“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” – Jackie Robinson
Looking back at that certificate I received in the 8th grade, I thought to myself, “I would NEVER come back to school to do any teaching!” I aspired to be a world-famous engineer, doctor, or lawyer (whichever one came first), make my millions, and hopefully retire at 30 (silly, isn’t it?). Fast forward to 2019, I find myself passionate about teaching now more than ever. How could that be? Allow me to explain.
I’m Siri (cue the iphone jokes), a Chicago native, born and raised in the Bronzeville and South Loop community. I’ve spent my formative years immersed in the world of math and science, first with my father (who was a civil engineer) giving a tour of his office and showing my brothers and I some of his famous projects, and then my mother teaching me basic math and science concepts before I started grade school. Those experiences initially led me to pursue a career in civil engineering; however, as I progressed through university and deciphered what I want to contribute to the world, I discovered that education is my true calling. Today, my new dream centers on assisting the youth of Chicago to live better lives for themselves by helping them attain academic and professional success.
My journey started when I was in my high school algebra II class. After I was finished with my classwork, My teachers would employ me to assist the other students when the teacher could not get to them. My teacher remarked that he relied on me daily to be a teaching assistant and noticed that I had the superb skill of processing information quickly and teaching it to others in a way that could be understood by all. He even admitted to me that all students who have worked with me have improved their grades. I initially brushed this off as a fluke, but when I arrived at university, I realized that it may not be a fluke after all.
My journey continued when I was a freshman in university. My floormate was an international student, and although he took a rigorous mathematics curriculum in his hometown, he forgot many of the fundamentals and reached out to me to help him with his calculus homework and prepare for exams. He would inform me about the topics that he was studying in class beforehand, and I would formulate my own notes, prepare lessons from my notes, and explain the lesson from start to finish. Afterwards, we would complete practice problems from his textbook. To make sure he did not forget the previous lesson, I would conduct a brief 10 minute recap lesson before each new tutoring session.
I did this 3 nights a week for 13 weeks. Of course, he passed the class with flying colors. It was then that I realized that I had a knack for tutoring and decided to pursue several part-time tutoring gigs during university to hone my skills and support myself. After I finished tutoring each student, I noticed how positive and confident they were in themselves. They felt that they could take on anything and were one step closer to getting an honor-roll badge, an acceptance letter from a top-tier university, or their dream job because of my efforts. But that did not seal the deal for me to pursue tutoring as a full-time career.
In 2017, I had a unique opportunity to take an interprofessional course at my university, a program which brings students from different academic disciplines to remedy a real problem in the community; the theme was economic development in Chicago. My team decided to focus on the impact education has on economic development. While conducting research, we discovered that the youths graduating from Chicago’s high schools are unemployable at a time when businesses are demanding skilled workers. As a result, 70% of youth in Chicago are unemployed, and thus, crime is on the rise. The area that we focused on was the reduction of youth unemployment, an increase in skilled job placement, and a reduction in crime.
As my team talked to several business owners, students, and local residents, we discovered that there was a lack of fundamental academic skills (i.e reading, quantitative skills, and written/oral expression), technical skills (i.e carpentry, coding, computer drafting), and professional skills (i.e., punctuality, proper English, work ethic, etc.) among many of the youth. As a result, our team decided to implement a course that promotes academic achievement, technical jobs and professional development and work etiquette.
Through this real-world example and my mentoring experience, I was able to clearly visualize the impact a quality education has on someone’s academic and career opportunities, which I can personally attest to. I’d spent many hours tutoring and coaching high school students, but only after this project did I realize that I wanted to continue to inspire the students of tomorrow to achieve their goals in school, career, and beyond. I hope that I can inspire you or your child to achieve their dreams beyond my tutoring expertise.
If you would like to know about my qualifications, click my resume below. If you want to work with me as your tutor, contact me so we can discuss more.
Math & Physics Tutor
Dec 2018 – Present
- Plan lessons in the subjects students are learning from personal notes formulated.
- Assess students to evaluate their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.
- Teach students in 1-on-1 tutoring sessions.
- Work with individual students to challenge them, to improve their abilities, and to work on their weaknesses.
- Prepare students for standardized tests via mock exams and homework.
- Hours worked per week: 2
ACT/SAT Prep Tutor
Aug 2018 – Present
- Travel to students’ homes, libraries, and schools to conduct tutoring sessions.
- Teach students study skills, note-taking skills, and test-taking strategies.
- Prepare lesson plans or learning modules for tutoring sessions according to students’ needs and goals.
- Research or recommend textbooks, software, equipment, and other learning materials to complement tutoring.
- Hours worked per week: 4
Better Together Educator Collaboration
Aug 2018 – Present
- Prepare and facilitate tutoring workshops, collaborative projects, and academic support sessions for groups of 10-15 students.
- Review class material with students by discussing the text, working solutions to problems, and reviewing worksheets or other assignments.
- Collaborate with students, parents, and counselors to determine student needs, develop tutoring plans, and assess student progress
- Hours worked per week: 4
Ada S. Mckinley Tutoring
Aug 2018 – Sept 2018
- Assist with maths and sciences and prep for Geometry, Trigonometry, Arithmetic, and common core.
- Provide individualized learning assistance to students with LDs such as ADHD and Executive Functioning.
- Help students develop study skills and organization techniques to help improve their academic performance.
A Walk For Education: National Society of Black Engineers
Oct 2016 – Present
- Provided free homework assistance for 4 middle school students in algebra, English composition, and general sciences.
- Provided expertise on college, scholarship information, and SAT/ACT preparation tools.
- Hosted engineering workshops to explain engineering concepts using physical models and computer-aided design.
Freelance Writing Editor
Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship
Sep 2014 – May 2015
- Consulted with students to develop story and content ideas for high school and college admission essays according to the student’s style and editorial requirements.
- Conducted mock college admission interviews to prepare students in the admission process.
- Read content and correct spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors.
- Rewrite text to make it easier for readers to understand.
- English: 34
- English Language And Composition: 4
Environmental Science: 4
US History: 3
Spanish Language And Composition: 3
* Recipient of AP Scholar Award