self-efficacy is one of the most important things a tutor can do.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Since I myself struggle with motivating myself every so often, I've learned plenty of tools to regain motivation. Strategies I use include: revisiting my goals, contextualizing the work I do to determine its importance, taking study breaks, and engaging in physical movement such as stretches to get my blood flowing.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would express solidarity with the student and offer ample patience. In many cases, once the student's frustration overwhelms their capacity to learn, I have the student take a break from this concept and return to it later. Before their frustration mounts to this level, however, I offer a student different ways to look at a problem.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I encourage a student to read a piece multiple times, the first being out loud. When we read aloud or have someone else read aloud to us, and we pick up on different things than we do when reading silently. I suggest students underline what seem like key words in a passage, especially names and dates, and try to summarize the passage before moving into analyzation.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I make myself as friendly and approachable as possible. If a student is intimidated by a tutor, they tend to close themselves off, which often leads to a negative impact on their performance. I offer smiles and encouragement, and I make sure the student speaks more than I do, so I can get to know them and tailor my approach to their specific needs.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My job as a tutor is to serve as a guide for students. If I talk more than a student in any given session, I haven't done my job properly. I exist to help students learn how they learn. My previous tutoring experience has taught me how to let silence hang as a student's mental wheels turn. I offer advice and questions to guide a student to an answer all their own.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I present real-life applications of the subject to the student. When a student struggles to engage in a subject, it's often because the student has difficulty seeing the relevance of the subject. Explaining why the subject matters outside of a classroom context often helps students realize why they should care. From there, it's a matter of finding something within the subject that excites the student to give them the motivation to try.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I often ask students to explain a concept to me using their own words before asking them to provide an example of the material. For example, if a student and I are working on comma rules, I would provide a sample sentence with no punctuation and ask them to place the commas where they think the commas go. Then, I would ask the student to explain their choices.