As the oldest of three daughters, I've spent my life nurturing the love of learning and acquiring much needed patience along the way. My siblings struggled in school, especially with math. I found that not only was I good at teaching, but I loved watching their skills and confidence grow.
As a college student, I've found dedication and patience are the key components of proficiency in any field. I've successfully worked with a large range of students, from the smallest kindergartner to the determined collegiate athlete. I specialize in math and the physical sciences, such as chemistry and physics.
I can accommodate two types of services -- 1) homework and test prep assistance and 2) long term remedial education. The former is a guided study session. The latter is a bit more intricate. Remedial services include: a customized curriculum designed to target the student's specific needs and cater to their unique learning style; periodical assessments to determine progress and areas of difficulty; and engaging games and puzzles to sharpen critical thinking. Each session will challenge the student in a new way and create opportunities for them to work independently to develop confidence.
Several years of teaching and studying math have inspired a variety of approaches for individual success. Under my belt are three calculus classes, differential equations, and linear algebra with more courses to come) --- I specialize in instructing elementary math, pre-algebra, algebra, geometry (including trigonometry), pre-calculus, and calculus. All my students were able to raise their grade by at least one letter and some are now tutoring math themselves!
A life long love of science-fiction has guided my pursuit of the sciences. My instruction method focuses on practical approaches and has a history of success with a variety of students. My realm is mostly high school and college-level chemistry (with exception of organic) and physics, but if your elementary or middle school student is struggling with science I'll gladly aid them. Many prospective engineering students and reluctant biology majors have benefited from my services, citing my approach of teaching the concepts before introducing mathematical calculations as "life saving".
If you have any questions or would like to discuss a consultation, do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to helping you achieve your study goals!
Lone Star College System - Current Undergrad, Physiccs
What is your teaching philosophy?
Teach independence and teach practicality. When a student does something well, I tell them. With science, I make sure their conceptual knowledge is strong. There's no need to try and confuse people by saying 'this is how you do the math.' Most of the math in science is very simple. If a student can understand the concept of why things happen how they do and understanding why they're putting certain numbers in certain places, the work becomes easy.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Discuss the struggles the student is having and set up a game plan. Get to know each other a bit -- regular tutoring from the same person is the best way to get comfortable in a subject. As we delve into the teaching part of a session, I get a feel for an individual's learning style. Some students learn by discussing the problem, others handle things very computationally, and many require a visual or interactive example to work with. It's very important for me to observe the student honestly in the first session so I can tailor my teaching style to suit their needs in further meetings. A pre-assessment of skills can be provided upon request, but isn't always necessary (when the session goals are mainly homework and test prep, for example).
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The first set of examples we work through together, giving the student the opportunity to ask questions and such. Once I feel the student is comfortable, I take a step back. The next set of examples are done by the student individually, and I actually sit across from them working the problem at the same time. During this part, they are allowed to ask me questions if they get stuck. The final set of examples are worked by the student with no assistance. I check their answers and we discuss. If necessary we'll step back to part one, then again to three. My job is to teach, yes. A large part of that is instilling confidence. The student most importantly needs to believe they can do it on their own and be successful.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT! If a student does something well, I want them to know. This can come in the form of words, rewards, and communication of their success to parents. Also, it's very hard sometimes after a long day to spend another hour or more working on school work. I'm a student too, so I totally get it. I'm a big fan of "brain breaks," where we spend a couple minutes playing a game, taking a walk, or just chitchatting to let our minds recuperate. It has proven very successful as students come back refreshed and ready to proceed. Life is stressful enough, I'm here to help not add to it.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Explain it a different way. Perhaps the approach I'm taking isn't getting through to the student. There are a few ways I can do this. One, take a step back to a simpler or similar version of the concept or skill, then extend the knowledge from there. Two, give real-world examples so the student can see the practicality of it. Three, check if the student is feeling frustrated, and call a "brain break" so they can ease their mind a bit and try again. These are a few methods I most commonly use. Like I said, each student learns differently, so I maintain high flexibility for presenting a wide range of concepts and skills.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Break it down and simplify the language into digestible chunks. Reading the question out loud or rewriting the question usually does the trick.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I always ask questions about their confidence level in all subjects. Students know what is easy and what is hard for them. A lot of times a student's struggles in another subject will have a direct effect on their general performance. On the flip side, knowing a student's strengths is crucial for explaining concepts in terms they can best understand. I enjoy watching the methods a student employs when solving a problem during the first sessions. It demonstrates their natural creativity and serves as a benchmark of their capabilities. I encourage them to think aloud so they can hear themselves go through their process.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I love to make up games and puzzles for students to learn with! That, coupled praise for a job well done and encouraging words when a student is down.