We’ll help you navigate the test taking maze, share our experience with your local school, and inspire your student.
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Growing up I was fortunate enough to attend a small elementary school in the East Bay, where I was born and raised, that fostered an interest in and love for the sciences. Tucked in the hills of Castro Valley, we were able to engage with the surrounding forest and water systems during a program affectionately titled “Junior Naturalists”. Through this, we learned not only about the intricacies of each individual species, but also about how they interacted as a system as well. My interest in dissecting big picture questions and ideas down into each working part was cultivated in an environment that allowed and encouraged my imagination to mingle with academia. This has manifested throughout my life in both hands-on ways – whether it be taking apart printers and O2 saturation monitors, or dissecting fruit fly brains – and in more cerebral approaches – through my passion for distilling scientific questions down into each working part and building it back up from there.
My earliest experience with teaching did not start out in an academic setting; I first began with instructing piano and tennis. Many of the tennis students I worked with all had some sort of developmental or learning difference and I believe they are much of the reason why I learned to become a better academic tutor. I believe that too often in larger educational settings, and especially with how our education system is currently set up, that we prescribe to a “one size fits all” mentality. I learned from my tennis students that every single individual learns and processes information in different ways and that it is incredibly important to understand, appreciate, and cater to these differences.
Too often in middle and high school I was seeing my classmates fall behind in classes because the way they processed information was not the same way teachers were presenting it. This unfortunately led to some of my peers either not developing an interest in certain subject matter that they deemed too difficult, or led to them becoming disheartened and losing interest and confidence in subjects they were previously excited about. As someone who is a complete (and proud) nerd I decided that academic tutoring was a great way for me to try and share my love of the STEM field with others while also being able to cater to individuals through one-on-one tutoring.
This affinity for helping students grasp information they were previously struggling with followed me to Lewis & Clark College where I earned my BA in biology, concentrated in chemistry and neuroscience. In college, I continued to tutor high school and fellow college students, worked as a teacher’s assistant in several biology and physics classes, and even took up the resident biologist position for my study abroad experience in New Zealand that was focused on science communication. Going to a small liberal arts college further solidified my opinion that teaching is most effective when students are able to work in settings where they have more direct access to their instructors and where their instructors are able to take the time to truly care about each student.
I believe that teaching is most effective when it is personalized to each individual’s learning style and goals, when it imparts knowledge about varying study and organizational skills that can be applied to all subjects, and when it instills within the student confidence in themselves and understanding the importance of holding a growth mindset. When all of these aspects are kept in mind, they can culminate to make students not only perform well on the immediate subjects at hand, but also turn them into lifelong learners.
In my free time, I can often be found doing kickboxing or yoga, engaging in music in some capacity (either listening or playing), watching documentaries or stand-up comedy specials, or enjoying the outdoors either by hiking or reading on the beach.