I am currently an electrical engineering student, graduating this fall, for a BE at The Grove School of Engineering: The City College of New York.
As a student I have gained a plethora of experience helping others learn material for advanced level classes such as Physics, Calculus, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra and more. Often times, my colleagues and I would form study groups where we would have to learn, and teach, material much like a tutoring session.
I've spent time explaining material from Calc I, Calc II, Calc III (which also ties into AP Calculus AB and BC), Physics I, Physics II, Differential Equations, and Linear Algebra among other variations of math. Out of these I would say I enjoy teaching Physics because it fills a void of conceptual understanding that is often lost in years of rigorous education. This subject is applicable to the real world -- it's much harder to ask the question, "When will we ever need this" when physics is used to solve everyday problems and is directly applicable to the world around us.
My teaching philosophy is simple. I put myself in the place of the student. I would not want to be given false information -- I want to understand the core concepts and understand how to solve problems without headache. This means that as a tutor I don't like to disappoint. I start by explaining core concepts that tie into many different types of problems. Understanding core concepts is the key to success, so that's where I like to start. I don't like shortcuts to problems because the same problems could have a slightly different variation, so the same shortcut used before may not work which is why understanding general concepts can help solve a problem even if the answer isn't clear at first. Conceptually understanding material is very important because it gives us intuition and general problem solving skills that carry over into other areas. If the student understands these concepts, I go onto practice problems and many variations of them to test their understanding of these concepts.
However, I will most likely use the problems and work provided by the students specific teacher/class because every teacher teaches a different way, and the work given by a specific teacher may not be exactly the same as another teacher.
There are of course times where I've forgotten concepts or new concepts I've never seen are brought up. In these cases, both I and the student benefit. I will have to relearn the material and this is when explaining it becomes much more natural. Starting at the same base point as the student makes it so that we are both involved in solving the problem and therefore both learn.
Besides school related areas some of my hobbies are weightlifting, playing guitar, and video games. I've been weightlifting for around 4 years now, and have been constantly working on my personal health and image ever since. I am dedicated to this hobby -- going to the gym around 3-4 times a week, and follow a strength training program. I have learned plenty about physical health and the proper way to stay active, get stronger, and push yourself without getting injured.
I played electric guitar for 4 years in high school and recently started playing again on and off. I learned by myself through online tutorials and enjoy playing many different types of music from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Metallica. Besides playing music I listen to a wide range of music from Classical to Metal.
As for personal projects, I've taken up programming as a side hobby. I've started to develop some video games for my own enjoyment but also as a tool to learn new programming languages while getting familiar with tools such as GUIs.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: CUNY City College - Building Engineer, Electrical Engineering
Weightlifting, Coding, Research, TV, Video games
12th Grade Math
College Computer Science
High School Computer Science
High School Physics
Technology and Computer Science
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Teach unto others as you would want to be taught.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Make them feel more comfortable. They're not talking to a professor; they are talking to another student.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
That's a tough question, but basically, I'd just show them that the work is doable. The biggest obstacle when learning independently is not knowing if you're capable of the work.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Give them insight on my past experiences as a student.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Try to explain the material in a different way. If not, I'll move on for a bit and come back to it later
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Do work examples, then have the student perform work for other problems. If they are stuck, ask questions to lead them in the right direction.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Try to connect it to real world problems/applications.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By working through the material. There are certain things that are different from student to student that may be easier or more challenging.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Ask them. It's like studying with a partner, this is the time to go over material they aren't sure of.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
The material given to them in class. If it is not sufficient, I use material from my own classes and textbooks as well.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
The only way to improve is to see examples and explain it, so slowly the student will build an intuition about how to interpret a sentence.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Question. Constantly ask them questions and get them to think on their own.