I currently attend the University of Arizona (honors college) as a Biochemistry and Molecular Cellular Biology double major. I am attending the University of Arizona to obtain my Bachelors of Science degree(s).
I have tutored as a volunteer during my Senior year of high school and currently tutor as a part-time job at the University of Arizona. I tutor in Math (up to Geometry) and general Chemistry. I enjoy tutoring in Math because there is only one answer (unless you are working with absolute values) and multiple ways to achieve that answer. So, if one method used to achieve the answer doesn't fit with your learning style there are other methods available.
Usually when I tutor, I will ask questions in attempt to understand how much the student knows and where the "holes" in their learning are located. It's important to find these gaps because it enables me to understand what topics should be reviewed or emphasized. I also believe that asking questions encourages the student to think, which helps them make connections. The connections they make will help them in future situations because the students created these connections rather than merely being told information. I do not believe in simply giving out answers. I believe that memorizing answers do not help the student learn and that it actually hurts their learning. In math especially, the topics build on each other and so a strong foundation is necessary to be successful.
Aside from tutor-y stuff: I enjoy learning (coding, guitar, random trivial facts, etc), watching tv shows (such as 2 broke girls, House, Rick and Morty, Pretty Little Liars, Stitchers, and Bob's Burgers just to name a few). I also enjoy drawing, painting, reading, sculpting, sleeping, eating and hanging out with friends.
Undergraduate Degree: University of Arizona - Current Undergrad, Biochemistry and molecular/cellular Biology
Baking desserts, playing League of Legends, learning, playing guitar, drawing, sculpting, watching anime, watching tv shows, learning to code, working out, watching YouTube videos, cats, and more.
What is your teaching philosophy?
It is not about the answer, but how to obtain it.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I first ask the for basics such as age, grade and their birthday. Then I ask if they have any trouble with a particular subject or type of question.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Rather than stating what they should do next, I ask them what they think they should do. I ask open ended questions that helps them make decisions on their own. I also help them understand the process, rather than to get them the right answer so they know how to solve a certain kind of questions. This way they are able to apply the process the next time they see a similar question.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
If necessary, I will take breaks and simply talk to them. By talking to them, I understand the reason why they are losing motivation. I'll also encourage them verbally, such as "wow you completed that question so fast, you see you can do this without my help." These little words of encouragement boost the student's confidence, which is used to fuel their motivation. I avoid buying gifts, because they may develop the idea that they will be materially rewarded for doing their homework (which is something that should be done without a material reward).
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I try to understand what part of the concept they are struggling with by asking them questions. Everyone has gaps in their learning, and it is my job as a tutor to fill in those gaps.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Generally, the struggle begins with the question being asked. Oftentimes the student does not fully understand what the question is asking. So, that is where I encourage the student to break down the question and clarify what the question is asking, and where to look to find the answer.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
It is good to maintain a relationship of mutual respect. Without this foundation the student will not want to listen to what you have to say and will not want to work. Though I say respect, it is not an authoritarian relationship. The student should feel comfortable asking questions and should not feel judged when they get the answer wrong. I also found that it is good to ask open ended questions, because they help me understand where they are having trouble.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Connect the topics being learned to real life situations that the student enjoys. Possibly give out small rewards.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I will create questions that test the material being learned without aid. If the student gets stuck I will know where they need a little extra assistance.