Kick It Up A Notch - Academic Tutoring
"You were my favorite teacher in middle school."
That's what one of my peers said to me on the day of my high school graduation. (I was barely two grades above them.) I had the privilege of coaching a few different Science Olympiad events at the middle school I formerly attended, and while there, could be easily located within the building dancing, singing quite horribly, and chanting random factual recitations.
At the time, it seemed a bit funny to everyone, but after taking home a few SciOly gold medals, more than just the participants bought into my zany and FUN strategies.
All throughout my educational journey, I've loved helping understanding solidify in others just as much as I've craved the feeling for myself.
I've also believed in all scenarios (except maybe proofreading essays, that process has to be pretty ruthlessly cutthroat), that learning MUST be fun, enjoyable, and engaging to be effective.
When you are miserable, or even just afraid of judgment, you cannot ever truly improve. My philosophy is all about moving forward.
I graduated high school with a 4.6/4.0 GPA and 27 concurrent college credits and a good measure of "5s" on AP tests that I spent way too long doing homework for. I currently attend my dream post-secondary program, at the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies with an emphasis in Social Justice and Legislative Processes with a mind towards law school soon, on a private school tuition that is fully paid for by a variety of scholarships and grants.
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
The very first step in the process is figuring out what area or areas of the academic world will be explored. Then, after assessing students' strengths and sprouting skills, we will work together to figure out what the tutor time will look like. It might be in working together to complete specific assignments, or even in reviewing, revising, or studying skills.
I personally do not believe there to be many instances, if they exist at all, to have a student engage in tutoring for more than four hours per week. This is the absolute high end of the time scale as well. Most students flourish with 90-180 minutes of assistance divided over two sessions per week.
Younger learners, in particular, need the opportunity to be kids, develop their own interests and learn from their environment in an unstructured or extremely loosely structured enviornment.
I prefer to meet at a local library or park (weather permitting). I believe that a specified and novel location designed only for learning is the best possible place for tutoring. It also gives students the "vibe" that they are truly working in a real way.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
Extensive coursework in a variety of settings, as well as paid experience as both an independent and company-hired tutor prepare me well for continuting tutoring roles.
Other tangentially related experiences include three years of curriculum development experience as an intern at Project CLAIR, and as the coordinator/director of a reading/educational tutoring program at my hometown animal shelter.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
50% discount for the first hour-long session scheduled!
60-minute session = $30
90-minute session = $45
90-minute session (divided over two [45-minute] occasions) = $50
180-minute session (divided over two occasions) = $75
8 hours of tutoring (to be redeemed within 8 weeks of the first scheduled session) = $175
"Take Home Tutoring" = $5/page (to edit/revise a paper of any written work not during a scheduled tutoring session.)
What types of students have you worked with?
I have had the privilege of working with a wide variety of students, from helping students learn to develop their understanding of the structure of letters in kindergarten, to basic forensics for middle school Science Olympiad competitions, to being employed as a peer editor for college-level extended essays and research papers.
I am comfortable working with all demographics of students, however, I am not the right fit for students who are not yet enrolled in the first grade, that do not have a reasonable understanding of phonics/are un-emerged readers and that speak English as a second language and rely primarily on their first language to communicate.
If at any time during the initial session I believe that I am not the right fit for the student I am working with, I will alert all parties involved immediately and will waive the cost of the first session.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
Find someone you click with and trust. If you are ever wary to tell your tutor about a "bad" grade-- it is not a good fit. Content knowledge is highly important, but understanding what exactly is being communicated to you is just as important. Be open and honest about what you want and any learning goals that you might have.
Most importantly, as my grandpa always says, 'trust, but, verify." Do not just take someone's word or blurb at face value and never be afraid to ask questions.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
1. Can I find this information somewhere else?
-While there is no such thing as a "bad question" it is also a very good practice to first do a bit of searching. If it sounds like something in the syllabus it's probably there. This goes into the next point too, if you have a question about content, poke around enough to find out what you need to know.
2. Be specific!
-Specificity is the fastest route to satisfaction. Especially regarding content questions, something like "I'm confused about plants." will yield a much less helpful result if you actually needed to know "How do plant cell walls act as both impermeable and permeable barriers?"
3. Ask early!
-Get clarification or any type of help you may need BEFORE you are swamped, confused, and missing more assignments than you think you could ever catch up on. Talking to your instructor straight away also helps to foster a positive relationship.