I first started tutoring general chemistry almost 3 years ago. I prefer to first get to know and understand my students, so I can understand where they need the most focus. From there I make a specialized plan to get them to understand the material, and explain it very simply and thoroughly. My teaching style closes mathces how I teach myself material, and will facilitate students learning independently in the future.
In June 2015 I graduated from DePaul University with a Bachelors Degree in Chemistry. I am currently pursuing a Master in Chemical Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology, with an expected graduation date of May 2017.
My favorite subjects to teach are calculus and chemistry. I use these almost every day and know them well. My hobbies and interests outside of tutoring include reading, video games, going to shows, and going out with friends.
DePaul University - Bachelors, Chemistry
Illinois Institute of Technology - Masters, Chemical Engineering
ACT Reading: 31
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to first understand the student. What they know well, and where they need to grow. This allows me easily and simply explain the material, and allows the student to understand it as well.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I will try to get to know the student, and ask them what their strengths and weaknesses are. Then I will start to try some surface level material with them and see how they handle that. From there I will create a plan that focuses on where they need help the most.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Students need to identify what areas they know well, and areas they do not know as well. This is the easy part. The hard part is actually sitting down and reviewing the material, or doing practice problem until it clicks. Once students have the drive to do this, learning independently will come easy.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would they to get them focused on something in the future. Taking a break after a student has completed a problem or has been studying hard is very helpful to motivate them to finish. It is how I motivate myself to study or do homework as well.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would ask them if they understand the concept or skill, and try to get their perspective. I would ask them to try to explain or demonstrate the skill to me, like I was a student. From there I will be able to tell if it is a fundamental problem of understanding the concept, or if they are getting caught up somewhere else. Trying to explain the concept or skill in a different way or showing examples always will help.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
First getting to know the student, their motivations, and their strengths and weaknesses. From there we can formulate a plan to focus on where they are having the most difficulty, and motivate them to keep trying.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I always try to show the practical side of what they are learning. If they think a subject is not useful, or not interesting, a real world example with the student is always helpful. Once they see how the subject is useful, or they see an engaging real world example of it, their interest is usually sparked.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Asking them to explain the material to me like I had no knowledge of it, or giving them a problem that they had not seen before, but had to think critically about is usually a good indicator that the really understand the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
If they can complete many different problems in a subject, and explain how and why they completed them to me usually builds a student’s confidence in the material.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I first ask the students directly what they think about the material and what they need to learn from it. From there I will ask a few questions to see if what they said coincides with how they can perform.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Each student is different, and what they need to learn is going to be different also. Once I know the student and what understand, I can work on a specific strategy for them, that will help them specifically grow.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
It depends on what I am teaching the student. But mostly I have a pen and paper, calculator and a subject book. This will allow us to try problems and cover material quickly.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would try to understand why they are having difficulties, and then address their problems from there.