I possess an Associates of Arts degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from Santa Ana College. I'm looking forward to obtaining Bachelors degrees for both subjects at the moment. Throughout my education I found myself tutoring classmates and other students in mathematics. The ability to help others achieve their goals or give a helping hand to someone that is struggling will always make my day. As a result, I discovered that the best way for most students to learn is to teach to others. Thus, my tutoring style is to first teach the student how to solve a problem then have the student try to see themselves in a scenario where the student is teaching someone else on how to do a math problem. Additionally, I encourage students to visualize the problem. This way they can have a better understanding on why, for example, "xyz" method is used to solve the problem. It is essential for students to understand instead of memorize things and that is why I apply this to my tutoring style. In my free time, I love to go for long drives, hangout with friends, and traveling.
Santa Ana College - Associates, Mathematics
What is your teaching philosophy?
Patience is key. Not every student learns in the same way. I believe the most effective way to teach is to observe the student's style of learning. Then, apply that to teaching the student. This facilitates the teaching session for both the tutor and the student.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First, I will ask the student what type of problems they need help with. Then I will ask them how do they initially think they should approach to solve the problem. After that, I will point out what is wrong with their approach, reveal the correct way to solve the problem, and have the student work on the problem again with the new strategy that have learned.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
In my experience as a student, I discovered that teaching the material to others works best for learning things. As I was doing my homework, it helped to understand why a certain problem is solved this way. It also helped to say things out loud, like why this specific step has to be taken, as I was working on a problem. It helped with quizzes and tests, because I've said it to myself over and over again while doing the homework, and it made the quizzes and tests easy. I plan to apply this to students so they, too, can become independent learners.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning something, I will slow down and explain each step. I will also ask them questions before I move on to the next step. This way, they will not be confused about a step that took place in the middle of the problem. Overall, explaining each step results in the student learning the skill easier.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
A way to build a student's confidence in a subject is by giving them credit for the problems they do correctly. For example, my students will be given mini-quizzes. For the problems they did correctly, I will reveal that they did a good job overall. And for the problems they did not do correctly, we will have to work on those. Due to the student being aware of their success with the other problems, they will be motivated to improve on the problems they did incorrectly.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
In my opinion, the best technique for a student to understand the material is by participating in teaching scenarios. This makes the student say what is required to do out loud, and it gives them a significantly higher chance of retaining that knowledge.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Some subjects can be interesting to apply into daily life. Mathematics, for example, can be applied to almost anything and result in interesting results. Word problems are typically the most feared kind of math questions for students. However, they can be viewed as interesting, as long as the tutor teaches the student how to look at the problem in order for them to understand it. Ultimately, once the student understands what the word problem is asking and what information is provided, the student will discover that they now have a new and exciting ability to calculate simple real-life problems in the future.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Most students are visual learners, but I understand that there are some students who learn by reading about it or hearing about it. For visual learners, I recommend them to draw a picture for their problem, if applicable. For reading/hearing learners, I will spend most of my teaching time writing things down so they understand the essential pieces to proceed.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I believe keeping a student motivated requires the tutor to teach at the student's own pace. I like to be flexible, with fast paced teaching or slow paced, depending on what the student prefers. I am also very patient and more than willing to answer the student's questions.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I found that being thorough with my explanations helped the student grasp the material much more easily. If the student is still confused, I try to explain the problem in a different angle that the student will be able to relate to, and ultimately they will grasp the concepts.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
When I am teaching a student some material and I see they are not understanding the concepts, I ask them what part do they not understand. After that, I turn all my focus on that particular concept and explain it as best as possible in order to have the student know what is going on in that part before moving on.