As your prospective tutor, I will help you recognize and communicate your difficulties, acquire the skills and perspective to overcome them, and finally learn to apply your new-found insight at a deeper level. Using my experience in both mathematics and education, I foster an environment that allows students to explore their own thoughts and ideas, without the pressures of an exam or classroom. This allows them to strengthen their own intuitions, while receiving guidance, encouragement, and new outlooks on exercises and concepts. My passion for knowledge, education and community, are what drive me to help students reach their full potential, so they can go on to achieve their own goals. Although mathematics has made up a big part of my schooling, I have a diverse background and wide spectrum of interests which helps me connect with students from all walks of life. I'm hard working, approachable, and committed to my craft. Developing my tutoring techniques over years, I continue to edit and alter my presentation of the material to best fit my student's individual learning style. In addition to my drive, experience, and personality, I will use my knowledge of mathematics to help students overcome their own difficulties and develop confidence in their mathematical insight and work.
Education has been a major driving force throughout my upbringing. From becoming the first person in my family to receive a college diploma, to making sure my younger siblings always got their homework done, school work was paramount. Growing up, I regularly proofread, edited, double-checked, as well as provided any other general assistance that my brothers and sisters needed with their school work. Since we are all at different stages of our educational careers, I could go from working on the basic animal cell structure, to influential battles of the Civil War, then back to proving whether or not two triangles are congruent. Not only did I have to concisely explain vastly different subject material, but then reinterpret it in such a way that someone younger with different educational experiences could understand. These basic rituals of my everyday life, along with my love of knowledge for its own sake, are what have drawn me to become part of the world of tutoring.
As I became older, I began to take up more tutoring jobs for various classmates, neighbors, acquaintances, and even coworkers, in subjects ranging from mathematics to Mandarin Chinese. I have had several one-on-one, small group, and classroom size tutoring experiences with grade school students all the way to adults going to college later in life. I explain things in a way that brings together conceptual and mechanical concepts to better comprehend the material being studied. As an educator, this is a skill that helps me reach people in a way that facilitates an actual understanding of the material as opposed to what is required for simple regurgitation. When you are explaining a concept to someone it is all about that eureka moment in their eyes that says, “I really do have it.” It is about giving students enough to further their own understanding without giving away the whole story. That style of learning is what drives mathematicians, and it is also what motivates the best teachers, and it is a point of view I want to share with my students.
UIC - Bachelors, Math
UIC - Current Grad Student, Math
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I believe the key to becoming an independent learner when it comes to math is the ability to internalize concepts, as well as being able to communicate one's own thought process when solving a problem. In order to foster this development, I ask questions of different levels of depth of understanding about exercises or concepts while students are presenting solutions. I also try to respond to concept questions from the student with my own that I think will lean on their current understanding, while leading them to a deeper insight. I my experience, this teaches students to begin to ask, and answer, questions of themselves while working.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
When a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I first try to understand the reason they are having a hard time. This is done by listening to the student talk not only about why they are having trouble, but also what they are actually trying to do when asked to complete exercises related to that concept. This allows me to figure out the misconception, and cater a new explanation or examples to further strengthen and develop those skills.