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Alexander

I am currently a student at Mt San Antonio College, working toward a degree in cognitive psychology. I have tutored students of all ages ranging from second grade to well into college. I really like teaching math and the sciences since everything is highly concrete: 2+2 will always equal 4 whether tomorrow or thousands of years into the future. There are also many different approaches to math many of which are correct, and it becomes a matter of preference to which method you like the most. I think education is the most important thing; it really serves as a mold for the rest of our lives. The better the education the better your life will be. I really enjoy helping students learn, helping them explore the subject and try to build a sensation that learning is fun, one that I hope they will carry with them through life.

Undergraduate Degree:

 Mt.SAC - Transfer, Psychology

Cooking, hiking, puzzles of all kinds, and gaming.

C++

CAHSEE Mathematics

College Biology

College Chemistry

College Computer Science

College English

Elementary School Math

High School Biology

High School Chemistry

High School Computer Science

High School English

Middle School Science

Other

Social Sciences

Technology and Computer Science

What is your teaching philosophy?

We are constantly learning from the world around us. It is my duty as an educator to explain or expand upon the fundamentals of the world.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

The first meeting is designed to understand the needs of the student. I start with the problems presented, and work my way backwards to understand where the deeper problem lies.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Creating a drive for learning is taking the world we live in and breaking it down. Everything around us, either natural or artificial, is a learning experience. Enabling the student to look at the world around them as a learning experience means they will never stop being curious about how things function.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Students that are put into a tutoring situation are already distraught. They don't understand the material presented to them and feel lesser than their classmates. Surrounding a student with lots of positivity, and making sure they feel confident with themselves and the answers they have gotten, is key to keeping them encouraged.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

There are many different ways to approach problems. I ask the student what methods they understand or prefer, and then build upon things they already understand. Then, I compare their perspective with the methods their primary educator uses.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Higher vocabulary functions as a tool to become more precise. Rather than have the student fully understand the depth of complicated words, I introduce a level of vagueness. This allows for more rapid processing of information, and allows the student to "catch up" to the rest of the class. Once they are caught up, we can begin to break down the words to derive their proper definition.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Students will be very hesitant to learn something they already struggle with. I explain what learning this material will help accomplish later in life, and why it is important, providing examples of problems that the student will eventually be able to solve. The key is breaking incredibly complex problems into simple parts that we can tackle together. I find this builds confidence in the student and a passion for understanding the material.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

Most students don't understand why they "have to" learn the material they are presented with. My goal is to understand the student's interests, relate them to the topic, and build from those interests.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

I seek the "Eureka" moment. When a student fully understands the topic, I could begin telling them a problem and they will immediately begin to solve it without guidance. Providing students with scenarios where they ask themselves questions that they think will be on the test ensures understanding of the topic, and preparedness for the test.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Breaking down a problem into simpler and simpler parts until the student absolutely knows they can solve that level of problem. Then, gradually working back up to the original problem typically helps them both understand the question and see that the problem is not as difficult as they initially thought.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Presenting the student with material that is at their level. Then, giving them an easier problem based on the same principals. Reshaping the question where all terms are understood and make sense to the student. I then work my way backwards until they tell me "this is the easiest thing I have ever done, why are you even asking me this easy question?" From there, I can expand upon the ideas in the problem, and increase the complexity.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

Every student is different and they all learn in different ways. It is my duty to understand what method they prefer, and structure my material around the individual student needs.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Notebooks, worksheets, visuals, and an adaptive lesson plan based on what I feel the student can accomplish in the time provided. As well as whatever else I feel is needed for the session.