My passion has always been to help others grow in their knowledge of mathematics. In addition to tutoring various math levels for the last seven years, I am currently studying as an Education major at the University of California Irvine in hopes of pursing a career as a math teacher. When I tutor, I like to use real life examples to explain questions to help students realize the importance of using math in everyday life. This helps students enjoy math by making it more enjoyable and exciting. I love seeing students grow in their understanding of how math works both inside and outside of the classroom.
University of California-Irvine - BA, Education Sciences
What is your teaching philosophy?
I think it is important, as a tutor, to let the students find the answer on their own. Instead of telling them what they did wrong, it is more important to ask them what they did wrong. That allows them to find their own mistakes and makes them more aware of them while taking on future problems. When I tutor, there is really no such thing as a mistake - just a learning experience.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session with a student, I like to work on math problems of all different levels in order to see where the student is struggling. Once I see where the student needs help, it is much easier to design problems that will help them with their specific needs.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Being self motivated is an extremely important quality to have, especially in higher levels of schooling. To promote this quality, I typically give students problems to work on in between tutoring sessions so that they can practice on their own. Attempting math problems independently challenges the student to think for themselves. This will help them when they have to solve problems on their own during class time.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Even though I have always loved math, I will admit that, at times, certain problems can appear to be boring at first glance. I like to motivate my students by changing the problem into a real life example. For example, instead of solving for an angle in a triangle, students can solve for the angle they must kick a soccer ball in order to score a goal!
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student is having trouble with a skill or concept, there is always another way to teach it. Everyone learns differently. Some students learn best by listening; others are visual learners. Sometimes, all it takes is adding a picture to the problem for it to make more sense!
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
When I tutor, I typically start students off with a beginner level problem and then continue to increase the difficulty when the student finds the right answer. If a student can solve a difficult concept on their own, then they should be able to solve a lower level problem on a test!
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
It is extremely important to let a student know that they are doing a good job when they get a question correct. If a student makes a mistake, that is something that they can learn from, and it shouldn't get their spirits down.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Depending on what the student is learning, usually a pencil and paper will suffice. Problems from their book or a worksheet from class are also helpful so I know what they are learning. I also occasionally use items around me for examples in order to make the problems more fun!