Hey, Kiley! Thanks for talking with us! So, where are you from originally?
Tarzana, CA (a.k.a. “The Valley”).
Your educational background is pretty diverse! Where did you go to college?
I did my undergrad at UC San Diego, where I majored in Spanish and minored in Film History & Criticism. For grad school, I went to the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and received my M.S. in Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition.
How did you get your start in teaching?
I started teaching in college as a volunteer reading tutor at an elementary school and then as an online algebra tutor. I then worked with a small start-up company where I helped mentor military personnel, through a combination of phone tutoring and self-study as they prepared for algebra CLEP exams to earn an associate’s degree while deployed around the world.
After that, I substitute taught math and chemistry at a small alternative high school. Through a dynamic learning center I was able to tutor elementary, middle, and high school students one-on-one to provide after-school support in compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act. I also used a tutorial approach to teach one-on-one high school courses, issuing grades through a local high school. The most challenging part was teaching one student her entire 11th and 12th grade years!
What subjects do you teach at Rowland Heights?
I teach SAT & PSAT Writing and Critical Reading, which will soon become Writing & Language and Reading on the Redesigned SAT. I'm also a Site Director for the Elite Community Scholars Program. I teach SAT Math and lead College Application Workshops with ECS.
For all the reasons. I get to be surrounded by respectful and dedicated students, highly effective teachers, and an endlessly supportive and friendly staff. Most importantly, I get to help students recognize their strengths and transform their weaknesses as I guide them along a path that will positively affect the rest of their lives.
What makes Elite students special?
They're well-rounded. They develop cognitive endurance, test-taking skills, effective study habits, team work, and subject-specific knowledge (to name a few). They're also fortunate to have a caring support system cheering them on. When my students succeed, I'm so excited for them! I know they’ve not only chosen to learn something new, but also gained new self-confidence, which hopefully leads to more success. It’s a beautiful cycle.
What do you get up to when you're not teaching?
I’m always looking for a good book, a good movie, or a good boba place. I also like going on hikes with my dog Timmy.
Can you recommend any good music for studying?
That probably has to be a personal choice. Let’s see . . . people often say classical. I’d say anything but a lullaby, probably? Something that feels good and resonates with an energized, yet focused mind.
If you could only give your students one study tip, what would it be?
Have fun! Or at least have a positive attitude. If studying is boring, or a chore, it is much less likely to be effective. Besides, who doesn’t want to have fun?