The variety of my interests and the diversity of past students I have worked with has given me a unique perspective on teaching and mentoring. I have worked with middle school, high school, and college students at every level, and I believe that because each and every student has their own individual way of learning, and that it is the teacher's job to tailor his or her services to fit the learning style of the student. I am a strong believer that the student comes first, and that establishing a trusting relationship with that student is the teacher's responsibility.
Firstly, I enjoy getting to know my students and where their ambitions and aspirations lie. I was a very ambitious student in high school and college, and would not be able to be where I am today without the mentors I had throughout that time. The desire to give other students with the same drive I had the same kind of guidance I was given is a big part of what motivates me today. Furthermore, I am a life-long learner, and there is no better way to humble yourself and know whether or not you truly understand a subject than by teaching it. Whether it is a subject as seemingly simple as Spanish or seemingly complex as anatomy and physiology, I have found that I am always learning something new through the process of teaching.
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I make the first 1-2 sessions more about getting to know each other than about teaching. I find that understanding what the student's goals are first and what their preferred method of learning is greatly increases the effectiveness of future tutoring sessions. Further, I find that establishing some base level of trust in each other is imperative for future sessions to be productive.
I graduated from Loyola Marymount University in 2018 with a degree in Health and Human Sciences. During my time at LMU, I was a tutor for the Boys and Girls Club and for an organization called Lions for Learning. I also studied abroad in Madrid for a semester, where I was an ESL teacher and a tutor for T-Oigo, an organization that works with kids who have hearing disabilities but still want to learn English. During my last year at LMU, I was a Teaching Assistant for Anatomy and Physiology. Lastly, over the past year and six months, I have worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru, where I helped integrate a reproductive health program at the local high school and taught English at the kindergarten, elementary school, and high school.
I started tutoring in 2015 during my sophomore year at LMU. For me, the appeal of tutoring lies in the fact that you can individualize and tailor your method of teaching based on the student's needs.
I have worked with a range of students from kindergarten to college. Working with such a diverse set of students has allowed me to gain the tools needed to give each unique student the kind of guidance that he or she needs, instead of conforming to a one-size-fits-all teaching style.
While working in Peru for the last year and a half, I lived with a host family in my community. From January to March, I taught an intensive 8-week English course as a part of my summer school classes. My 8-year old host sister attended this course, and one of my favorite moments of my time in Peru was when I walked into the kitchen one day and she was teaching my host mom "Head, shoulders, knees, and toes." It is small moments like these that make tutoring and teaching so rewarding for me.
I would say to look for someone who asks you a lot of questions in the beginning. You want someone who will care about you and your learning. Getting to know someone by asking them questions is one way of knowing that that person genuinely has your best interests in mind.
Students should know what their goals are, both short and long term, in regards to whatever subject they are learning. Do they want to become fluent in Spanish, or simply conversational? What score are they aiming for on their GRE? Without having this set goal attached to a timeline, it is much more difficult to make the sessions as effective as they can possibly be.