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PrepNow Tutor - Joan L.

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Joan's Bio

Joan holds a BA in biology from the University of Pennsylvania and an MS in biology and post-baccalaureate teaching certificate from West Chester University. Early in her career, she worked at the University of Pennsylvania in the department of radiation oncology as a research specialist, performing various biochemical experiments that studied the effects of the Bowman-Birk protease inhibitor on the transformation of normal epithelial cells. She co-authored several papers as a result of this research. “My experiences have given me the ability to organize information, problem-solve, and communicate effectively with my students and colleagues,” she says. Joan resigned from research to pursue her career in education and has worked as a science teacher for over ten years.

Joan first engaged in education when she was raising her family and volunteered to help elementary students with reading and writing. She loved the work so much it led her to pursue her high school teaching certificate in biology. She has gone on to teach various science courses, including human anatomy and physiology, marine biology, integrated science, zoology, and more. As an instructor, Joan has prepared students extensively for both state and AP exams, guiding those who need additional instruction on concepts that they might encounter on the tests. “I love to tutor test prep because I want to help students obtain their goals,” she says. “I’m excited to help students with learning about the test, setting a score goal, becoming organized, making a study plan, and identifying challenges and how to solve them.” In addition to her science expertise, Joan is a strong math tutor with a comprehensive background in the subject. “I know that math can be a difficult subject for some students and students learn in different ways,” she says. “I always start with what the student already knows and build on this foundation so the student can experience success.”

When tutoring, Joan believes in a student-centered approach as it allows students to take control of their learning, which gives them a sense of ownership and responsibility. “I act as a facilitator and an instructor. I direct the students and teach strategies that help them find the answer to any question on their own,” she says. “I guide the student when certain concepts become difficult to master and engage them in active learning.” This approach lets Joan's students know that they don’t need her permission to do what works for them, as long as their solution gets them to the correct answer. “The ability for a student to be able to take responsibility for their learning and understanding is a skill they will need to be successful in college as well as any aspect of life,” Joan adds.

As a student, Joan played field hockey and was on the bowling and skiing teams. In graduate school, she received honorable excellence in academic coursework. She loves gardening, painting, biking, mountain climbing, and traveling. She manages a horse farm, which includes training, riding, and other stable activities. “I like to take pictures of my family and friends along with my animals which include three geckos, a snake, and a Russian tortoise,” she shares.

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