I have been a tutor/writing consultant throughout college, working with students of all ages as well as providing services freelance for professionals. My clients constantly praise my patience and ability to present information to them regardless of their learning style or personality.
Undergraduate Degree: Rollins College - Bachelor in Arts, English
Reading, watching movies, playing video games
What is your teaching philosophy?
Every student is different, and they learn differently, so it is the educator's duty to find the paradigm that works for each student and engage them with what works for them.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I have the student explain their assignment, and then we talk about how we can work it out together. It is key to make sure they understand that we are team, but I am just the helper. I think that empowers them too, allowing the student to realize that they can do the work even if right now they need some assistance. Then, we dive right in, working through the assignment, paying close attention to the points or concepts that the student struggles with. Those we will revisit in later sessions to make sure they take hold. First sessions are always about connecting and fostering a working relationship.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
You have to empower them, show them that their interests are connected to the subject you are tutoring. Allow them to find enjoyment in the learning, and they will strive to do it more often.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Connect the student's work to their entertainment, find what thrills them, and bind the two together so that when they hit a hard patch you can remind them of the long term goal (bound to the "cool" thing they like) and they will power through the patch to move forward.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Knowing that each student learns differently, I always address struggles with shifting the teaching paradigm until I find the method that works for the student.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Smiling, patience, and honest engagement - these strategies always work with students. The smiles put them at ease, the patience allows them to feel comfortable about the tutoring or the subject, and of course, treating them like people and not kids fosters a trust and respect. This leads to a more open mind for the subject, concept, or assignment to be worked on.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would take a moment to find a way to relate the subject to something they do like. I am amazed at how students who love movies hate to write until they learn that all movies have written scripts, and students who think history is boring grow excited when they realize that the people in history weren't very different from those living today.