I recently graduated with a Ph.D. in Chemistry. I have almost 5 years of experience in teaching/tutoring Chemistry and Math. I believe that tutoring is a two-way learning process. I love the fact that I can help students to achieve their academic goal and at the same time I enhance my teaching and organization skills. My career goal is to be a part of an academic teaching and/or research institution. Tutoring students will be my training ground toward that goal. During my free time, I love hanging out and watching movies with some friends.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of the Philippines - Bachelor of Science, Chemical Engineering
Graduate Degree: University of Missouri-St Louis - PHD, Chemistry
Watching movies and hang out with friends, mountaineering
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
The effective way of teaching is to work with students. For example, solve problems with them, discuss the ways on how to determine the answers easily, and share the experiences you had before as a student when you encountered those topics. In this way, both the tutor and student will build a learning-teaching relationship and be more open on achieving the goals of tutoring.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help the students become independent learners by teaching them how to have good notes and how to show their work during tutoring. In this way, the students will have materials that they can look back at in the times when tutors are not around. This will also develop their study habits, especially when they are by themselves.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I can tell both my previous students' and my stories of our struggles in studying. Studying is a work in progress, but during this process, you learn a lot (both from mistakes and achievements).
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Every time I have difficulty with a concept, I always go back to basics and assess what area I need to know and improve upon. This is also what I would do when my student is having difficulty understanding or learning.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
In my opinion, reading comprehension needs focus and understanding of the material. At first, I would rephrase the words in an easier way that the student can understand. From there, I would help the student understand the material by focusing on key ideas and catching keywords.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I usually assess the student at the beginning. This includes observing how he/she writes his/her work, how he/she pays attention to my suggestions, how he/she creates his/her own way of learning the topics, and how he/she responds to my teaching by asking questions and answering my questions.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I always feel excited when, after I spend time on learning something, I actually understand the concept (no matter how big or small it is). This feeling of self-fulfillment makes me more excited to learn. This is also what I try to make my student feel during the tutoring process. I highlight their work so that they can feel satisfied with all the hard work they are doing.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Answering problems (either from the books or problems that I have created) will test the student's understanding of the material. In this way, the student will also know what area he/she needs to improve upon.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I can build a student's confidence by letting him/her know that what he/she is doing will help him/her in the future subjects/topics. This will make him/her realize that every time he/she spends time in studying, he/she can earn something that will serve as a ticket to learn the next topics.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I always check to see if the student has questions, and I ask about the improvements in his/her grades in school. I can also evaluate the problems that the student can answer or not answer. By doing this, I can evaluate myself as well (i.e., what I can improve or change in my ways of teaching).
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I prefer to use the textbooks that the student uses in class. I want to make the approach we are using and the way they are working in class similar, so the student can do well on the exams, quizzes, and homework.