During my high school career I was a paid tutor who effectively boosted grades in Mathematics and English. I was selected as a member of the World Youth Science Engineering Program on grounds of excellency for Mathematics and English. I have tutored underprivileged youth in multicultural non English speaking cities, notably for Communities in Schools in District 131 in Aurora, IL. I have received ACT Test scores in the 99th percentile and having innumerable leadership experience.
University of Southern California - BA, English
ACT Composite: 32
ACT English: 34
ACT Math: 32
ACT Reading: 34
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy is that every student is capable of success through their own specific style of learning and knowledge acquisition. I like to make a personal connection with students by way of helping them understand their learning needs and then approaching the material in such a way that can benefit them in and out of the classroom.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, I intend to address the student's goals. I like to make a list of everything they expect to accomplish in both the short-term and long-term such that our sessions can illuminate a course of progress and define our mutual success. Then, I would like to address the student's core concerns in order to best prepare for the work ahead. Optimally, this still leaves a great deal of time to get started on the material, and it allows me to better prepare for upcoming sessions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
My belief is that independent learning is the product of diligent note taking as well as a personal ideal of success. By helping students acquire info in a manageable way, I help them overcome issues of anxiety and self-doubt, which are often the greatest obstacles in the way of independent learning.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
In any situation where a student has had difficulty, I always rephrase the information in a way they find relatable. Small steps and breaking up the work make challenging issues seem less challenging, and I have always found success that way.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
On a phonics level, I help students sound out every word. I highly encourage students to underline any word that they don't know in a sentence and use context clues to discover its meaning. I also advise students to highlights parts of a passage that they find the most important and then develop a central idea. Based on their idea of the text, I encourage them to reread the passage and see how each sentence relates to their central idea of the text.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Starting work with a student hinges on a good relationship as well as a fundamental establishment of goals. In order for both of us to feel like we are making the most of our time, I prefer to set a series of goals ahead and make sure that we both feel prepared.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I find that real world application is the easiest way to entice a student to learn. Getting a student intrinsically attached to the material makes it much easier to comprehend, and I have found much success in my years of tutoring by having students connect to the material.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I have a personal system which is as follows: 1. What part of the assignment do you understand, and what part do you not understand? This is how I isolate the core issues. 2. Do you feel comfortable with the material after you have seen it from a new perspective? Do you feel like reasoning through the material with me is helpful? This is how I come to understand a student's learning style and engage in the bulk of the tutelage. I work through a series of assignments step by step with the student until he or she feels as though the issues of the past are no longer issues. 3. Can you solve an assignment on your own without assistance? This is a means of testing the progress in a low pressure scenario. Whether or not the student answers correctly is usually irrelevant, the core information is seeing what specifically a student has trouble with in a testing environment. This info allows me to really examine what the student needs help on, and it guides the course work ahead.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I believe in constant positive reinforcement. I have had numerous encounters with students ages 4-18, and in every case, I have found that by illustrating to a student what is successful, they are more confident moving forward.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I utilize a combination of asking and testing to see what a student has trouble understanding.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I find that every student has a learning style, so much of our early time is meant to find exactly how the student learns best. I run a series of tests that help me see how the student reacts to certain methods of teaching, which in turn makes all of the following sessions easier.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I always come prepared with a paper, pencil, red pen, laptop, and necessary course work for the tutelage.