Hello, my name is Jake! I'm a recent UCLA grad working towards a Ph.D. in philosophy. I hope to utilize my philosophy training in order to facilitate a learning experience that is unique to the student. In other words, your lessons are about you! It is my mission to take any subject I can help with and make it applicable, relatable, and easy to grasp. My specialties are in English and the Humanities, and I work best with high school-to-college level subjects. I live in Los Angeles and am willing to work anywhere within the LA area.
UCLA - Bachelors, Philosophy
GRE Quantitative: 146
GRE Verbal: 162
AP US History
College Level American History
High School English
High School Geography
High School Level American History
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that the student, rather than the subject, is the center of the learning experience. I don't plan to lean on a textbook and inundate students with something they might not be able to understand. I'm most interested in figuring out my student's approach to learning and working around that. I do not have a one-size-fits-all approach to my lessons.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
After introducing myself, I would ask the students a little about who they are and what they like. I would try to assess what they tend to focus on in conversation and use that as a foundation for how to design future lessons. I would establish some background on the subject at hand, and then lightly quiz them on topics tangential to the subject, so I can see where their strengths and weaknesses are and what I should begin working on with them. I would be prepared with some sort of material (a printout, a pamphlet, link to a video, etc.) for them to go over by themselves in preparation for our next lesson.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I would utilize some sort of external media for them to critically engage with and help them develop the skills to do this on their own. Some students, for example, learn better by reading in short sessions rather than long passages in one sitting. Some students learn more successfully by hands-on interaction rather than text reading. I hope to find what the student engages with most and help them apply those same principles to anything they might encounter in a classroom.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I hope to encourage motivation by helping students set realistic goals while maintaining a flexible timetable, so that if a student does not meet expectations, we can adjust accordingly.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try to come up with relatable examples that would allow the student to demonstrate and learn the skill dynamically. If It's proving particularly difficult to understand, I'll try to bring in as many related concepts as I can to place the subject in a broader context.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would help students break down passages into smaller components in order to analyze and recognize patterns in the text. Once the style of the text is assessed, it becomes easier to relate component concepts to each other as they reappear and transform throughout the passage.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I've found it important to get a reference for the particular skills and interests of the student. I like to let them first tell me what they already know, or what they already believe that they know, about the subject, and what they've found both the easiest and most difficult parts to learn were.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would try to relate it to a subject they're already excited about. If a student can incorporate a new piece of information into an existing mental framework and make it useful to them, they're much more likely to want to know more and actively pursue the subject.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would want to quiz them at frequent intervals to make sure they understand what we've covered, and if not, I'll be sure to slow down a bit until we've mastered it. I would also want them to demonstrate that they can apply and independently reproduce what they've learned rather than parrot what they've heard without taking it in.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By taking time out to appreciate progress made, and to make sure they understand how much what they've learned was built on the foundation of what they already knew.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I would ask them directly what they lack confidence in within a subject and try to understand why there's a gap in comprehension. The student is the best authority on their needs.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I like to check in often about how they feel the tutoring is going, and if there's anything they feel I could do to help them in any way.