I have been lucky enough to have had some truly amazing teachers in my life. But to be honest, I am grateful for that because it really allowed to understand what works and what doesn't when it comes to teaching. I have incorporated what I consider to be the best teaching methods into my teaching style, and have been sure to avoid methods that I know are not helpful!
So – what works? Being Enthusiastic. Without a doubt, when you can tell a teacher not only loves teaching, but also loves the topic they are teaching, it becomes contagious! That type of energy always helped me when I was learning a new subject. It sounds cliché, but learning really can be fun. So much of it has to do with a student’s mindset, and my genuine enthusiasm when it comes to learning new things and problem-solving sets the tone for a positive learning experience. Covering the Basics. It may sometimes seem silly to spend time going over the basics but I have learned that it is worth it. Too often, in a fast-paced class, a student may have missed something so simple that, once understood, makes the more complex problems suddenly seem much less intimidating.
Personalizing the Teaching Method. I like to sit down and talk with a student before we get started. Mostly, I want to know what classes they like and what classes they dislike because it helps me figure out what teaching style works best for them. Let’s say they love history but hate science. Well, this shows me they probably prefer memorization over conceptual learning. So wherever possible, I will take advantage of their preferences and strengths when tutoring them.
Being Patient. There’s nothing worse than getting frustrated with a student when they are struggling to understand something and are already frustrated with themselves. As much as enthusiasm is contagious, so is frustration. It’s ok if they lose focus and something has to be repeated every once in a while – repeating it calmly and clearly is always more productive than getting frustrated.
Knowing when to celebrate. The moment something that a student was having trouble with suddenly clicks, it’s exciting and encouraging for both of us! Understanding something you didn’t get before is so satisfying and truly is a reward in and of itself. These moments have to be noted and celebrated. Students should feel good about themselves for not giving up, putting in the effort to figure something out and achieving a successful outcome. This will give them the incentive and confidence to apply that same effort to other struggle areas.
Undergraduate Degree: George Washington University - Bachelor in Arts, Economics
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Elementary School Math
High School Business
High School Economics
High School English