I first started tutoring about 4 years ago, around the time I graduated from UC Irvine. I had realized that engineering wasn’t quite for me; so I began tutoring while I “figured it out”. I soon understood that what I began to love most about tutoring is that it continuously challenged me to strengthen my core understanding while also filling in the cracks of my foundation. I‘ve taught test prep groups ranging from 6 to 8 students, after school programs group tutoring programs, and one on one subject tutoring. Through gaining this experience, I began synthesizing my tutoring philosophy.
As a tutor, I realize how easy it can be to lose patience and give up the answers, but that only helps the student get through that problem, not the concept. As a tutor, I realize that there’s an infinite number of ways to solve a problem, but always guiding the student through the most efficient and natural route. At my best, I give my students the tools, and allow them to build.
University of California, Irvine - Bachelors, Electrical Engineering
What is your teaching philosophy?
As a tutor, I’ve grown to understand that I must never get in the way of learning, nor rob a student the pleasures of discovery. As a tutor, I’ve come to appreciate the virtue of refusing the easy route, and giving students the opportunity to work for her answers. At my best, I give my students the tools, and allow them to build.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Always asking about their day or week. From there we figure out what we want to get accomplished in the session. Because I've learned early on that figuring that out with 10 minutes left is rarely a good thing.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Making sure that the student is reading questions by themselves, and sometimes letting them know when they can and can't ask questions. As a tutor, I never want to be a student's crutch.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By making sure we always have a measurable, time sensitive, and achievable goal. Sometimes it can be difficult to work when you don't know what you’re working towards.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Explain it in as many different ways as possible. Not everyone speaks the same language. It's important to make all efforts to find an effective way to communicate.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Most important of all, reading outside of the session is key in becoming a better reader. It's about practice and finding something you’re interested in. As far as when we are together, always making sure the student is reading slowly and carefully. Taking breaks in between to make sure the student is following the narrative.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
My favorite and most successful strategy I use with students is to guide them into finding their own mistakes. This way they can see how they made the mistake in the first place, and more importantly, make the discovery themselves!
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Relate it to their life in some way. Sometimes concepts feel like they’re further away from us then they actually are. We get scared and shut down. But when the concept is explained in a way that’s relatable, things might not be as tough as we thought.