I love teaching! I have a passion for sharing the knowledge I've acquired. I believe that gaining an understanding of a topic can transform how you view of the world and I believe we all need help sometimes to get from where we are to where we want to be.
By first getting an understanding of my client's needs, I am able to patiently break down the material in a way that makes it less overwhelming and help boost their confidence by emphasizing what they already know. Then we can take that confidence and tackle the material they currently struggle with, piece by piece.
I want my clients to gain a full understanding of the material so they can do well in the classroom and ultimately use the skills as a tool for life.
Missouri University of Science and Technology - Bachelors, Civil Engineering
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe the first step is to see what students know well then use that as the foundation to, brick by brick, build an understanding of any new or difficult material.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Listening and understanding the student's sources of pain and frustration is important in the first session in order to alleviate the anxiety associated with the material.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Giving a student a process for solving problems and a set of skills for managing stress, fear, and frustration is the best way to condition them to learn independently.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would remind them of the future reward for their efforts in order to shift the attention from the boredom or discomfort they may feel in the present. I'd also attempt to change the narrative about the work so it's no longer associated with being a source of displeasure.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I always try to break things down to the smallest parts possible then see which of those parts the student struggles with. It could be a word they don't understand or a previous concept they didn't quite grasp that is causing trouble for them in learning the new skill so sometimes it helps to take a step back and identify in weakness in previous skills before moving forward.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
The root to reading comprehension struggles is difficulty identifying individual words. Students have to first make sure the vocabulary in a text is fully understood. Encouraging a student to define unfamiliar words as they read is my first step. Then, encouraging students to make associations with what they read to what they have experienced in the world is my next step. Finally, I tell students to read twice as much as they have been reading because reading, like any other skill, takes practice.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The most important thing to helping a student is empathy. Acknowledging that a student's anxiety, frustration, fears and doubts are real and normal feelings to have helps them to feel less stress. That helps their brains function better, which helps them retain more. Listening to students has been the most useful tool I've found.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Associating a subject to things the student is already excited about is the fastest way to get them engaged with a subject they may find boring. It's about bridging the gap between what they enjoy and what they loathe.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Asking clarifying questions such as, "do you mean" or "what you’re saying is" helps me assess what the student really knows. And having them explain things to me in their own way also helps them find the language and confidence to communicate their understanding of the subject matter.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Celebrating little victories is how I help build confidence. I am a proponent of fist bumps and high fives.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's needs by actively listening to them and their parents.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Everyone is different and everyone response to different stimuli. For me, it's about being present and in the moment. I go into a situation with my teaching toolkit and pull out whichever tool feels appropriate at the time.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
An abundance of paper and pencils are a must. YouTube can be amazing so I always bring my phone with me. And a calculator.