It's not that you cannot master the subject - you just haven't had a session with me! As a successful tutor of 31 GED recipients and many other students at all levels, I love proving to people that they are in fact capable of mastering any subject.
I am an honors graduate of the University of Michigan, which I followed with extensive international travel and independent studies in many areas. It is my goal to engage the student with tutoring support that does not assume any competency. Sometimes students lose interest because they cannot see the real-life relevance of some subjects; I make tutoring enjoyable because I can connect it with real life importance.
In addition to tutoring, I love running, biking, travel, Dilbert comics, movies, sports, books, weight training, Spanish and food (maybe I love food too much!).
One session will convince you that your life as an academic star begins with me!
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor - Current Undergrad, Chemistry
What is your teaching philosophy?
Regardless of the initial motivation level, every student wants to do well. I welcome the challenge of working through the barriers to that student's first 'A' on a test or paper. NOTHING gets them to buy in like academic recognition!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I want to find out where the student is emotionally on the subject; I will engage the student in conversation that allows him/her to help me determine our starting point. Success often means meeting the student where he/she is.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Many students never have learned HOW to study; I help them learn to identify main ideas and how to go beyond what is simply before them.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I point out the victories at all times. A student who has received a score of 55 on a test knows 55 percent of the material; 55 percent is enough to be elected president of the United States! I can always build on what a student knows to address deficiencies, and this will keep him/her engaged.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
There is always at least one alternate method. I will use those as well as go back to the very beginning and rebuild the foundation in a subject.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Lack of reading comprehension is often the result of a weak vocabulary. I will stop with a student and define a word with the context around it. This always helps.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Listening is vital to building a working relationship with a student. I start by listening to them, and by sharing examples of other students with whom I have worked.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I always like to find out what the student's goals are occupationally. If the subject is required for success in that field, then that is a major resource. I like to find people doing cool things around the world who are making use of the subject.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Internet, everyday objects (marbles, food), and other tangible items can help students with concepts. I teach orbital theory in chemistry using peas as electrons!
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I focus upon a student's strengths in a subject. From there, the student can augment his/her skill level by gradually adding other skills.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Listening to the student, reviewing past performance, and talking with parents.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Some students need to be guided intricately through tutoring; others need the confidence that comes from having his/her answers confirmed, while still others only need occasional help. I listen carefully to determine the type of student I am working with.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Dry erase boards, food items, pens of all colors, and a calculator if necessary. Whatever works!