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Ruby

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I have ample experience tutoring in a variety of subjects and with diverse groups of children. I've tutored children since I was in high school myself, working with kids on interview and SAT prep, college applications, social studies, biology, chemistry, math, statistics, writing and various APs. Since high school, I have tutored Spanish-speakers in English, worked extensively in diverse, low-income childcare settings with typically-developing and developmentally disabled children. I currently work teaching health and science to middle and high schoolers. I am also applying to medical school, with success in all pre-med topics (including physics, chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, biochemistry, sociology and psychology). I also scored a 528 on the MCAT and would be happy to offer MCAT tutoring!

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Ruby’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Duke University - Bachelors, Psychology; Global Health; Biology

Hobbies

I'm a student, trying to go to medical school! I just got back from a year working in global health and medicine in Malawi. Hobbies: Hanging out with friends, trying new things and foods, cooking, cross-stitch, hiking, biking, being outdoors, traveling

Tutoring Subjects

Algebra

AP Biology

AP Comparative Government and Politics

AP European History

AP Human Geography

AP Physics 2

AP Psychology

AP U.S. Government & Politics

AP United States History

AP US History

Biology

College Biology

College English

College Essays

College Geography

College Level American History

College Physics

English

English Grammar and Syntax

ESL/ELL

Essay Editing

Geography

Gifted

Graduate Test Prep

High School Biology

High School English

High School Geography

High School Level American History

High School Physics

History

Languages

Life Sciences

Math

MCAT Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

MCAT Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems

MCAT Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior

Medicine

Other

Physics

Psychology

Public Health

Reading

SAT Subject Test in Biology E/M

SAT Subject Test in United States History

SAT Subject Tests Prep

Science

Social Sciences

Social Studies

Spanish 1

Special Education

Test Prep

Writing

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I've always liked helping students to figure out the answer for themselves, providing them with the tools and support so that they can do the leg work!

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

We would talk about the subject -- their previous experience with it, the structure of their class or learning environment so far, and the areas that are particularly easy/challenging for them. I'd also want to discuss what they want to get out of tutoring (e.g. a 5 on the AP test or an A in the class) and their specific preferences for the sessions, if any (i.e., do they want this as a time to work through problems together? To talk through the subject? Do they prefer more instructive or participatory?).

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I think it's important to help them to find the answers themselves. I think that most people are smart enough to solve problems, even in difficult subjects -- they just need to be equipped with the proper thinking structures and prerequisite skills. I think it's up to the tutor to guarantee those structures and prerequisite skills are in place, and then to guide the student on their own learning journey. Also, I think it's important to catch onto what interests them and make the learning relevant and interesting to them!

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I take a number of approaches, but my two biggest are to try to make lessons relevant and interesting to them and to set small, achievable goals (using the SMART goal framework) so that they don't get overwhelmed by the amount they have to learn. Instead, they feel a motivating sense of accomplishment as they achieve incremental goals.

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

Everybody learns differently. I'd talk through the challenge with them and try to see what part of the skill or concept is confusing for them, and we would specifically work on that. I might also try a different style of learning -- be it auditory, visual, physical/tactile, or whatever else might work. For example, in tutoring for biology, I've worked with the student to physically act out the movement of molecules during protein synthesis.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

This depends on the subject. Reading comprehension in the sciences is a very different skill than reading comprehension in literature. For both, the first step is to understand if the student is understanding the vocabulary being used and its meaning in context.

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

When we're just starting out, I've found it's helpful to get to know the student a little. This allows me to personalize their lessons to be more interesting. I've also found it's useful to discuss and possibly do a quiz to determine their ideal learning style so I can cater the sessions and the advisement I give to their needs.

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

It's easy to get discouraged and feel like you don't like something if you're struggling with it! It's important to find ways to make the subject interesting to them, and to use creative and diverse methods of instruction. Traditional methods of instruction and problem sets can be useful, but if someone is struggling, it can be helpful to learn in a way that is more engaging and sensory -- like through music, physical activity or games.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

For standardized exams like the SAT or AP exams, I think it's important to take practice tests. Although we could do this within a session, I would encourage the student to do it on their own, as I think it would be a better use of our time to review the material and challenges within the test rather than for them to do the test in my presence. However, I'm open to parent/student needs.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

I engage them and make the subject relevant and interesting to them.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

This depends on the goals of the student and their parents for the tutoring. If the tutoring is for a specific test, I would be interested to do a practice test. I'd also look at previous classwork and talk to the student and their parents about their successes and needs.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I like to figure out what interests them - both in their life in general and within the subject - and tailor the tutoring to be relevant and interesting to them.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

It varies depending on topic and with each student. I would bring all necessary supplies to the lesson.

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