Thank You For Being Such A Vital Part Of Our Team, Charlotte. We Look Forward To Sharing More About You So Others Can Get To Know You Better!
Tell us a bit about your backstory and what lead you down your current life path.
I grew up in Mamaroneck, New York, nestled right between NYC and Connecticut. In high school, I discovered a passion for mathematics that eventually led me to get my Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Chicago. When I went back to New York on school breaks, I worked at the National Museum of Mathematics, helping kids learn to see math not as a boring school subject, but as an exciting and creative field of study. During the semester, I would tutor K-12 students who lived in Hyde Park, and upon graduating, I decided to pursue tutoring as a career. I now live in Davis, California and tutor full time!
What or who inspired you to pursue your career?
My time at the National Museum of Mathematics was incredibly influential. Though I was first hired to work in the gift shop, I was also trained to work as an interpreter, which meant I was on the museum floor explaining the math behind each exhibit. It was the first job I had after high school, and my coworkers were mostly educators or people pursuing degrees in higher mathematics. From them, I learned how to synthesize high-level information so that it would be understandable to a child, or to a parent who hadn’t thought about math in years. I also saw, firsthand, the educational value of tactile exploration and dialogue. The museum also inspired me to take up origami, which is one of my favorite art forms to this day— when I first moved to Davis, I even attended a meeting of a local origami club at the library! I would not be the person or educator I am today without MoMath.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Lindsey Wander from WorldWise Tutoring has done so much for me as a tutor. I have worked for other companies, but none of them offer nearly as much support and education for their tutors as she does. Her executive functioning tools are incredible— not only do I love to use them with students, but when my friends are feeling overwhelmed, I encourage them to use her 15-minute daily planner to orient themselves. She provides us with an extraordinary amount of resources and goes above and beyond to make sure that the tutor, the student, and the family are all working together. The positive effects of the kind of support she provides cannot be overstated. WorldWise is an excellent company and I am very proud to work with them!
What do you enjoy most about teaching/tutoring?
I love watching students become more confident over time! Students are often apologetic and hesitant to ask questions when they first begin tutoring, and it is my job as a tutor to make sure they understand that our sessions are a safe space for them to advocate for their needs. As students start to open up, they become more comfortable taking time on certain concepts to make sure they fully understand them. They will start to be more confident in their abilities to bring the skills they’ve worked on in our sessions to their independent work. I am so proud of my students when they ask me to explain a problem a different way, or come to me with a half-done assignment and explain their specific mental block. I feel like I’ve not only helped them with their coursework but also helped them develop an important life skill.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to crochet. It’s probably a hobby of mine that takes up the majority of my time. I learned how about a year and a half ago, and I haven’t stopped since. It’s very fun to be able to make your own clothes! In addition, I also love spending time outside and making sure to go for a walk or run in the park a few times a week. I’m also a very big fan of yoga. One thing that’s very important to me is helping people in my community, so I’ve been volunteering with an organization that provides homeless people with food and other essentials. Other than that, I love to sit home and read while hanging out with my cats, Muriel and Stella!
If you were granted three wishes, what would they be and why?
- I would like a cat toy that will not break, no matter how hard my cats try.
- I would like for every library to have every book available in every possible format. I love to listen to audiobooks!
- I would like for every student to be well-rested, well-fed, and given time off when they are sick, and I would like for all accommodations to be met without hassle. The things students learn in school are important, and I want nothing to get in the way of that learning.
Is there something exciting you are working on now, Charlotte? What is it and why did you choose to start it?
Recently, I’ve begun to study for the Law School Admissions Test. I want to expand my test prep repertoire as a tutor. The LSAT is a very interesting test and is a very important factor in law school admissions in part because it’s an incredibly predictive test. In preparing to sit for the test, I’ve learned a lot about cognition and test-taking. It also reminded me what it’s like to prepare for a test, something I haven’t had to do in a couple of years. It’s definitely helped me relate to my test prep students more!
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? What is it and why did it resonate with you?
My favorite book as a kid was the Percy Jackson series, and that book series has stayed with me to this day. The main character has ADHD and dyslexia, and that kind of representation of learning disabilities was enormously important. A lot of my friends also liked the books, and we spent a lot of time discussing our favorite characters and the connections between the plot of the book and Greek mythology. Being able to connect to other kids through a shared love of reading helped me make some really great and supportive friends!
The road to success is difficult and requires tremendous dedication. What advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?
Take every opportunity given to you. Assume that every door is open to you. Never count yourself out or tell yourself, “this would help me, but it isn’t for me.” Take advantage of the resources provided by your school or community. Don’t hesitate to seek out the resources you need to succeed.
Charlotte, You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest number of people, what would that be?
The cause I’m most passionate about is helping people experiencing homelessness, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that everyone is housed. No one should be forgotten by society, yet the needs of the unhoused are neglected. People experiencing homelessness are regularly subjected to violence and disruption for simply existing as human beings with basic needs, like sleep, food, and shelter. In a society where rooms, apartments, and houses are empty, no one should have to go to sleep at night without a roof over their head; in a society where food is plentiful, no one should be going hungry. If I had the power to, I would eradicate any laws that unfairly target people experiencing homelessness, ensure that advocates for the homeless were able to provide services for them without interruption and try to get every unhoused person housing that gives them the privacy, security, and dignity they need to be happy and healthy members of society.