I am here to build onto the foundation of a child's education. Looking back on my own experience in K-12 grade, there are a lot of key basics I wish someone had taught me; basics that I would need to build upon as I furthered in my education. Not only learning the material at hand, but learning beneficial study techniques, organizational skills, reading comprehension, as well as getting assignments or projects done in a timely fashion are extremely important. I strive to be not only a tutor but a mentor, leaving these children and young adults with lasting skills that will not only better them for the subject they are struggling with now, but strengthen their knowledge in other subjects as well. In the grand scheme of things, I would like to leave each student with basic skills that will continue to be built upon the further along they get in their education, so that they aren't just getting a tutoring session for whatever subject they need help with but they're also learning long term skills as well.
Kennesaw State University - Current Undergrad, B.A
10th Grade Math
College Level American History
Elementary School Math
High School English
High School Level American History
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
As mentioned in my personal statement, I want each student who comes to me to take away not only knowledge from the subject they needed help in, but also basic building blocks (study skills, organizational skills, comprehension, etc.) that will help strengthen their ability to learn in other areas as well.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first session of course would be to get to know the student, and see where their weaknesses and strengths are. They might come to me needing help on a particular set of problems, but I'll go over the basics required for their grade level and start from there, seeing where it is they may be falling.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The most important quality a student must possess is motivation. I work on figuring out what motivates a student. They need to know why they are getting an education, what the purpose of it is, and where they plan to go in life, so they know what is needed to get there. If they are goal-oriented, they will be motivated to learn individually, as well as in groups.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Sitting for two hours going over material is too much for a student; at a minimum they are zoned out half of the time. Getting up and maybe taking a walk, playing a game, eating a snack, or just socially talking about their hobbies will help to re-energize them and keep them focused. Motivation depends on the student; some like the reward system, so on the first session, when I get to know the student, I come up with a reward strategy so that they can earn at the end of the session a prize of some sort.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
So we break it down even further. We get as basic as possible. Say they are having issues with how learn US History, so we get visual and lay it out where they can see it. That can go with math, making problems into visual or everyday scenarios. So knowing the student more will help to better understand how they learn the best. A lot of times, students don't realize (even as elementary as it may seem) that they need to do a visual learning practice to better understand the material.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
For reading comprehension, I have learned that the more I read, the easier it gets. Not only is this true for reading, but for relaying to others what I read. For instance, I've been learning about German history. The class requires a ton of reading, so what I do is read a section, and then I go to my roommates or a friend, and tell them what I just learned from that reading. With the student, I would, first and foremost, have him/her read the questions following the reading material; that way they have an idea about what they're about to read and what they should be looking out for. Then, depending on the student, we can break the reading into sections, read a little bit, and then see if what we just read answers any of the questions and work from there.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Definitely creating a trust with the student. Not just staying completely focused on the material for the entire session and then leaving, but also taking breaks in between to get to know what the student's hobbies and interests are; that way they are getting a mental rest, as well as creating a relationship and a foundation of trust. Better knowing the student also helps me to better understand techniques that could help them with studying. For instance, I tutored a 4th grade athlete. When we were going over spelling, I'd have him spell a word, and then shoot a hoop if he spelled it correctly. They need to feel comfortable expressing when they don't understand a certain problem-- that they won't feel judged or made fun of. Also, students learn in different ways, and when you make the session personalized to them, they can learn a lot better than if we just did it one way.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Relate it somehow to one of their interests. For instance if they love basketball, and we're learning about American history, maybe bringing with me some fun facts about basketball and tying it into history (if there was a person in that era of history who played basketball), or even just taking them outside and making it fun to learn history. Ask them a question, and if they get it right they can shoot the hoop. Use something that pertains to the student and interests them, and incorporate the subject into their interests.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
For reading comprehension, I would have them read a section and then relay back to me in their own words what they just read. For math, I would have them work out a problem as if they were teaching it to me. For history, I would have them tell me a story about the era we're going over.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I first ask them what they've been studying in class. I look over their classwork and create a quick assessment, adding two or three questions of each type of problem they've been working on. I have them read the problem to me and tell me how they would solve it. That way, as we're going through the steps of solving the problem, I can catch on to where they may be struggling. As for reading comprehension, I have them read a paragraph in a book that is at their grade level, and then after they read the paragraph (depending on the grade level of the child), I will either ask them to summarize what they just read or ask questions to test them on their understanding of that paragraph.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I see what works for the student. At the first meeting with the student, I am getting to know them, what they are struggling with, what they're good at, and how they react to certain types of praise (high five, good job, stickers, etc.). I always make it a point to get to know my students as we go through the sessions. I want to know what their likes and interests are, so as I'm giving examples, I'm able to relate them to what they are interested in.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I usually bring a lot of paper, so I'm able to draw out certain problems if they learn better visually. Some students may be hands-on, so I would bring blocks or some type of learning tool that is relevant to what the student is learning. Mostly, unless otherwise requested before the session by the student, I will bring paper and a pencil.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Consistently motivating them and giving them praise when they get an answer correct. When the student gets the answer incorrect, I slow them down and remind them to double check their work, or I then say "Okay, I want you to work me through this problem as if you're teaching me." I avoid telling a student outright, no that's wrong because I want them to be able to catch it themselves, and learn from it that way. This shows them that they know the material they just have to carefully think through it.