I've been tutoring since I was in 7th grade, when my best friend was a slower learner than I was and I often helped her understand the concepts she just couldn't quite grasp without a little extra help. At the time, I didn't think of it as tutoring; I was just helping out a friend. In the years since then, I've helped many students across a wide range of ages and subjects, and I've found I truly love helping people to learn.
Many of my students (or their parents) have commented that I have been able to make difficult new ideas finally "click" with them. Unfortunately teachers in a classroom full of students don't have enough time to make sure their lessons match the individual learning style of each and every student. That's where I come in. I'll find a way to help YOU master the material you need to learn. Because I tailor my approach to each individual student, it is difficult to define my tutoring style, but a few key points that are consistent across all students is that I strive to build confidence and find a way to spark enthusiasm for learning. It is a great feeling when I am able to help a student have that “ah-ha!” moment, or when I can watch them slowly transform from a struggling and/or reluctant learner to a successful student.
I have a BA in Literature from UCSB. This gives me a very strong background in reading and writing, as well as other English-related subjects. I spent my first 2 years in college as a biology major before deciding to switch to Literature, so I have a strong biology and general science background as well. Additionally, I have always been a strong math student, and due to math being a subject that many students struggle with, I have probably tutored as many students in math as in any other subject.
I have tutored students:
- aged from early elementary grades through college
- in gifted or other advanced programs
- who struggle to learn at the same rate as their age-peers
- who are reluctant and unenthusiastic
- with low self-esteem or confidence
- students with ADD/ADHD and other special needs
Subjects I have tutored most often include:
- English/language arts (including reading, writing, proofreading/critiquing, and more)
- biology/life science, elementary science
- math at all levels from elementary math through algebra
Here are a few specific examples:
- A 4th or 5th grade student who was struggling in most subjects and totally lost when it came to fractions. He attended an after school program I worked at part-time while I was in college, where in addition to basic daycare, we also offered homework help. This particular student possibly had a mild learning disorder, although I was never aware of an official diagnosis. Other staff members had labeled this student “too stupid to learn fractions,” and didn't want to “waste their time” helping him. After several days where I worked with this student one-on-one, mostly using techniques to help him visualize what the fractions represented, he began to develop confidence and true understanding, and went on to pass the chapter test.
- A 3rd grade student who was struggling with reading, behind grade level, and stated that she hated reading. Over a roughly 6 month period of time, she transformed into an enthusiastic reader whose reading level had jumped forward roughly 1 ½ grade levels, who was devouring books at a rate of several per week.
- A college student who had twice failed a course called “College Algebra.” I was hired when she was on the verge of failing the course a 3rd time, and seriously considering dropping out of college due to being unable to pass this requirement. With my help, she was able to regain her self-confidence, get a good grade on the final, and finally pass the course.
- I was a major part of homeschooling my step-daughter from Kindergarten through 4th grade, responsible for roughly 50% of the teaching.
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