Meet the Tutor: Eileen B.
College: Clarion University of Pennsylvania
College Major: Secondary Education Social Studies with a concentration in History
Subjects Tutored: Elementary Science and Social Studies
How Long with Tutor.com: 3 years
Favorite Book: Wuthering Heights
Favorite Movie: The Patriot
Favorite High School Class: Biology
Bringing passion and humor to science and history
Eileen might spend her days tirelessly working to help students better understand their science and social studies homework, but at home, her kids insist that she looks like she's having too much fun to be working—and her six-year-old tells people that she spends most of her time playing on the computer.
"I find it totally funny because I don't play Internet games, but he has seen me with students on the whiteboard and I guess that's what it looks like to him!" says Eileen, a 36-year-old science and history tutor.
No Two Tutoring Sessions Are Alike
She might not be playing games, but Eileen is definitely having fun tutoring for Tutor.com. "I really look forward to tutoring," says Eileen. "Normally when you've done the same work for a few years, sometimes you feel like you're in a routine, it gets boring and you kind of dread going to work. I have never, ever had those feelings. I know that I do the same thing every day, but it's always different. The questions are different. I never feel like, 'Oh, no. I have to work.'"
Eileen recalls learning—and sometimes struggling with—the same concepts that her students are often grappling with. This really shapes her tutoring, she says. "In science, say, I'll get questions about parts of plants and animal cells. I remember having trouble with figuring out what was a plant cell and what was an animal cell. Kids come on, and they know the parts, but they're not sure if they're a plant cell or an animal cell. It makes me think, 'This is exactly what I went through!'"
After getting a BA in secondary education from Clarion University, Eileen spent several years teaching history at the junior high and high school levels before she decided she'd rather work one-to-one with students in a tutoring situation.
Turning Chemistry and History Into Adventures
Her most devoted students however are her sons—who are six, seven, and nine. They might not be fully aware of the attention and priceless help that their mom has been giving to Tutor.com users over the last four years, but that doesn't mean they're not keyed into her ability to make science and history seem exciting and alive. Weekends, she can often be found doing science projects with her sons (they recently made a tornado inside of a soda bottle), discussing the chemistry of baking while making a cake, or else going on field trips to one of the many historic sites located near their home in South Connellsville, PA. Vacations are often a time for family visits to Pennsylvania landmarks like Fort Necessity, the site of the first battle in the Seven Years' War, or to Gettysburg, home of the famous Civil War battle.
Learning about history by visiting nearby landmarks is a family tradition. "I'd have to blame that on my parents—they were always taking us around to historic sites and stuff when we were kids," she says. "There's so much around here that you can see that just kind of makes it all seem alive."
"The most important thing that I've learned with my own kids is that all kids are different," she says. "What works for my oldest son, it never works for my middle son. They just have very different learning styles. So I've learned to adjust my approach to suit the student."
If she's not tutoring, Eileen is often working as a mentor observing other Tutor.com tutors' sessions to make sure that they are using the best techniques possible to help each individual student.
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