I was raised in a household where my mother often told me, “Education opens the door to many opportunities,” a quote I saw manifest not only in my own life, but also in the lives of the students I have worked with over the years. Growing up as the daughter of an immigrant and with parents who were first-generation college students, I saw firsthand the intricacies of the American school system and the network of people it takes to navigate them.
I was born in Mountain View, California, and attended the MVLA School District before moving to the University of California, Santa Barbara, and majoring in psychology and minoring in educational studies. There, I was a research assistant in the Education Department and focused on after-school STEM programming for fourth through sixth grade girls. I also was an instructional assistant for ED 191W, Health and Well-being, which solidified my desire to work in the classroom and motivate students to reach their goals and develop sustainable habits. I was interested in both education and health, and took many biology, chemistry, and physics courses while interning at the UCSB Wellness and Fitness Institute and volunteering with the American Red Cross. Upon graduation, I joined Teach for America and moved to the Twin Cities where I taught middle school English and math while pursuing my Master of Arts in Teaching K-8 at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.
My experience and training has ranged from teaching reading, writing, science, math, socioemotional learning, and life skills to first grade through undergraduate students. Through my experiences at each of these levels, I can say that my greatest passion is not for the subject area itself, but for working with students to develop their own passion. As a student, I thought learning science and math in school was fun because I “got it,” and writing and reading extracurricularly was fun because I had the autonomy to be creative. As a teacher, I discovered the importance of fun and student-centered learning, leading me to write one of my master’s research proposals about values affirmation and intrinsic motivation in students. Through this, we can understand a student’s background and what they are bringing to the table in order to best support them in feeling positively about their involvement and in achieving their academic goals.
I love figuring out how to make math and problem-solving creative, to break down the rules of writing and annotating, and to incorporate student interests into their learning. I have worked with middle school students on annual standardized test prep in math, reading, and writing. Test-taking for many students can feel like a stressful and high-risk situation, and I want to empower students to feel and be ready to take on exams.
My philosophy as an educator is that all students are capable of achieving academic success, and all students deserve high-quality resources and support to get there. My favorite part of teaching is working one-on-one with students and building strong relationships with students and families. Each individual comes in with a different set of life experiences, skills, and values. As a tutor, I feel that it is important to hear from students and families and work in partnership to support student learning.
Outside of tutoring, I love to hike, draw with charcoal or chalk pastels, and play music (piano, guitar, and ukulele).