My name is Lea and I really enjoy tutoring and teaching students from all backgrounds. I have experience as a high school AP Biology and AP Chemistry teacher as well as experience tutoring in a wide variety of subjects. I personally believe that every person learns slightly differently. In tutoring, my philosophy is to figure out a strategy that will work best for the person I'm working with. I like to suggest various studying techniques to maximize learning potential at school and in other subjects as well. When I was a full time classroom teacher, I was that teacher who would have 30-40 students in my room everyday at lunch just eating and hanging out. I'm laid back and approachable but I hold every student to a high standard. I know that with the right amount and type of effort, any student can reach his or her learning goals!
California State University-Los Angeles - Bachelors, Biology
University of California-Los Angeles - Masters, Education
GRE Verbal: 165
What is your teaching philosophy?
All students can learn when given the right tools, supports, and dedication. What I do is identify the right tools for each student. My goal is to allow students to create a deep and flexible working knowledge of the subject they are learning.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session with a student, I will first take a moment to build a rapport by identifying shared interests and building some common ground. Then, I like to dive right into the subject matter at hand. I would typically ask questions like, "what have you been learning?" and "what have you been confused by lately in class?" From there, I have an idea of what we can start working on. I like to do a bit of demonstration if necessary, but also ask students to try working their questions out on their own while using my questions and prompting as support. Essentially, I will create an interactive tutoring session where the student and I work together to create deeper understanding of the confusing material.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Students become independent learners when they know how they learn best and know of some tools they can use to get themselves there. I like to help students identify their strengths as learners, and then introduce them to some tools that can be used to help them move forward. Specifically, I like to teach strategies that are useful in a variety of subjects, so that students gain skills that are applicable in many different learning contexts.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation eventually (and ideally) has to be internal. But we all struggle with maintaining internal motivation- especially when learning a tough subject. Because of that, I like to try to help students identify the kinds of external motivators that they might use to help themselves stay motivated. I think that each student is different, so each student's primary motivators will be different as well.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Everyone has difficulty learning at some point in their lives. What I try to do is use a variety of approaches that might help a student to overcome those difficulties. Sometimes explaining things in different ways, finding the right analogy, or even just taking a different approach to problem solving can make the difficult concept much more manageable. I also think it is very important to reflect on what you did to learn something difficult once that topic is mastered. That way, future difficulties may be easier to overcome!
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension can be difficult for a variety of reasons. I think that a student who struggles with reading comprehension needs to start by identifying what aspect of reading comprehension is the most difficult. Is it understanding the language used? Is it understanding the question you are being asked to answer? Is the concept being described in the reading itself the difficult part? Sometimes simple things are said in complex ways and sometimes complex things are said in complex ways. First, I help a student identify what's confusing them, then we can start discussing either the language itself- breaking it into simpler language. Or, we can discuss the complicated concept being written about and try to break down the ideas being discussed.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The best thing to do is to build a safe space where a student can trust that I am there to help. I can't do the learning for the student, but I can make them feel comfortable talking about their difficulties and successes with learning. Without that kind of trust, learning is very difficult.