The University of Kansas is my alma mater. I hold an undergraduate degree in Genetics from KU Lawrence, and I am earning a medical doctorate from KU Medical School. During my undergraduate studies, I was a teaching assistant for basic biology (BIOL 100) as well as the accompanying lab (BIOL 102) for two years. Teaching biology to students who were non-majors in biology was a rewarding learning experience (pun intended). Every student is different, and we all learn in different ways. I understand that different learning styles require different teaching styles, yet the most common approach leading to the road of success is identifying any weak areas and addressing them. I have had wonderful instructors who have done exactly that and have left a lasting impression on me; I know what it’s like to have amazing learning experiences, and I am passionate about leaving similar lasting impressions on my own students.
University of Kansas - BS, Genetics
University of Kansas Medical School - MD, Medicine
What is your teaching philosophy?
Different learning styles require different teaching styles. I try to assess the students' strengths and weaknesses, and I strengthen the weak points while refining the strong points. I attempt to do this while beginning at a basic starting point in the studies, then we work our way up to more challenging concepts.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I usually try to understand why the student is taking the course in the first place, and then I try to understand why he or she is in need of a tutor. For example, if the student is having trouble understanding a subject, we may have to focus on basic concepts first; if the student is versed in the subject and would like to sharpen his or her skills, we may decide to focus on the more advanced topics.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
There are many wonderful learning strategies I have learned in medical school. Some of these include repetition of important concepts, drawing diagrams to "see the whole picture," and quizzing myself as I study. I plan to use similar strategies with students, while mentioning that "this is one of the things I do in my own studies."
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Students have lots of fun interests, some of which are not related to what we'll be working on. I understand that some students may be enrolled in a biology class because it is required to graduate, so I try to make learning the subject matter as relevant as possible to each individual (even though they may major in a non-related field).