I graduated from Bastyr University in 2012 with a Naturopathic Doctorate, and I also hold a BA in Liberal Arts from St. John's College (the "Great Books" program). I love science, I love helping other people understand science, and, with my diverse background, I'm pretty good at helping students to connect with and understand their subjects.
I'm a great tutor because I love learning myself, and I can transmit my excitement for the subject matter to my students. Furthermore, I strive to understand core concepts rather than learning through rote memorization. My ability to discuss and convey core concepts can help students learn not just the subject at hand, but how best to learn in general.
St. John's College - Bachelors, Liberal Arts
Bastyr University - Current Grad Student, Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine
What is your teaching philosophy?
I think it is important to understand core concepts really, really well. The intellectual challenge of that task, once you get into it, is both exciting and fun.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I like to learn about the student and their preferred learning style, and also about the challenges they've experienced with the subject. It also helps to know why they're taking a particular subject. From there, a strategy for moving forward usually becomes pretty clear.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
It is all about striving to understand core concepts and developing a great critical thinking process. With those tools, any student can become more independent.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
It depends. Most students are taking a subject for a reason, so keeping an eye to that reason can help. The biggest motivator is probably making progress - everyone likes to feel like they are making progress, and that can keep you moving forward.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Approach the difficulty from multiple vantage points. Also, practice! Practicing can help to overcome many difficulties, especially if you can connect the practice with something the student likes to do anyway (like drawing, singing, or dancing).
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Lots of good strategies exist, such as making outlines, concept maps, and flashcards of key terms. I would also encourage the student to read smaller amounts in any one session, and to consistently check-in with themselves to make sure they understood what they just read.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
In the beginning, it pays for the tutor and student to get to know each other a bit, especially regarding preferred teaching and learning styles. It helps to be adaptable and to periodically check-in to make sure a given strategy is actually working.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Making progress helps the most for this! Outside of that, I get pretty enthusiastic about learning science, and that enthusiasm is conveyed naturally. Connecting the subject with something meaningful to the student also helps.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Having them explain the subject to me like I'm the student helps the most.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
It is important not to overwhelm a student, but challenge them just enough to keep them moving forward. Repetition helps a lot too.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Listening to them is the first step. Seeing old tests and quizzes can be helpful too.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
My approach is pretty flexible anyway, so adapting to the student's needs is easy for me.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?