As an older sister to three younger siblings, Alex Randazzo gained a majority of her experience in working with children through her family. She realized her passion early on and turned that into her purpose. “My aspiration is to help people through direct interactions in order to make a positive impact on their lives and use that human interaction to make a difference wherever I can,” she says.
Alex has recently graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Science degree concentrated in Health Sciences and a concentration in Psychology, which she states has enabled her to better understand her students, making their academics more enjoyable and easier for them.
She grew up playing soccer and running, and has always been drawn to children. She had prior tutoring experience with both high school and college students before joining Neuron Education.
“I think a lot of it is about perspective,” she explains when asked about her motivation behind tutoring. “Having a unique perspective on receiving different forms of education has equipped me with exploring various ways in which children and people learn in general, and thus to offer a new perspective on different ways to learn, especially for children who aren’t doing well in what they are trying to understand.”
Randazzo has been tutoring three students at Neuron Education, one of whom she has worked with for a year and a half.
“Her progress in reading comprehension, language, grammar, and spelling has been astounding. The child’s development and grades have been very impressive, to the point where she no longer feels the need for an instructor, which is the goal,” she describes the performance of the student with whom she has worked for more than a year. “The goal is to work with a child and help them to the point where they can take control of their learning.”
The girl’s father expressed his delight at how comfortable and self-confident his daughter has become with her studies, and expressed his eagerness to see how she will fare on her own. Randazzo had also assisted her in preparing for a state-wide Massachusetts exam.
Randazzo begins her teaching by getting to know the student and letting the student get to know her. She uses trial and error activities to determine which ones the child engages with most so she can apply them in future sessions. For example, she may create math mazes to help students understand the mathematical formulas they’ve been struggling with.
She defined her breakthrough moments as having children understand something which they didn’t understand when they first started out. “I worked with a child on basic spelling in English grammar, focusing on the areas which are not intelligible but purely memorization. One week I started our session to find that everything she had been taught the week before, she had retained on her own, which was a significant breakthrough,” she says.
One of her most successful activities is allowing students to make their own stories and share them with her. “I have the children create stories as it helps them to engage with the details of the story they are telling me. As a result, they understand how to compose a story, putting together different paragraphs, making it easier for them to answer questions about a story they’ve created.”
She also noted about currently expanding the students’ focus to subjects like social studies and sciences and seeing their progress in them.
Randazzo further shared her excitement at the prospect of starting to work for a consulting firm in Columbus, Ohio, where she will be exposed to more human interaction.
“I hope to help the children retain knowledge that is not tied to memorization and is based on a skill of comprehending and interpreting what they’re learning and helping them come to certain conclusions,” she says of her future goals. “My goal in a year from now is to begin working on general learning habits, general practices, and ways to approach assessments for the children.”