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Taha

Learning requires active involvement and attentively engaging with the material. This process can be at times frustrating and challenging, but ultimately a gratifying feeling. Opening a text book and feeling the increasing anxiety as you flip through unknown pages of what can only be viewed as a new language can repress the learning process. Nearly everyone at one point in their life feels overwhelmed and demurred about a specific subject. This feeling push someone away from learning something new and truly affect their ability to grow. I can understand this and have dealt with this in my own learning process.

As an aspiring physician and an avid science lover, I am interested in not only medical science, but also ecology, evolution, biotechnology, and other related fields. I recall the difficulty of wrapping my head around specific concepts in chemistry, physics, and biology classes. My early struggles were amplified by my lackluster enthusiasm to understand why even this knowledge was relevant. Often times I would feel disconnected with what I was learning. This issue affected my foundational knowledge in sciences and it took me time to realize that without understanding the basics it becomes seemingly impossible to incur further knowledge. It is evident that many concepts are a continuum and by building upon previous knowledge can help consolidate new information. I find this as a paradigm in my learning philosophy; to thoroughly understand an essential point before moving on to the next subject. By retaining the foundational knowledge, it is much easier to apply and visit new, complex, information. Moreover, I believe learning is parceled into various tasks from listening, reading, writing, practicing and ultimately teaching to fully understand and retain new information. This is known as the ‘learning pyramid’ and can be very useful as a template.

I constantly apply the ‘learning pyramid’ throughout my studies, beginning with attentive hearing at the basic level and reinforcing the subject material by reading and writing notes. After I felt confident with handling the material, group discussions can help reconsolidate the details and further solidify the major points. I truly believe that group work, used correctly, can help facilitate comprehension. This strategy was useful during my masters at Georgetown University, an accelerated one year program, which focused on physiology and biophysics aligning with the medical school curriculum. I was able to excel in the system-based modules by utilizing a steady academic focus alone and supplemented with group discussions between 3 to 4 students. During these group discussions, I realized the influence of teaching my fellow peers on improving my own interpretation. This marked the beginning of my interests in tutoring, specifically subjects that I am enthusiastic about. These include chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, anatomy, pathophysiology, and other science based subjects.

My fellow group members and I would teach each other the material, we would practice explaining out individual thought process. This method enabled an active learning process with an emphasis on the main point plus important details. As a tutor, I would emphasize the major points and push my student to ask questions, be attentive, and then be able to successfully teach me. The learning process can be difficult at times, as I explained earlier, can push a student away from an interesting and exciting subject. My focus would be to improve the student’s knowledge about the topic by discussing why it is important and highlighting potential benefits of understanding the material. By enticing a student and tapping into their enthusiasm can evolve into a new found educational motivation. The best experience I can wish for is a student to learn something new, but also to apply learning strategies to other subjects and became a better academic scholar.

Undergraduate Degree:

 University of Illinois at Chicago - BS, Biological Sciences

Graduate Degree:

 Georgetown University - MS, Physiology and Biophysics

Being outdoors, hiking, basketball, board games, and chess

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is based on the 'Learning Pyramid,' which emphasizes that the gradual learning process is achieved through various tasks. It can be parceled into distinct stages, beginning with listening, then reading, then discussing, and, ultimately, teaching. Using this paradigm as a strategy can greatly improve someone's ability to retain new knowledge and excel as an academic scholar.