I was born in Los Angeles but have lived in San Jose since my family moved here while I was growing up. I was homeschooled for most of my life until high school, when I enrolled in Ocean Grove Charter School and graduated with honors. I attended Thomas Aquinas College, a small school in southern California. The classes at Thomas Aquinas are conducted according to the Socratic method and are centered around a curriculum of the Great Books, as it is those works which have most shaped Western Civilization. There, I earned a Bachelor’s degree in liberal arts, double-majoring in philosophy and theology and minoring in science and mathematics.
I have been tutoring professionally for over a decade: I began academic tutoring in 2007 and was immediately taken with the experience. I began working with special education students when an academic student of mine was diagnosed with dyslexia at six years old. Her mother came to me and asked if I would go through the training necessary to learn the Barton Reading & Spelling System and continue to work with her daughter. Shortly afterwards, I began to work extensively with special education students. In addition to dyslexia, I have worked with students who have been diagnosed with autism, ADHD, and OCD.
I find that teaching K-8 students is fascinating because it is during this time when a student cements the foundations of their education. Thus, it is imperative to ensure that a student receives whatever help they need. Although every student is unique, many display similar feelings of frustration or dismay when faced with particular subjects, such as math. As a tutor, I have the responsibility to show them that they can and will succeed. I believe that students desire knowledge just as much as I want to impart knowledge to them. I want my students to feel not only confident in what they know, but also comfortable asking for extra assistance.
My time in a discussion-based classroom in college has become a huge asset in my tutoring work. My ability to adapt and change the lesson to suit each individual student has been honed by the discussion method, since often it is necessary to explain a concept in multiple ways to ensure that everyone understands. I love teaching because of the new challenges presented every day and with every student. No two students will learn in the same way or at the same pace, and I truly enjoy working to find the particular method that reaches each individual student best. One way I make certain that a student is fully absorbing a lesson is to reiterate a concept just learned in discussion format to ensure the student understands not only what the answer is, but also why it is. I have also found that many students struggle to visualize abstract concepts. I handle this by explaining it in a way that relates the abstract to something they have sensory knowledge of, such as using chocolate bars to explain fractions.
In addition to tutoring, I also directed two full-length Shakespeare productions while in college, The Tempest and Othello. My time in the theater and as a teacher has given me invaluable experiences organizing tasks, managing people, and interacting with others.
When not tutoring, I have been involved in twenty theater productions over the years in several capacities, including acting, music, composition, lighting and stage effects, production, and directing. I also enjoy handicrafts, such as making jewelry or woodworking, and listening to kpop.