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Tim

My goal as a tutor is to show my students how exciting learning can be. Through enthusiasm and a genuine love for math and the sciences, I hope to influence my students to adopt this same passion for learning so that they are motivated to continue learning new material during their high school and college years. I have been tutoring for years and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience I have gained and the friendships I have made with other students. My biggest priority is meeting the educational needs of my students in any way possible, and I strive to meet this goal in each and every tutoring session.

Undergraduate Degree:

 University of Texas - BS, Electrical Engineering Honors

ACT Composite: 35

ACT English: 36

ACT Math: 36

ACT Reading: 32

ACT Science: 36

SAT Math: 770

SAT Writing: 700

SAT Mathematics Level 2: 800

SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level 1: 790

SAT Subject Test in Chemistry: 700

I love all kinds of board games, performing arts (shoutout to Longhorn Band), architecture, and reading about the biomedical sciences.

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy (especially for math) is to simplify questions whenever possible. I break down problems into small bite-sized pieces that are much easier to tackle, and show students how to do the same. This turns an overwhelming, difficult problem into a systematic process that students can apply to similar questions in future situations.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

My typical first session with a student consists of getting to know the student and identifying any strengths and weaknesses in the subject in which they are receiving tutoring. I do my best to highlight the student's strengths to build confidence, while simultaneously helping them improve on their weaknesses.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I can help a student become an independent learner by building their confidence about their knowledge of a subject. As long as my students know the fundamentals of learning this subject, they can apply this knowledge on their own and continue to learn outside of tutoring sessions.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I help my students stay motivated by encouraging them during tutoring sessions. I have my students describe their thought processes to me so I can know if they are on the right track. Then I highlight what they are doing right and help them improve upon what they are doing wrong, so that they can quickly improve and be encouraged by their own improvement.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

When my students struggle to understand a concept, I try to give them a multitude of examples that exist in real life. For instance, if a student cannot wrap their mind around the idea of "concentric circles," I might show them a picture of a tree stump and point out that there are concentric circles on the stump.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I try my hardest to help my students pay attention to details in everything they do. Details are what determine whether an answer is right or wrong, especially in standardized testing situations. Paying attention to little details when reading a passage or a word problem helps students better understand what the question is asking.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

I have found that the most successful strategy in relating to a student is "getting on their level." I do everything I can to show students that, though I am their tutor, I know what it is like to be their age and to be stressed about not understanding something. I show students that I am approachable and open to any and all questions so that they do not feel intimidated during tutoring sessions.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I am passionate about every subject I tutor, and I have taken enough classes in college to see how math and science (my main tutoring focuses) apply to everyday situations in real life. I try my best to share my excitement with students so they can improve in their studies.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

As I mentioned before, my main technique is breaking down problems into their fundamental parts. This systematic approach works consistently and reliably, and can be applied to many different kinds of questions and problems.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

I build a student's confidence in a subject by showing them exactly what they are doing correctly. So many students think they know nothing about a subject when that simply isn't the case. I show them exactly how much they know and congratulate them on that level of understanding. Then we work to improve on areas they struggle with, and ultimately the student can end up with high proficiency in the subject.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I evaluate a student's needs by asking them personally what they feel like they are struggling with. Then if there are any tests or homework assignments available, I ask to look over them to try and identify recurring problem areas. If neither of these approaches lead to concrete evidence of a recurring need, then I start at square one, making sure every topic in the subject is covered thoroughly and comprehensively before moving to the next topic.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I usually figure out my student's needs after the first session, and then I adapt my tutoring methods for future sessions. I identify how the student learns best and try to highlight this learning preference in future sessions. Some students like detailed notes with examples, where others just want a concept to be defined (or a formula to be written down). Either way, I do all that I can to accommodate my students' needs.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

For standardized test prep, I believe a book with practice tests (or tests from previous years) is a must-have. For other subjects, pencil and paper (and a calculator, reference tables, etc. if necessary) is enough to get by. If students have a textbook for the subject, I will use it if I feel the need to do so. Additionally, for AP Calculus AB, I have a set of study cards that my teacher gave me, and I take these study tools to all my calculus tutoring sessions, because they provide detailed explanations and examples of all the topics covered on the AP test.