I am currently a student at California State University, Long Beach pursuing a Bachelor's in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering. Because of my passion for math and my desire to help people, I decided to pursue an engineering degree. These passions are also why I became a math tutor, and I find math to be an important subject that I believe every student has the capability to excel in. There's also the reward in seeing students' eyes light up when they understand math and grow in confidence. My experience includes working with high school students in geometry, algebra, and trigonometry. Working with a student individually not only shows progress but also allows me to focus on his or her needs and put in my best efforts. I find that it is more important to teach math to an individual student because each one has different strengths and weaknesses to address. Outside of tutoring, I spend my free time reading, writing, designing small electronic projects, and participating in campus organizations.
California State University-Long Beach - Bachelors, Electrical Engineering
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy includes being responsive and respectful to my students while effectively teaching the concepts.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In my first session, I would get to know the student first so he or she is comfortable speaking to me. Then, I would ask what the student struggles and excels in, so I could assess the student's needs.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
In order for students to become independent learners, I teach them study skills that they can apply to their homework when I am not there. I also make sure students do their homework themselves first before reviewing it, providing tips and tricks, and asking them to attempt the problems again without my help.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I always allow a student to ask questions and answer them as honestly and as respectfully as I can. By doing so, this allows a student to become curious about the subject and want to know more. Another way I would keep a student motivated, is by sharing my experiences and showing that learning truly helps a student in the long run.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
In regards to math, I would provide a student with easier examples of the skill or concept and then progress towards harder examples. It also helps to provide different types of examples such as word problems instead of math equations, so the skill or concept is still practiced but in different forms.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
First, I determine what the student finds difficult such as grammar conventions and vocabulary words. I review those with the students until they feel comfortable and understand. Then, I encourage the student to read/write more or to practice new words each day when I am not in session with them.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Socializing with a student beforehand helps a lot. It can be small talk like interests and hobbies, but I find that helps a student relax and not feel like all I care about is raising his or her grade. Also, allowing a student to ask any question increases a student's confidence and curiosity, which also promotes motivation.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would assess what a student likes and try to incorporate the subject with it. That way the student can associate the difficult subject with something more engaging to learn. Another method would be starting out simple so the student builds confidence towards the subject.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
When it comes to math, I never give a student the same problems over and over again. I always change them up so the student has to apply learned material and concepts instead of answering based on memorization. Working alongside a student when he or she is doing homework also gives me an idea of understanding and determining a student's weak points.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I start out with simpler, straightforward problems before increasing the difficulty for a student. This builds confidence because a student can know that math isn't all that hard when you start out with the basics. Once the basics are mastered, a student is more ready to take on challenges. Also, I work on improving not only the weaknesses of a student but also the strengths. Finding out what a student is good at will make him or her more motivated to learn and realize that there is potential.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I always ask what a student's goals are and what he or she finds difficult first because it's necessary to know what the student wants. He or she will be more motivated if personal needs are met. Then I assess how a student does homework and studies in order to determine what else a student can work on.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I determine what study methods are best and try to apply those so learning is easier. For example, if the student is a visual learner, I would use a whiteboard or paper. If the student is an auditory learner, I would talk about what steps need to be taken in a clear and concise manner.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
With math, I always have a notebook and pencil handy to write out practice questions and to use as scratch paper. If the student has a textbook, I would use the questions from there and sometimes have the student reference the lessons. I try to find videos online that can sometimes better explain difficult concepts.