I graduated in June 2014 with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Microbiology, and I took my MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) in September 2014. After completing my MCAT I decided that I wanted to take off a couple of years to gain non-academic experience and make sure that medical school is what I want. When I am not tutoring students I participate in a couple of non-profit programs where I tutor homeless kids and under-served families for free. In addition I also work as a research associate in cancer immunology at City of Hope Medical Center. When I am not working I enjoy listening to music, playing musical instruments (I play several), and reading. I look forward to working with you to help you succeed in whatever goals you hope to achieve.
California State University-Northridge - Bachelors, Microbiology
How would you help a student stay motivated?
In my life I have never cared for school, even to this day. What I am passionate about is learning a little bit about everything and finding a way to connect it all together. I would keep my student motivated by showing them how what they're learning, and the skills they are mastering, will benefit them in their hobbies and career aspirations.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would ask the student to tell me what career they are interested in. Using this, I would explain to the student what steps they will need to take to reach this career, and how the skills they are learning now will help better prepare them for this career.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I ask the student to look for keywords and phrases that the author uses. I explain that the author is not writing this way on accident, but rather he is doing this for a specific reason. I believe that once you can identify the tone and diction of the author, it will be easier to interpret and analyze the information being presented.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I always like to tell students how I was pretty terrible in school most of my life and never thought about going to college when I was in high school. When most students see how I went from this to going to medical school, they respect me more, because they feel like I understand where they are coming from.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would explain to them that it has been proven that people are more likely to understand something when they struggle with it at first. I will also goof around with them and have fun with the information, because it helps the student to relax and be more open to approaching the material without being timid.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I always enjoy asking the student if they can find examples in real life where this information can be used to understand and explain what's going on. This shows me that they can interpret and apply knowledge to the world around them.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I always tell them that math and science were my worst subjects all throughout school, and even in my first few years of college. By showing them that I was able to overcome this struggle well enough to tutor, it gives them confidence that they can do the same.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I watch them while they are working on a practice problem and see what steps they take to approach the material. This allows me to see how good they are at paying attention to detail and thinking things through logically. When students express their thoughts and concerns to me, I listen to everything they say. This allows me to understand why they do not like the subject or school in general. Using the above information, I am able to tailor my tutoring to helping the student in a way that I feel they will be the most receptive. Most students appreciate this because they feel like they are being heard for the first time.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I am very good at adapting to other people because I have a very eclectic personality. I will ask the students what they like to do for fun, and what job they hope to have in the future. This allows me to focus all my conversation on things that they enjoy. I then use this to relate the material we are covering to things that they enjoy.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I enjoy using online learning tools. I let the student decide what materials to use, because then they will feel like they are being allowed to make decisions. I do not like telling people what to do, because they do not always know why they are doing it. By allowing students to make choices, they are learning personal responsibility and are more likely to put in effort, because they know this choice will work for them.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that if you can instill within students the belief that they are smart enough to succeed, they will never allow limitations to determine their future again; they will look at the word "impossible" and see "I'm possible".
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I will inconspicuously introduce casual questions into the tutoring to get to better know the student both on an academic level and a personal level. This will allow me to better formulate a plan that will effectively produce the desired results that the student and parent desire.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I will ask the student to create a plan that will help them do well in school. Because the student is creating the plan, rather than myself, they are more likely to follow it, because they made it themselves rather than someone telling them what to do; this will then help the student to become more independent and rely less on other people to run their life for them.