A photo of Tierra, a tutor from Norfolk State University

Tierra

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Education is the key to a successful future and opens the door to many of life’s opportunities. You’ve made the first major step by ensuring that your child gets the best enrichment and remediation to put them ahead of the curve. I am a graduate, with Honors, from Norfolk State University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. I received my Master of Science through the University of the District of Columbia and Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Cancer Biology, Prevention and Control. Currently, I am completing my Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular Medicine. In the span of my education I have had the opportunity to complete research internships at Yale University, The Ohio State University and the National Institute of Health, as well as be awarded two research Fellowships. I have an enormous passion for Biology, Chemistry, Math and History. As a tutor, I have helped many students at the K-12 and undergraduate levels, and take the most pride in seeing my students improve their grades and begin to appreciate the subject. It is important to me that I not only help to enrich my students in the subject area but to also provide an atmosphere where they become confident, independent learners and can apply that throughout the course of their education. In my spare time, you can find me in the laboratory working on my thesis, working out, finding new restaurants to try (I’m a major foodie), and at the beach in the warmer months.

Tierra’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Norfolk State University - Bachelor of Science, Biology, General

Graduate Degree: UDC/Georgetown University - Master of Science, Cancer Biology, Prevention, and Control

Hobbies

Working out, finding new restaurants to try, swimming, and spending time with family

Tutoring Subjects

African-American History

Algebra

AP English Language and Composition

Biostatistics

Cell Biology

Chemistry

College Biology

College Chemistry

College English

College Essays

English

Essay Editing

General Biology

High School Chemistry

High School English

IB Chemistry

IB Chemistry HL

Math

Middle School Science

Molecular Biology

Other

Physical Chemistry

Physical Science

Pre-Algebra

Psychology

Public Speaking

Reading

Science

Social Sciences

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Summer

US History

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is to create an environment where I encourage my students to seek answers, advance thought, learn the importance of organization and preparation, and develop a passion for their education. I believe that all students have the ability to excel, and it's my job to reinforce the material and present it in a way that maintains their interest and clarifies difficult concepts.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Encouragement, positive feedback, reasonable expectations, and goal-oriented milestones are just some of the ways I keep my students motivated. When working with students who are challenged by a particular subject matter, it is important to reward academic achievements along the way. For example, I had a student who had difficulty reading, and we worked out a reward where if he read to his sister every night for 15 minutes for two months, he would get tickets to a local baseball game, provided by his parents. He set the goal for himself and took pride and joy in working towards that goal. His little sister was also happy for her night time reading. I also encourage parents to continue "quizzing" and asking questions during non-tutor hours to show their encouragement and investment towards their student's goal.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

I believe that students have the most difficulty learning a concept when it is just presented in one way. The way to tackle the problem of concept difficulty is to present it in different forms for the student to digest. Some of us are visual learners, while others need a more-hands on approach. Incorporating numerous approaches and techniques aids in my tutoring methods of difficult concepts.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

I have found that first understanding how the student learns and what they feel is the difficulty is the best way to be successful with a student. I think it's important to have an understanding of the student so that I can approach the material in a way that they will be receptive to. I have found that students are much more successful with tutoring and school when they can voice their issues.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

It is always difficult to love something that you can't understand. However, as a PhD. student in the medical sciences, it is something that I encounter all the time. The key to getting a student engaged and excited in difficult material is to one explain that we all have this issue, and there is always some topic that is difficult, even to a genius. It is important that a student not feel alienated for not understanding a certain topic. Second, I like to take a real-world approach to difficult concepts and show how these abstract ideas play out in real life. That could be a simple as pointing out shapes and angles in building architecture to a struggling geometry student, or having a student pay the cashier to work on math-related deficiencies.