I have a Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Microbiology from Portland State University (Portland, OR) with an emphasis on Genetics and Biochemistry. I hope to one day obtain my Masters in Microbiology. After completion of my degree, I moved back to Houston where I have worked as a Project Manager for a corporate design firm where I have been able to apply some of the basic laws of science to help my crews work more efficiently.
While obtaining my degree, I tutored several fellow students in a variety of subjects, such as Organic Chemistry, Cell Biology and Genetics. I was also a member of several student organizations that worked with local high school students where I served as a mentor and tutor to several students. I have a passion for science, so I am very comfortable with several areas of science such as Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Meteorology (weather) and Astronomy. My style of tutoring is very simple, yet effective. I make sure my students understand the basics of the subject and build from there. I also look into their study habits and try to find the main reason why he/she needs help. Then, I focus on ensuring my students become a true master of their domain, to truly understand the reasoning of the material, and not just the "what".
Portland State University - B.S., Microbiology
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that all students should fully comprehend the material, not just memorize the answers. I want them to understand why something happens and reason through the next step to truly master their material.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First session, I focus on getting to know the students. What are their hobbies, likes, dislikes, study habits, and overall goals? I use this first meeting to "break the ice" and create a leaning system that will work for their unique personality and skill set.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I have found that most students do not have go
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Keeping a student motivated can be challenging, but I focus on their progress and accomplishments. I will push them to find links between what they are learning and how it applies to their everyday lives.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Challenging subjects create challenges on their own. I will break down the problem into smaller pieces so we can identify what is really giving the student issues. I will also use various examples to simplify the problem. The reality is the problem is only as difficult as the student makes it, so I use this mantra to demonstrate how all problems have solutions.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I like to tackle this by going back to basics and breaking down the material. Take small sections and dissect them into main parts. Look at the questions at the end of the problems before reading to create a course of action.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I like to use humor and real-world examples to aid in my tutoring. Many students have the idea of "When am I ever going to use this?," and I like to answer this with everyday situations in their lives. It puts things into perspective and allows them to see the answer to their own questions.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Chemistry is a subject that many don't find exciting until they realize how fascinating it can be. Because of chemistry, they have a cell phone, a home with colors and textures, a family vehicle, a pet and plants that need them to survive. Chemistry allows for a messy room, perfect hair and the best beauty supplies, along with clean clothes. It's all about finding that right angle that allows the student to see the subject in a different light, and then it doesn't seem so difficult.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I will take small breaks in the session to ask the student "why" or "what" just happened in the material. I will ask them to give me an example, along with an explanation of their reasoning.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Building confidence will come over time with success. As the student continues to find outside examples that coincide with the subject, they will become more comfortable, and then I build challenges to test and fortify their knowledge. The confidence will come naturally and from within the student, not from me giving a false sense of security.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I start by asking the parents about the student's study habits, learning skills and past. I then ask the student to tell me their strengths and weaknesses, from which I can usually tell when they are honest with me. After a session or two, I usually have a very good idea of where I need to focus my efforts with the student.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Every student is different and they all have different needs. I will determine what the problem areas are and focus on building those skills. As I become more familiar with the student, I'll adjust my tutoring style to use their strengths in order to build up their weaknesses.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use my tablet for reference apps, paper tablets, pencils, pens and my imagination. I believe in simplicity and reasoning, not gimmicks or gadgets.