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Education does not exist within a vacuum. This is one of the most important realizations my eighth grade English teacher led me to. Throughout my academic career, I have been lucky enough to work closely with academic mentors who have built upon this idea. Although each of my role models has taken a vastly different approach to teaching, this was the common element that wove their styles together. By encouraging me to appreciate the larger sense of purpose that underlies learning, what I have come to faithfully call the “so what” of education, my teachers and professors have had an indispensable impact on me. This pivotal realization has led me to graduate from Willamette University with a double major in Spanish and history, receive scholarships and grants, conduct four independent research projects, and participate in a post-grad fellowship.
Stepping back and asking “why?” in reference to learning is critical. Without being able to see the “so what” of irregular verbs, twenty-page papers, and endless weeks of standardized test preparation, students often feel that school consists of insurmountable tasks. But rather than dreading the challenges that learning presents, I have come to celebrate the hard work unique to the learning process, and I aim to foster this perspective in my students as well.
By providing me with individualized and well-supported academic attention, my academic mentors have empowered me to discover my passions, and, in turn, to use them to cultivate tangible skills. Their teaching styles have immensely shaped my personal style of tutoring. I prioritize authentic exploration of each student’s passions by listening to their concerns and interests, tailoring curriculum to their learning style, and helping them see how their academic efforts intertwine with their future goals.
My fellowship with the San Mateo County Office of Education has helped me cement my skills for engaging youth in their academic pursuits. I have had the opportunity to attend symposiums and seminars with experts from across the nation in youth education development. This background has helped me better reach the young people whom I have the opportunity to tutor. My personal teaching philosophy is that I am a liaison between each student and their personal, sustainable, and dynamic passion for learning.
Aside from my passion for gaining and sharing knowledge, I love trail running, painting, reading, cooking, and spending time with friends and family. I grew up in Santa Cruz, so if I’m not working or studying, you’ll almost always find me under the redwoods!