Tutor Spotlight Series

Spotlight #4:

Melissa Flaherty

Three fun facts about me:

  • I have been working with a wide range of children for 20+ years in various settings

  • Although I have a wonderful older sister, I am a triplet

  • I taught myself how to play the ukulele and use it to sometimes relax

"What inspired you to join COVE as a tutor?"

I started at COVE as a means to gain credit for a field study and stayed on because I love working with my awesome tutee and her equally awesome family!

"How do you integrate educational technology & promising practices into your teaching?"

Education is so important to me and I think should be prioritized in general on every level by individuals and within society as a whole. Covid had taught us the need for preparedness. While technology has impacted us in general as it continues to evolve and open the doorway to new opportunities in teaching and learning, the pandemic has shown us how important it is that we refine or use of technology, not just as a back up but to supplement the important lessons and teaching strategies we provide as teachers. I plan to integrate technology in my future classroom in many facets and for many purposes. I plan to use it to address and support the needs of exceptional learners, to reach students remotely when circumstances call for teachers and/or students to be home, to maintain contact with families and am already utilizing it here at cove to support my tutee In math and ELA.

Spotlight #3:

Amanda Lee

Three fun facts about me:

  • I studied engineering at Carnegie Mellon for my undergrad but am now looking to get into a research career studying immuno-oncology!

  • I enjoy running

  • I love to cook

"What inspired you to join COVE as a tutor?"

I believe that education is a critical part of empowerment- whether that be in speaking up for yourself and on behalf of others, creating career opportunities, or understanding the world around you. It has the potential to break cycles of inequality and help people understand what they want from life. COVE is an organization that not only focuses on providing support and mitigating educational inequalities, but that also empowers students to take charge of their own education. They make sure to put the student at the forefront in deciding how and what they’d like to learn. While our time with our students is short, I can see how this approach can carry far beyond our COVE sessions into the rest of their education. I have learned so much and have really appreciated my time with COVE.

"How do you integrate educational technology & promising practices into your teaching?"

My student was pretty young, so technology helped me introduce variety into our lesson plans. Using the annotate function on Zoom, we’d first warm-up briefly by walking through a lesson on a blank document, then fill out worksheets to practice the concept. After I felt like my student mastered the concept, we then would play some games online to reinforce it. One of my student’s favorites was “Multiplication Memory”. Afterwards, we would do a couple of challenge problems. One tenet of COVE’s that we really enjoyed was listening to her (my student’s) needs and letting her interests guide the lessons. I would check in and see what she thought could be added to a certain activity to make it more enjoyable. Some of our best bonding and learning moments were going off the cuff, such as adding to existing word problems or coming up with our own games.

Spotlight #2:

Esther Kim

Three fun facts about me:

  • I’m from Queens

  • I'm a senior at the University of Michigan studying Biopsychology Cognitive Neuroscience

  • I love my cat and my dog!

"What inspired you to join COVE as a tutor?"

I wanted to spend my summer meaningfully and I had some extra time outside of my research job. My friend told me about COVE and I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to give back to my community! I figured if online learning was challenging for me, zoom education must have taken an extra toll on younger students. I hope I helped my student understand ELA skills in preparation for the next school year.

"How do you integrate educational technology & promising practices into your teaching?"

Since our tutoring sessions were online, I had to be a little more creative with our lessons. Since my primary tool was PowerPoint, I decided to use Google Drive as the vehicle for our lessons. I collected practice tests, worksheets and created lesson plans in our tutoring folder. I converted all the materials into a format where my student could access it conveniently and easily (such as converting it to allow him to type directly on the worksheet). I also wanted to give my student a break in between work so I found games compatible with Zoom like Where’s Waldo, Zoom-in Picture Jeopardy and I-SPY. I would often play his favorite song of the week while he played a short mini game. After the break he would be a lot more responsive and more open to continue learning. I wanted to make sure that our sessions would be fruitful in learning and encourage cheerful engagement.

Spotlight #1:

Chima Ezeh

Three fun facts about me:

  • I attend Columbia University

  • I play basketball

  • I live in the San Francisco Bay Area

"What inspired you to join COVE as a tutor?"

I wanted to volunteer for a nonprofit where I could share my love for learning and give back to underserved communities around campus. COVE is exactly that!

"How do you integrate educational technology & promising practices into your teaching?"

Because qualitative concepts often require visualization, whereas quantitative concepts require practice, I use Google slides to teach qualitative concepts and Notability on my iPad (hand-written instruction) to teach quantitative concepts. Through the “Transition” feature on Google slides, I can animate images to depict processes, like chemical experiments. Through the "Share Screen" feature on Zoom, my tutee can write at the same speed as I’m writing on my iPad and, thus, follow along with the class material more easily.