Because every child is different, being a tutor is a challenge--however, I thrive on challenges! No matter the child, the subject, or the circumstances, I make sure to have utmost patience and enthusiasm. My current experience includes working with a behaviorally challenged child. When he gets upset or is disrespectful, I maintain a professional, sometimes stern, yet encouraging and (appropriately) respectful tone with him. Having this experience with children who are slightly more challenging to teach gives me an advantage to understanding how to connect with a child on an emotional level, gain his/her respect, and convince the child to want to do well and to please "the teacher." I have a firm grasp of how to use positive and negative reinforcement, and I am constantly thinking and innovating my teaching practices in order to become a more effective agent in the student's success.
I also have background in sociology, psychology ("the branch of philosophy that left without permission"), and philosophy, which encompasses critical thinking, writing and communication, and especially, thinking from and understanding as many differing perspectives as possible. I can tailor my ways of speaking and writing to people of various aptitudes and skill levels.
Imparting knowledge to others is one of the most exciting and gratifying things I have been fortunate enough to be able to do, and is so far the greatest contribution I can make to society. 1-on-1 attention is one of the best ways for a child to learn!
Georgia State University - Current Undergrad, Philosophy
SAT Composite: 1960
SAT Math: 610
SAT Verbal: 680
SAT Writing: 670
College Level American History
Elementary School Math
High School English
High School Level American History
What is your teaching philosophy?
All students, especially children, have a desire to learn that is as important to cultivate as is the knowledge itself. The interpersonal gratification of learning and teaching is a beautiful thing, and it is a joy and an honor to accomplish.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I like to give informal pre-assessments based on the student's required material and ask the student if she/he, her/his teacher/ or her/his parents have suggestions on what to work on.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Tips and tricks for how to read and to answer questions critically are quite translatable to independent learning, as are "shortcuts" or easy ways to remember certain rules.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I am the type of tutor to come up with a tasty treat for a reward, and I give little, informal pep-talks to keep the kids encouraged. I also try to inspire them with my own stories!
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Usually, a student can only handle a few minutes at a time learning a given concept. When the student needs a break, I will go on to a different concept, come back to the problematic one after a short period, and try to have come up with a new way to explain the skill.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I give them tips about how to read the questions and about how to read the material in ways that can save them time and effort. I also teach them about concepts such as using keywords to find useful information regarding the theme, tone, and causes and effects.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Every student is different, but most students are better with rotating subjects--with not spending too much time on one particular part until everything else has been pieced together. Reward systems help, too!
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I am a firm believer in praise and in patience. Also, I try to make jokes every now and then! My best teachers and professors have always had a great sense of humor; it keeps the kids engaged.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I ask review questions. For subjects such as math and science, of course, quizzes and reviews on paper are preferable, but I find that the dialogue involved in oral reviews can be helpful in understanding and in retaining the information.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Praise when a student gets an answer is only one way to inspire confidence. Patience and encouragement when the student gets it wrong are just as important, so I make sure to remind students that every time they get a wrong answer, they get closer to the right one.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I give little quizzes and reviews that encompass concepts as fully and as concisely as possible.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I make sure to use language the student can understand. Tone--from stern to delighted--is also very important. And, of course, whenever a student shows that he or she does not understand a certain concept or fact, I make sure to spend extra time on it.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use good old paper, pencil, a calculator (only if necessary), and sometimes, I use a computer. The most important materials are the student and the tutor!