Do you ever go into class thinking, "Okay, I am 100% focused and I will completely understand everything my teacher says", and leave thinking "What just happened?!?"... It's not uncommon. Often times you might just be one concept behind and are always trying to play mental catch-up during lecture. Or maybe you just learn better in terms of "apples" when your teacher only knows how to to teach in terms of "oranges". Let me help you get ahead of the game and compare apples to oranges. There is no reason why you cant learn anything you want, get back on track, and make light work of your once most dreaded subject matter. I love to tutor because there is nothing more rewarding than getting to that "Aha!" moment that every student strives to reach. Come attack your problems from a new angle and "Aha!" with me!
University of North Florida - Current Undergrad, Mechanical Engineering
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that all students can learn, no matter the subject matter or its complexity. For me, it's a love of learning that drives me to take on new and difficult material, and it's this same love of learning that I try to instill in every student I help. Breaking difficult concepts down into their most basic parts is critical to gain a greater understanding. What's more important is taking a step back and explaining the larger idea and its implications on what a student is trying to learn. Why are we learning this? What would we use this for? How does this help me? These are the questions I most love to answer.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would get to know the student on a more personal level so that he or she would become more comfortable in sharing what they struggle with, or don't understand about the subject matter. It can be difficult to share your weaknesses with a stranger, so breaking down that barrier is very important.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By slowly introducing higher order, open-ended questions, I would encourage the student to think for themselves, grow their problem-solving skills, and shift the responsibility of question asking to them. In time, they would be able to develop their own questions and answer them too.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would ask the student to explain the concept to me as if I were the student and he or she were the teacher. If they can convey it in their own words, then they have a good grasp on the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Throw a completely different sounding problem at them. If they can see the path and work out the answer, then it means that they are not just "going through the motions" of solving a simple problem, but are now able to trail-blaze in that subject and tackle any problem they get.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
When learning a new skill or concept, slow and steady usually wins the race. However, sometimes slow and steady may just hit a brick wall, and a new approach is necessary. Sometimes, I like to solve a practice problem all the way, with minimal narration, and get right to the solution. By see the solution and answer all at once, the student can oftentimes make better sense of how it all works. Sometimes, you just need to dive head first into a new concept, if testing its waters is too confusing.