Hi! My name is Austin Butler and I am 24 years old. I am currently a graduate student studying geophysics at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois and will be graduating with my Master of Science degree in May 2016. I graduated with my Bachelor of Science degree in geology with a minor in math from Centenary College of Louisiana in May 2014. I have been tutoring and teaching math and science of all levels for over 3 years. I have been a private tutor, a tutor for the math departments at both Centenary and SIU, a teaching assistant for undergraduate level math courses at SIU, and also a tutor for companies such as Sylvan Learning and At Home Academy. I am from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and I miss the south! Upon graduating from SIU, I will be moving to Houston, Texas. I love teaching and helping others learn new concepts and ideas. I feel that I am a skilled tutor in that I am able to put things in many different ways until my student understands it in his or her own way.
Centenary College of Louisiana - Bachelors, Geology
Southern Illinois University Carbondale - Current Grad Student, Geophysics
GRE Quantitative: 164
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that every person has the right to an education and a competent teacher. My goal is to be that teacher who cares deeply about each student's success and understanding of subject material. It is important that a teacher remain calm and not get frustrated at a student, but rather understand the position he or she is in. I do my very best to teach in this way so that my students get the most out of our time together.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session with a student, I begin with spending some time getting to know him or her. I think it is important to develop a relationship with a student and seem very approachable and easy to talk to. I try to find out things such as their interests and dislikes, and also what we may have in common. Then, I broadly go over the material in the subject we are meeting about to see what the student has mastered and feels comfortable with, as well as what they are struggling with and need to focus on. This helps in the future so that we do not waste time on material they know well.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
In order to make sure that a student is becoming more independent in their learning, I begin to do less and less for them, requiring them to explain to me what the next step is or why we did a certain thing. That way, they are understanding it on their own, and will eventually be able to do the problems without my help at all.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
First of all, I try to be motivating all of the time by keeping a positive attitude when I meet with a student. I feel that a positive attitude is contagious, uplifting, and boosts the student's morale, which in turn gives them more confidence while doing school work. I continue to be motivating during our lesson by praising him or her when it is deserved, and by reminding them how their good work is going to pay off in the classroom and with their parents and teachers. If necessary, I will use physical rewards during our meetings; usually a candy of the student's choice.