Ivy League Writing And Reading Skills
I love helping students engage with written language. Whether it is helping young people articulate their ideas through their writing or building the skills needed to make sense of texts that ignite understanding and insight, I have a passion for connecting my students with the humanities. My education helped me develop knowledge ranging from political science to literature to education-I earned a bachelor's degree in Government from Claremont Mckenna College and a Masters of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. My experience as a classroom teacher sharpens my ability to transfer knowledge to my students. I currently teach English Language Arts and History to middle school students in the School District of Philadelphia and I am delighted to have the opportunity to help tutees develop their reading and writing skills in a one-on-one context.
I was trained in the Workshop model of reading and writing, so I always aim to ensure my students are working in a manner that will help develop the tools they need to make their voices heard and make literacy enjoyable. It is so important to me to help students build their confidence as writers by becoming secure in the knowledge that they have the skill sets needed to approach writing tasks.
As someone who struggled with reading and writing as a young student, the task of helping others develop the skills needed to access written language is especially fulfilling. I have dyslexia and the way I view letters and words initially made making sense of language especially challenging. I became fatigued and frustrated when trying to read without the appropriate toolkit for making written language accessible. My experience in school changed drastically when I was taught how to engage with writing in a manner based on my individual learning style and was guided in practicing the strategies that worked best for me.
I am so passionate about helping my students develop the literacy skills needed to make texts accessible because I know firsthand how life-changing mastering these skills has been for myself. I am similarly passionate about familiarizing students with the strategies effective writers use. I truly believe that everyone has the capacity to excel in reading and writing when equipped with the appropriate techniques. I love seeing students' confidence blossom when they realize their own abilities after learning to rely on literacy toolkits.
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
When I first meet with students it is essential that I find out their educational goals, what motivates their learning, and what they find interesting, exciting or challenging about reading and writing. I gather this information through conversation and writing tasks. It is important for me to develop a rapport and clear lines of communication with my students and parents from the start. I need to hear from both my students and their parents about their goals for our time together.
It is also essential that I obtain writing samples from my students at the beginning of our time together and on an ongoing basis. Therefore, I ask students to respond to a writing prompt which we will review together during our first session. My students' initial writing sample helps me determine their strengths and areas for growth. I also ask parents to provide me with their child's reading levels, if available. You should be able to get this information from your child's ELA teacher or academic advisor.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
- Masters of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania
- Bachelor of Arts in Government from Claremont Mckenna College.
- Teacher in the School District of Philadelphia since 2018
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
My pricing system is based on the time I put into creating thoughtful and individualized curricula for my students. I spend time outside of our sessions analyzing student work, providing feedback, and selecting and creating materials for us to work with based on students' interests and needs. My price accounts for the time and cost it takes to sharpen my craft with professional development, teacher education programs, and conduct research on educational techniques, among other things. My pricing system also accounts for any materials I need to purchase on my end to make the most of our lessons. Please note that students are responsible for buying their copies of any books we may decide to incorporate into our lessons.
How did you get started teaching?
I realized my passion for education when I was an undergraduate student working as a mentor for high school students in my position at a nonprofit organization. I became a teacher in the School District of Philadelphia while studying at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.
What types of students have you worked with?
High school, 4th, 7th, and 8th grade students
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
This school year I was able to participate in a program that allowed me to take thirty of my 7th and 8th grade students on a field trip to meet Tomi Adeyemi, author of the novel Children of Blood and Bone. This program allowed me to supply thirty students with personal copies of Adeyemi's novel. I was also able to take my students to meet Adeyemi, hear her speak about her experience as a young author, ask her questions, and have their books signed. Not only were my students mesmerized by the world Adeyemi created in her novel, my students connected with the author on the grounds of shared cultural experiences, musical interests, a shared love of anime, and more. The opportunity to interact with this young and talented author actually brought tears to some of my students' eyes. They were able to see themselves in Adeyemi and therefore connect with literature in a meaningful way.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
Reflect on the topics that spark your genuine interest. Be prepared to tell your teacher what specific topics of history, literature, geography, etc. you are curious about. Tell your teacher that you want to work on skill acquisition within the context of the specific topics you enjoy. Being reflective about your academic interests and communicating those interests to your teacher will have a huge impact on your educational experience. Once you articulate what you want to learn about to your teacher, they will have the information they need to design a stimulating and gripping curriculum for you. Working with material that plays off your unique curiosity makes putting in the time and effort to build literacy and critical thinking skills so much more enjoyable. If you enjoy the work you engage in, you are far more likely to be successful at it.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
Students should ask themselves 1) what projects did I most enjoy working on, 2) what did I learn from the projects, 3) was I successful and how do I define success when it comes to learning, and 4) why was I motivated to put in the work to produce such great projects?
When considering the skills students want to work on with their teacher, I encourage them to ask themselves "what about reading and writing is difficult?", "when do I get stuck?", "when is it hard to continue with a tasks?" and "when is it hard to get started?". Finally, students should ask themselves "when do I learn the most?". Is there a particular school teacher, friend, or parent who just makes topics make sense? Try to identify what about that person's communication style works so well with the way you think. You will be on the lookout for those qualities in your search for a tutor.