I will always be a lifelong learner. The tutor-student relationship is one of reciprocity where each person must work to learn from each other in effort to best understand the subject matter at hand. Ultimately, learning should be both fun and challenging. Like most things worthwhile, knowledge a reward of working through limits.
Undergraduate Degree: University of Dayton - Bachelors, English
ACT Composite: 28
ACT English: 30
ACT Math: 25
ACT Reading: 29
ACT Science: 25
Creative Writing, Playing and composing music, Physical training, Soccer, Cooking
What is your teaching philosophy?
As a tutor, I aim to develop customized methods for each student that is sensitive to each individual's learning strategies. This starts with being an active listener, and using direct and effective questions to engage critical thought.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I will first share my background and interests. It is important for both of us to see each other as humans first to work through any initial nervousness. Then I will ask about the student's interests in the subject at hand, where he or she might feel that they thrive, and where they feel they can improve. Then we'd have the students enhance strength and improve upon weaknesses using textual examples.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Being self-taught is highly important. I will use questions to challenge students to work through content themselves rather than engaging in lecture-style teaching. I will let the student's intuitive curiosity guide a session, while using the text as a grounding source.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I will encourage students to not burn out. Speaking from experience, working on aspects of mentality, such as focus and relaxation, are equally as important as discussing content. I will advocate for setting achievable study goals, and then making plans to reach such goals. It is essential to be achievable with studies. Rather than cramming for hours on end, I'll promote healthy study habits. When one is burnt out on a particular text, move on and come back later. Taking on a little every day is easier on the psyche than feeling like it all comes down to one or two nights of preparation.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
First things first, stay positive by being encouraging and empowering. I'd assure the student that difficulty in learning means they're pushing against a personal limit, and with reliance and patience, will prevail. I'd work on the skill or concept in increments, not forcing the issue but rather developing thought on the matter at hand, using numerous and diverse examples that take on different perspectives for the same matter. When one catches on more than another, we'll push more upon that.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I utilize the dictionary. it is perhaps my favorite resource because it can be inspiring. By encouraging the attitude that tools like the dictionary are sources of positive support, not to be thought of as a crutch, motivation for developing vocabulary will follow. Further, I will encourage the student to read something they enjoy every day, whether it be one poem, a news article or fifty pages of a novel. Being consistent with reading will enhance comprehension skills, and exposing someone to new mediums will bolster that sentiment.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The first task is to get used to a student's learning tendencies and whether they are more of a talker or a listener. If they like to talk, then letting them talk through their thoughts about a subject question will help me respond with specific, directed questions to push them forward. If they are a listener by nature, then more general questions will start conversation. It helps to gain the trust of students by sharing personal anecdotes with related material and situations that may have been challenging.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would help them set achievable goals as we make a plan to work through struggles. Setting functional goals that one can cross off a list and pride themselves on creates motivation. Action sparks inspiration just as much as inspiration sparks action. So simply getting started will help engage the student in a long-term commitment. Further, applying the subject beyond the realm of our study to help understand a broader context may help a student relate to a potentially distant subject.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would have the student essentially teach me, in their own words, the material. If a student can iterate a concept in their own language, then they are not simply memorizing the facts, but comprehending material as it makes sense to them.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Goal setting and planning are essential. It is important to assure that a student will be learning things every day for their entire life. Helping them set small, achievable goals for each day and week will make the task feel less daunting.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Questions begin the conversation. It is important for a student to express both their struggles AND successes. Chances are that, once these lists are expressed, we can work off of the student's self-identified needs or further questions about areas they may not have given much consideration in regards to their strengths and weaknesses.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
The key virtue is patience. I will not be able to best know my student's learning needs by the end of the first session. As we develop the relationship, I will be able to gauge what type of questions the student best responds to when examining a set of material.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I like to focus on the text at hand as the primary tool. I find that using screens, especially more than one, can become distracting. However, I like to have access to a dictionary to encourage vocabulary enhancement during the session.