A photo of Connell, a tutor from University of Virginia-Main Campus

Connell

Certified Tutor

Call us today to connect with a top tutor
(888) 888-0446

I am a 2015 graduate of the University of Virginia, where I received my Bachelor's of Science degree in biochemistry and a minor in biology. I graduated a member of Phi Beta Kappa. While in college, I was on a pre-medicine track, and I am currently applying to various MD programs around the country. As of now I am living in Richmond, VA, where I also work as a medical scribe.

In the past I held a series of paid and unpaid teaching positions for science classes, where I realized I had a talent and passion for helping students succeed in their classes. These positions include one-on-one tutoring sessions, being a teaching assistant for lecture classes, and aiding other teaching assistants in lab classes. Through these experiences I became proficient in many different teaching styles, allowing me to cater to a variety of different types of students.

My approach to tutoring is to provide high quality education using an interactive teaching plan. My goal is to create an active learning experience where I first guide students through difficult concepts and then reinforce these concepts through problem solving. I usually start with a problem that requires knowledge of the subject, and lead the student through it. Over time, as the student becomes more familiar with the concept enough to solve problems him-/herself, I can remove myself from the equation. My hope is that through me my students can develop good studying habits and a passion for learning and the sciences.

Connell’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Virginia-Main Campus - Bachelor of Science, Biochemistry

Hobbies

TV, music, movies, reading, eating at restaurants, origami, going to the beach, skiing, tennis, swimming, and snowboarding

Tutoring Subjects

AP Physics 1

Biology

Cell Biology

Chemistry

College Biology

College Chemistry

College Physics

Evolutionary Biology

General Chemistry

High School Biology

High School Chemistry

High School Physics

Organic Chemistry

Physics

Science


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that teachers and tutors are there to guide students to a better understanding of the topic. I like to ask my students a lot of questions to encourage an active learning experience.

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

I would start with a general assessment of what the students know. I would then try to get a feel for the student as a person as well as understand his/her learning style. Finally, I would ask the student what he/she hopes to get out of the tutoring. This can include more practice problems, another presentation of difficult material, help with studying, etc.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I like to start a difficult concept by introducing it in a textual sense, followed by leading the student through practice problems. Later on, I like to have the student work more independently as he/she becomes more comfortable with the material.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I like to have the student actively participate in the tutoring because that lets me know that the student is actually thinking and processing the information. I like to be in tune with the student's individual needs, trying to create custom lesson plans catered to each student so the student learns in a way that is comfortable to him/her.

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

I've noticed that students that have a significant issue with a concept usually have an issue in understanding an earlier concept. In these cases, I will try to assess why the student is having a difficult time learning, and I'll work with him/her to figure out exactly how he/she can gain more familiarity.

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

As someone who does not like reading large blocks of text, I like to take a break after each paragraph to better digest what was just said. When teaching students, I try to guide them through the concept in the same way: stopping every so often to digest the concept and find out how it fits into the bigger picture.

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

I find that turning a learning experience into a two-way conversation by asking questions is useful in understanding the student's level of knowledge, as well as his/her methodologies for problem solving.

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

I try to get the student excited and engaged in a subject by making the tutoring sessions upbeat and fun. I try to come off as approachable and positive so the student feels more comfortable in the tutoring environment. I also like to provide words of encouragement to help the student feel like the tutoring session is time well spent.

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

I like to ask many conceptual questions during sessions to make sure the student knows the material. Later on, I like to create problems off the top of my head to help the students put together the concepts.

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

I like to offer words of encouragement when a student learns even a small concept, or remembers an earlier concept, because I believe knowledge is cumulative. I believe that even if we do not advance in the material and only spend tutoring sessions reviewing it, it is still time well spent because the student will be better prepared for next time.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I like to ask a lot of questions during my initial presentation of new material to make sure that the student has a good foundation with which to build new knowledge. If he/she does not know something, I will dig deeper until I can find the root of the issue and work to fix that before moving on further.

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

I like to start each tutoring session asking what the students would like to do during the session. Periodically through the session, I will ask if they are comfortable or if we should change to another method of learning.

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

I love using whiteboards and dry-erase markers because I can show, rather than tell students how to approach a concept, how to view a problem, and how to solve a problem. Textbooks are often good because they provide a decent amount of practice problems I can use to illustrate a particular concept.