Hello. My name is Ejinkonye Anekwe. I am an anatomy and physiology instructor at Georgia Gwinnett College. I have been tutoring for approximately 10 years. I love to teach students. I love to make sure that people reach their goals. I believe that people are very intelligent and that with a little motivation they can reach their goals.
Clark Atlanta University - Bachelors, Biology
Tuskegee University - Masters, Biology
Columbus State University - Masters, M.P.A Public Administration
Nova Southeastern University - , Ph.D. Conflict Analysis and Resolution
What is your teaching philosophy?
Teaching Philosophy Teaching philosophies vary according to personal experiences and subject matter. In my particular case, I would like to discuss my teaching philosophy as it relates to the natural sciences, particularly biology. I will discuss the importance of being an educator, followed by an explanation of my use of problem-solving strategies, as well as my expectation of student success. Becoming an educator has been a lifetime aspiration of mine. I consider myself to be well rounded in both the natural sciences and social sciences because I hold graduate degrees in both areas. I gained research experience through practicum learning, theses, and teaching. However, I believe an educated person should disseminate knowledge to as many people as possible. As an educator, I take academic information and format it into language that is commonly understood by students. I relate what is taught in the classroom to situations in the actual world. That relation enables me to be successful as a teacher. As for problem-solving strategies, I utilize examples in the classroom to encourage my students to think “outside the box.” For instance, in my classes, I sometimes present clinical situations in which students can test their academic knowledge. This allows students to think about the options that are readily available and to find the best solutions. In terms of biology, I explain examples of cases in the news, such as stem cell therapy, face transplants, and taxonomy. These stories are often found in peer-reviewed scientific journals as well as through media outlets. I steer my students towards valid, scientific information that is not only informative, but also interesting. In terms of my expectations of student success, they are simple: I want them to think. Critical thinking is perhaps the most important aspect of learning because students get to apply what is in the textbook and to analyze if those situations can work. If the situations cannot work, then the students can explore ways to improve the situation. In doing so, my students become analytical agents who can approach the world in an open-minded and inquisitive manner. In closing, my teaching philosophy focuses on real-life approaches to problems. Textbooks are great resources, but they only offer a limited source of knowledge. Applying knowledge in actual settings can challenge the learner to think of solutions. I challenge my students daily in my classes. I want them to think about what academic concepts can work and what concepts need improving. As a result, many of my students go on to four-year colleges and become successful in their chosen fields.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would introduce myself and then ask the student their goals. I would then ask about their performance. Once I assess their performance, then I would ask my students to list their strengths and weaknesses. From there, we can begin tutoring.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I want the students to think critically, so I would ask the student to analyze the question. If it involves writing a detailed response, then we approach the question from a who, what, where, when, and how standpoint. From there, we list possible solutions and determine which solutions are appropriate for that question.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would tell the students to remember their reason for attending and to reassure them that following a goal takes perseverance.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would relate the concept to a real life situation such as shopping or the news. That works well when explaining a concept such as protein production, where I often compare mRNA translation to protein as when a package is scanned at a checkout counter.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I ask them to sound the word out and we use flash cards to accomplish this. I then ask them to sound it out three times, each time faster than the last. It builds confidence
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I use icebreaker strategies. If the student is younger, I ask them their hobbies. Once they feel comfortable with that question, I then ask them their goals. I then try to relate their hobbies to their goals. That exercise then makes them excited about learning.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I sometimes give them a history lesson on their subject. I found that some students don’t see the connection between the subject matter and their lives. I often try to make the students comfortable by telling them about African American inventors, since I deal mostly with African American students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would teach them to read paragraphs, analyze statements by understanding key words, and to respond with specific language.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I tell them to read over again three times. I then ask them the meaning of the concept. I then reassure them that the concept is only as difficult as you make it. I then tell them to break down the concept into a beginning, middle, and end. Once the student has broken down a subject matter, then the student has gained confidence.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
To evaluate a student’s need, I give a mock test. The test will consist of several questions in their field. If the student does not pass the test, then we start from the beginning. Most difficulty lies in definitions, so we go over the terms. From there, we associate the terms with the concepts, which may involve real life scenarios.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I can use a cultural approach. Many students do not understand that the concepts they learn can be used in negotiation, shopping, the news, or current events. For instance, if a student needs help in anatomy and physiology, we talk about injuries in sports.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
The first tutoring session will involve bringing a tablet computer. We can search for online tests and I can print them out. In addition, I will ask the student what books are needed. If I can get the books from the library, I can check them out. If not, I usually go to bookstores to get textbooks.