I went to a Magnet High School in Las Vegas focused on Math, Science, and Applied Technology, where I took Calculus BC as a junior and was part of the first class in the state to study Calculus III/IV offered in the district.
From there I went on to Emory University to Major in Chemistry and Music. College was very challenging. I understand how important tenacity, confidence, and passion are to success. I have a view that it's not always about the right answer but the processes and reasoning it takes to get there.
Currently, I work as a Pharmacy Technician planning my next steps to pharmacy school. I've written one novel, now in the revision phase. I also am teaching myself the bass guitar.
I believe in the power of education. However I believe academics can be fun, exciting, and personal. My positive experiences as a student made me a life long leaner, a problem solver, and a dreamer.
There is no problem too big or too small for anyone to solve. There are friends, peers, and colleagues to depend on to help find a solution. As such, learning is about resourcefulness. It's about teamwork. It's about humility and perseverance. These are qualities that students have to find success. As such, a good tutor works to bring these qualities out of their students.
Emory University - Bachelors, Chemistry and Music
ACT Composite: 30
ACT Math: 33
ACT Reading: 31
SAT Math: 750
SAT Mathematics Level 2: 730
SAT Subject Test in U.S. History: 750
SAT Subject Test in Chemistry: 720
High School Chemistry
Middle School Science
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy involves asking questions in order to connect knowledge that is not known to knowledge that is known. I don't like to give the answer. I like for students to understand the problem solving process. I believe the goal should be totally self-sufficient, including where to find information from. I believe these are skills that benefits students in High School and College in particular.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first session is purely a diagnostic. It's important to establish a good rapport and set up the goals that we as a unit need to accomplish. After that session I'm doing homework, as well as the student is, to ensure that I'm helping them meet their goals. In the first session we should also identify specifically what the issues are and establish a schedule for the first session and future session. Doing so builds good study habits, which are more important than the curriculum itself.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
In order to become an independent learner, a student has to develop a passion for success, a skill for organization, and a talent for asking solid questions. Once these three criteria are met, a student can overcome any obstacle, academic or otherwise, that will challenge their success as a student.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation is deeply rooted in passion and inspiration. The best practice is to connect subject matter to subjects that they understand well. Most subjects are more closely connected that is readily apparent. Another strategy is to have the student focus on their strengths even in weaker subjects. A talent for math, might be the result of a great ability to see things in order and patterns. Thus, if the student is trained to see patterns and sequences in literature, history, music, and art, their abilities in those areas will be strengthened.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Start with the basics or knowledge that is known and work from there. It's important to start from the area of confidence even if that's material from, let's say, last school year. Another strategy is to analogies. Using reasoning and logic from other known subject areas and seeing how they work together. I was a chemistry and music major in college, and the different types of thinking helped me solve problems more creatively.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
A technique I learned while studying Spanish was to identify the parts of speeches of words from their context. Say a student doesn't know what "an idiosyncrasy" is. However, they can tell it's a noun and maybe from context that it references unique behavior. This technique forces the student to change their perspective. They don't know the technical language (thank you, science!), however they can follow the conventions of English to figure out which Subject is acting on which Object, and be able to look up words and put them in some context.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Personally, I prefer to ask the student to solve the problem on their own first. It's awesome to see their whole thought process and their reasoning, before I insert my ideas into their workflow. I prefer to fill in the gaps rather than to completely change how they do things. That way they develop their own style of understanding and can rely on their instincts when faced with challenges.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
The biggest thing is to relate it to their goal. Sometimes students are really just taking a class a pre-requisite for something and genuinely have no passion for it. Therefore, they have to see how it is important for their goal in order to approach the class with the right attitude. Also, it helps to make the study process fun. In my case I like to draw, so I draw everything when I shorthand my notes, and it helps me remember.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I like to use a three step method. Step-One, have the student solve the problem on their own. Step-Two, I solve the problem or offer advice if the student is stuck. Step-Three, I'll create a similar problem and have the student solve it again. I follow this method, encouraging the student to use what they know to figure out the answer. If this method fails, then I'll go into reteaching a subject if I have to.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Let them solve problems in escalating difficulty. In music performance, it is often said that you should work on the hardest part. However, we still take the time to train the fundamentals in the same practice session, which in turn makes the "hard" parts easy to grasp. Having success and believing we are capable is what leads to success. Therefore, I like to celebrate small victories and then move up to the bigger ones. It's a patient approach, but I find it thorough when it comes to understanding material.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's needs based on what they say their areas of improvement are versus what I see as their areas of need. Oftentimes, problems with understanding material results in a discrepancy between the two. The things I pay attention to are body language, attitude, and the reasoning the students employ. These three areas need to be addressed in order for a student to succeed in the classroom.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I'm very receptive. Because I ask a lot of questions, it puts me in a position to respond to the student's problems instead of me telling them what their problem is. It gives me an opportunity to also see if the student really understands what it is that they need or that they are missing. Because I'm the one being asked questions it puts me in a position to answer their question. Thus, I'm flexible, because I'm letting the student dictate the flow of the lesson more so than I am. However, if the student doesn't understand what they need, I will step in to offer to guidance to solve problems in the though process. I'll also use visuals and language to explain concepts to compensate for learning styles. When I watch my students solve their problems, I'm looking to see if they are visual, audio, or kinesthetic.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I always start with the student's textbook or problem sets before I move on to the internet. I do feel as though the internet is a great tool, that when used correctly, can offer efficient guidance during study time or homework time.