Ever since I was young, education has always been very important to me. I have strong memories of my hand shooting into the air, excited to answer questions about addition and subtraction and the like. Now that I'm a college student studying Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, I've made the deliberate decision to become a tutor with Varsity Tutors. My first tutoring job was as a Teacher's Assistant for a 5 week summer enrichment program for middle school aged kids. Not only did I love teaching and relating information to each child's personal needs, but also I enjoyed being able to look back at material I had already learned from the fresh point of view of someone seeing it for the first time.
There are many reasons that I believe make me a good tutor but of all of them, I would like to highlight my patience and listening ability. Patience is important because the same material is processed differently by each student and it's important to learn how a student learns before plunging into the task of teaching them. For example, some students are good with just talking and a verbal explanation of the material would suffice in their understanding of it. On the other hand, others are more visual learners and being able to draw or graph something out is needed to fit their learning needs. Another skill that ties into patience is my listening ability. In and out of classes I've had a lot of practice at active listening and I use this skill to better gain access to what their trying to say and furthermore what they need from me to become successful.
Finally, I'd just like to reiterate how passionate I am about this job. Ever since I first started tutoring I loved it. I love talking with students about the subject matter and I love teaching it. Most importantly, I love the moment when a student finally gets it and they understand the material they've been working so hard to learn. I take this job very seriously and I just can't wait to get started tutoring students through Varsity Tutors.
Undergraduate Degree: Washington University in St Louis - Current Undergrad, Psychology
ACT Math: 34
ACT Reading: 31
ACT Science: 31
SAT Subject Test in Biology E/M: 790
SAT Subject Test in Chemistry: 770
I love art and I find myself to be particularly musically gifted. I love playing the piano and I love singing
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is patience. It's all too easy to take for granted the information you've already learned. When teaching, it's important to keep this in mind and remember when information is new, you never know how long it'll take for it to sink in. Keeping this in mind is essential to teaching because it takes the pressure off the student to learn faster than they're able to.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Firstly, I'd take a little time to talk to them to get to know them. Ask them about their interests and personal hobbies, favorite classes and the like. When we get started on the material, I'd ask them what their favorite part of it is and what they feel strongest in. From there, I'd ask what they feel like their weakest in and start working on that. I believe if you start with their weakest aspect and try to make it stronger off the bat it sets a strong precedent for sessions to come.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Simply put: ask more questions than you answer. If you're always pushing the student to think about questions in new ways, eventually they'll start wondering these things on their own.