I am a rising sophomore at Kenyon College, a small liberal arts school an hour out of Columbus, Ohio, majoring in Philosophy. It is difficult to identify a specialty of mine because I have worked with students from 1st grade through high school on topics ranging from elementary science to trigonometry test prep, but my foremost strength is the three sections of the SAT. I have roughly three years of experience tutoring and last year taught a test prep class. My approach to tutoring is to identify a student’s strengths and build upon them through frequent quizzes and reflective analysis. Additionally, having just gone through the college admissions process, I am privy to its length and complexity so can lend advice on anything, namely essays. I have plenty of experience writing and have been published in a local newspaper. While I think math is the easiest subject for me to teach, writing and writing skills are my favorite to teach because to see a writer’s progress is an extraordinary sight and, further, challenge.
Kenyon College - BA, Philosophy
SAT Composite: 2330
SAT Math: 770
SAT Verbal: 790
SAT Writing: 770
AP Calculus AB: 5
AP English Literature: 4
AP US History: 5
AP European History: 5
AP World History: 4
SAT Subject Test in Literature: 730
AP Macroeconomics: 4
AP Microeconomics: 4
AP U.S. Government & Politics: 5
AP Art History: 5
10th Grade Math
10th Grade Writing
11th Grade Math
11th Grade Writing
12th Grade Math
12th Grade Writing
1st Grade Math
1st Grade Writing
2nd Grade Math
2nd Grade Writing
3rd Grade Math
3rd Grade Writing
4th Grade Math
4th Grade Writing
5th Grade Math
5th Grade Writing
6th Grade Math
6th Grade Writing
7th Grade Math
7th Grade Writing
8th Grade Math
8th Grade Writing
9th Grade Math
9th Grade Writing
AP US History
College Level American History
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Writing
High School English
High School Level American History
High School Writing
HSPT Language Skills Prep
HSPT Math Prep
HSPT Quantitative Prep
HSPT Reading Prep
HSPT Verbal Prep
Middle School Writing
SAT Subject Tests Prep
What is your teaching philosophy?
Play to the student's strengths. For the math-oriented student, linguistic problems should be explained in terms of a formula. For the linguistics-oriented student, math problems should be explained in terms of their readability. Subjects aren't as regimented as they may seem.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Besides introductions, we discuss the student's strengths and weaknesses. From there (depending on what's being taught) I like to give a diagnostic test in order to try to understand what the student might not even know about him- or herself. Additionally, I believe the session should be not so much my instruction as our discussion.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Teach them the rewards of curiosity. Once a student recognizes what he or she stands to gain--both intellectually and personally--from curiosity, "independent" learning simply becomes "fun" learning.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Neither build them up nor break them down. The student ought to be reminded that he or she is neither the best nor the worst at what he or she is doing.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Repetition. However, by this I don't mean that something should be gone over again and again and again; rather, ideas should be reinforced through frequent, spaced out "quizzes." Studies show that constant quizzing/testing is the ultimate teacher.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Generally, the student just should stop thinking so hard. The student should let the reading talk to them, and not vice versa. The student should understand that even without extended analysis, he or she should simply "feel" something from the reading.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Have a consistent schedule, encourage a dialogue, make jokes, demonstrate interest in the student's instruction, and don't forget to have fun teaching.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Emphasize the challenge of it all. If there were no struggle to overcome, learning would be the most boring practice of all time. But the sheer existence of an intellectual obstacle provides the student with motivation, and further, interest.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Approach the material from different perspectives. If the student has been effortlessly solving extensive word problems that involve finding probability, perhaps see if the student understands the idea behind probability by using it to predict future outcomes.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Start with the easy stuff and gradually move to more difficult questions. However, the student should be encouraged, not built up. While the student should feel smart about his or her ability, he or she should recognize that there are always harder problems to solve.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Identify the student's strengths. Next to the student's skills, his or her needs identify themselves, and the strengths can often be used to counteract those needs.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Constant evaluation. You have to notice the little things. Has the student been looking interestedly at me during instruction, or is he or she gazing into the distance? Is the student doing as well as he or she can, or am I not communicating properly? These are the hints a good tutor heeds.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
It depends on the subject. For test prep I like official guides, whereas for course teaching I typically prefer a textbook.