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Darren

I am a sophomore at IUPUI, currently in the process of getting my Mathematics, Economic and Computer Science majors. I have a lot of informal experience helping my peers in various classes during the after-hours, I have done the same all throughout my high school career as well. I love tutoring anybody for just about anything. Being personable and authentic is extremely important to me, but not quite as important as honesty, respect and compassion. Staying true to my word and being reliable is what I tend to strive for. Most of all, I want to be inspiring. I want to change people, I want to help them unlock their potential for success, I want people to respect themselves, their family, friends, all of society. I hope to do whatever I can to make society a better place, to improve our understanding of the Universe, and hopefully ourselves. (= Have fun learning! :Dd (Also, MATHEMATICS is one of my strongest suits)

Undergraduate Degree:

 Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis - Bachelors, Computer Science, Mathematics, Economics

SAT Math: 800

Origami, Reading, Intuitive Thinking, Social Psychology, Political Science

10th Grade Math

11th Grade Math

12th Grade Math

1st Grade Math

2nd Grade Math

3rd Grade Math

4th Grade Math

5th Grade Math

6th Grade Math

7th Grade Math

8th Grade Math

9th Grade Math

Algorithms

AP Economics

Applied Mathematics

Business

College Business

College Economics

College Physics

Computer Programming

Data Structure

Discrete Math

Elementary Algebra

Elementary School Math

High School Business

High School Economics

High School Physics

HSPT Math Prep

Macroeconomics

Mathematical Foundations for Computer Science

SAT Subject Tests Prep

Technology and Computer Science

What is your teaching philosophy?

It all starts with the fundamentals. Determine where your audience's level of knowledge in the subject generally lies, build up to that to be sure they actually understand what they think they understand, establish any newly necessary fundamentals and build as you go. Make sure to be passionate about your teaching; it is not a job, it is part of YOU. You are there to extend your intelligence and wisdom to those who wish to learn, while encouraging those who don't to at least consider trying. Make sure to be as positive as you can about everything involving the students, harsh words, attitude, and even harbored frustrations only seek to cause more conflict. Do not be an empty shell that merely transfers information; be a brilliant artist, a shining light in the darkness. Be an inspiration.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

I would introduce myself and get to know them a little as a person. My first impression would be as personable and friendly as it could be, for it is hard to teach anything in an environment that is filled with discomfort. Once that is established, we can begin the learning process.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I think the primary job of teachers should be to guide others through the process of learning. Give lessons on the learning process itself and how to best adapt it to one’s personality. It isn't all that difficult. Get to know them well, teach them what they need to know, and while you're giving them the rest of the information make sure you encourage them to explore the realm on their own. They should feel comfortable with asking any sort of question.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

The key is not necessarily to simply embrace the positive, but to understand and nullify the negative. If you are feeling depressed because of a bad grade, stop and think, "Why exactly DID I get such a low grade?" If you don't have standards you better make some, and work towards them. As you improve you will find yourself more confident, making less mistakes and having more success. Learn to actually face your mistakes and get past them. The problem isn't usually that somebody has no idea how to go about improving, it's that they embrace negativity too much. It makes for the availability of far too many excuses. The teacher's job is to remain as that positive, guiding entity that gently nudges them on a path of self-understanding and enlightenment. Once somebody learns to love themselves and embraces it while beginning to understand reality, it's much harder to keep them from being successful.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

I would first backtrack to previous material and any possible memory leaks, ensuring that they fully understand the prerequisites. Once that is done I would build on the wall of knowledge as carefully as I can, checking along the way to be sure they understand every atom of every brick. It seems to be the best way to go about things, regardless of whether or not they have a difficulty understanding it. I am not saying I would go slowly, I would just try to be as careful and as simple as possible. Remember to stay positive, keep a smile, but don't force it. Make sure they remain comfortable, even in doubt.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Difficulty with reading comprehension can stem from many things. Smaller attention spans require a more dynamic reading environment, possibly in spontaneous intervals; it just depends. One thing you might do is to go through a few sentences slowly, connecting them together as you go. Keeping an environment in which they comfortable can help not only to increase attention span but also to increase trust and respect for you. It is very important to trust them. When they are struggling with anything, ask them why, talk them through it, and let them express themselves with as little judgement as possible. Do your best to help them through the struggles, but remember to be honest. Be kind, but be honest.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Work with the student. Give them your trust first, and don't expect it back, just respect them. Give the student as much space as they need and let them get as comfortable as they can. Structure your teachings according to how both you and the student think they learn best, be innovative, passionate, and put some strength and power in your voice. Presentation is a big part of teaching. An audience will have a hard time understanding the subject at hand if they are distracted, after all. This doesn't just work well with students, this works well with anybody in general. Respect, trust, honesty, compassion; all are key ingredients to a healthy, encouraging environment.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

Conjure up some interesting facts about the subject. Being able to relate theory to the real world can have a major impact on someone, depending on how well you relate it to the social levels they most feel connected to, the personal level generally having the most impact. For instance, when teaching about numbers, you could cover all number bases and what civilization use what type of number system, relate it to language and how it developed throughout history. People will find it easier to like something they have connections with, and the more you like something the more likely you are to get better at it. (=

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

You could use a set of sample questions that cover every concept a couple of times over and go through explaining each question that isn't understood to ensure the material has been properly covered. Asking the student to give real examples of the material can be highly beneficial as well. It encourages one to apply theory to the real world, which is also highly motivating and even enlightening when done successfully for both the student and the teacher. Asking the student to give an example that demonstrates multiple concepts at once helps with the understanding of more realistic, complex systems. Variation is a pretty big factor.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

One of the first things you have to do is to get an understanding of how the student actually feels about their confidence. You do that by asking them of course. =3 Once you both have an understanding of where they stand, you can begin to work on what they do not understand. Working on the weakest links is what will quickly increase confidence, as humans are naturally over-pessimistic when doubting themselves. If the thing they understand the least isn't all that difficult, they will be more confident about the stance on the subject overall. Remain positive yourself, remember; you are a vessel for their success, just as they are.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

You can ask them, you can gauge it based on their psychological responses towards certain areas of the subject; there are many implicit things you can do. I feel the most respectful way is to ask them yourself. If they don't know, present them with every area of the subject you can think of and ask a few relevant questions. Reflect their responses back on them to be sure they understand what they're saying, and once you are both at an understanding you can gauge where assistance is most needed.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

Adapting can be pretty simple. Once somebody is comfortable with you it is easier to read them as a person, and that ease in readability allows a swifter determination of necessities and what types of information they best learn with. Being honest and respectful also means they are more willing to express how they feel about the subject and the stuff they need to work on. The extra comfort also adds a greater sense of self, allowing them to better analyze their needs. Once the needs are understood you can use their personality as a canvas to decide the best teaching methods.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Voice is extremely important. I use that. I use my heart, I am honest, thoughtful, respectful, considerate and compassionate. I try my best to be passionate about what I do, about my life in general and the people around me. I have a whiteboard to use if it is needed. I have paper to write on, pens and pencils, or I can get up and walk around a little if need be. Being in person is much, much easier because I can be right there next to the student. It makes interacting on a more personal level easier on my part for sure. I can use whatever the student requests too, and if I don't have it I can get a hold of it for another session. This is also a learning experience for me; it will take some time to garner all of the experience I need to be a proper teacher.