I am currently working as a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, and I have been tutoring/mentoring for nearly fifteen years. I have been involved with peer tutoring, tutoring companies, volunteer tutoring for public service programs, private tutoring, and formal teaching (lecturing in college classes and working as a teaching assistant).
My main areas of focus for tutoring/teaching have been in biology and communication (including grammar, writing, and speech). I have B.S. in Molecular Biology and Communication from Juniata College (2001) and also a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology from The University of Chicago (2008). Below is a more detailed description of my areas of expertise, including lists of subjects I have tutored and the ages of the students in those lessons.
I have had extensive experience in tutoring biology-related subjects, and because of my advanced degree, I have the experience necessary to tutor subjects that range from basic biology to highly advanced biology. I have tutored students in the last ten years in the following subjects/areas:
Basic Science (elementary students)
Basic Biology (junior high and high school students)
Earth Science (junior high and high school students)
Genetics (A.P. high school and undergraduate students)
Molecular Biology (A.P. high school and undergraduate students)
Immunology (undergraduate and medical students)
Biochemistry (A.P. high school, undergraduate, and graduate students)
Laboratory techniques (A.P. high school, undergraduate, and graduate students)
I also have extensive laboratory experience, and have tutored students in preparing for lab, writing lab reports, keeping lab notebooks, and learning how to read scientific articles.
In addition to my formal training in science, I have a degree in communication and have worked as a writing and speech tutor for nearly ten years. I worked for three years as a tutor for the Juniata College Writing Center, assisting students in all aspects of writing. In my last year, I was promoted to the head tutor of the Writing Center and was in charge of overseeing training of new writing tutors. I continued this work while in graduate school and still take on private tutoring students in writing.
I also have experience as a speech tutor; I have taken several advanced public speaking courses and have given many public addresses. I have coached students in preparing for their first in-class presentations and have worked at seminar workshops to help adults overcome their fear of public speaking. I have also used these skills to train new tutors and teaching assistants for a variety of subjects. Below is a list of areas in which I have tutoring experience in writing/grammar and speech:
Basic Spelling (elementary students)
Basic Grammar (elementary, junior high, and high school students)
Basic Essay Writing (high school and undergraduate students)
Vocabulary Development-SAT Verbal
Critical Writing Skills (undergraduate students)
Basic Speech Essentials (high school and undergraduate students)
Public Speaking (high school and undergraduate students, non-school adults)
Business Writing Skills (undergraduate students and professionals)
Additionally, I have experience in tutoring students in college preparatory writing skills: preparing scholarship essays, application essay answers, cover letters, resumes, and job requests.
I have learned one important lesson from my years of tutoring: Every student has a unique style for learning information. I have learned that the most effective tutoring style is one that allows for flexibility based on the particular needs of any individual. I am the type of tutor who likes to have a schedule and a list of goals. The first time I meet with a tutoring student, I like to discuss what the goals are for the tutoring and set up a plan for lessons immediately. This way, we have goals that should be met and can re-assess the schedule as necessary. Once I know how a student best learns concepts, we can set lessons based around those needs. For example, some students excel best when given questions to work on themselves and discuss difficult concepts later. Other students prefer to talk through lessons/concepts together before taking a comprehension test/quiz to assess their skills.
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