I am a graduate of Kentucky Wesleyan College. I received my Bachelor of Sciences in biology and chemistry with a focus in biochemistry. Since graduation, I have accomplished extensive research at the University of Colorado School of Medicine Division of Infectious Disease. My research focus is associated with HIV infection. My tutoring experience began in my undergraduate years where I tutored nearly every science class I took. I then continued my tutoring career for two years after graduating working predominately with upper level math and science for high school students. While I tutor a broad range of subjects, I am most passionate about cellular biology and biochemistry. One of my strengths as a tutor is not only in describing difficult information in an easy to understand way, but also in giving students the study tools necessary to succeed in the sciences. In my spare time I enjoy reading, ice hockey, and exercising.
Kentucky Wesleyan College - BS, Biology/Chemistry
What is your teaching philosophy?
I use the Socratic method for teaching. In utilizing this method I engage students with questions and exciting examples to ensure material is not memorized, but is truly understood.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I like to build rapport with the student in order to understand how they learn. In doing this, I can tailor each learning session for each student to ensure no time is wasted and all material is mastered.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I have a lot of experience tutoring students. Most of my success has stemmed from teaching students how to learn to stay organized. I start with showing them how to use a textbook. It sounds like a strange concept, but a shocking number of students do not know how to read a textbook correctly. This, coupled with proper organization practices, is how I help students become independent learners.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation is difficult, especially in subjects they are struggling with. I find working diligently to get students to the eureka moment is pivotal to keep them motivated. Once this point is reached, they typically get excited about learning the subjects and stay motivated to do well in their courses.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I use several different approaches to learning and present the information through different mediums to help the student understand difficult skills and concepts. These may be through reading, drawing, videos, and interactive software. I believe there is no subject too difficult for any student to understand.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading is a skill just like any other skill. It takes a lot of practice if it does not come easily. Many students think they should get high marks in reading comprehension just because they know how to read. It takes practice to get to the level each student desires. In conjunction with practice, there are a few tips as well that help such as reading slower, taking notes, using a finger to track your place, and many more.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The first and most important strategy when working with a new student is determining what their strengths and weaknesses are. If they are unorganized and highly motivated, we need to correct how unorganized they are, so they can reach their full potential. Every student has weaknesses they need to work on, and I have a lot of experience correcting these issues.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I find that using real world examples helps frame the reason for studying certain topics. Many students say, "I get it, but why do I have to learn it?" Explaining the real world application of calculus, polymer based chemistry, and biological mechanisms will engage the student and generate an excitement to learn every topic.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I utilize several different techniques, including drawing out problems, watching helpful videos, practicing problems, and ensuring every student has the resources and understanding to become an independent learner.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Confidence comes from understanding topics. Through practicing problems and getting them correct, a student builds confidence and understanding. This confidence then correlates with higher test scores. Many students are not confident because they are concerned about their mastery of the subject at hand. I ensure students leave each session with the tools and confidence to continue their studies and achieve the highest marks possible.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Every student is different, but by building rapport with each and every student, I get an idea of what kind of student they are, what they struggle with, how they feel about the subject, and most importantly how they learn. By getting to know the student, I am able to truly evaluate their specific needs.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I have a lot of experience working with many different kinds of students. Utilizing this experience and know-how, I am able to adapt my lesson plan to each and every student. I cannot stress how important it is to build rapport with a student to ensure they are comfortable and have a tailored lesson plan just for them.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I always start with the student's notes and their textbook. I show the students where the teachers get their information and where they should too. I also utilize creative videos, interactive software, and other fun learning tools to engage every student.