I was born drawing, I think.
I am an artist enthusiastic about math and science, and I have successfully infused both passions into a technique designed to guide students in a visual manner. My tactic of digesting conceptual math and science problems and re-organizing them in a visually appealing manner can help guide student through, what seems to them as, esoteric material. Additionally, I believe that any environment conducive to learning must also be enriched with humor as a method for education. The possibility to relate humor to difficult math and science problems is an essential way to reduce the stress-producing hormones, cortisol and epinephrine. Providing students with a comfortable environment will ultimately encourage them to embrace learning as a fun and rewarding experience. After all, a successful tutor is not just one who provides a student with method for accomplishing each new problem, but one who can help mature him or her into a person with an endearing curiosity and a fearless ambition; a person so enthused about a subject that they squirm to teach others.
I received a Bachelor of Fine Art in 2013, but afterwards completed a variety of chemistry and math courses at Raritan Valley Community College. Instantly, my love for numbers was rekindled and a newly discovered passion for chemistry was established. While in college, I quickly discovered the excitement I had towards teaching others about the subjects I hold dear to myself. This eventually lead to self-lead study sessions with peers, which included creating visually appealing study guides to re-introduce information in a clear and fun manner, as well as using my impeccable penmanship to solve problems on the dry-erase board. My interests in studio art, art history, math, chemistry, and teaching others have encouraged me to pursue a Masters in Art Conservation and eventually be trained to practice and teach Art Conservation.
Ultimately, I am an easy-going individual that works well with both children, teenagers, and adults. While I am not engaged in my academics, I enjoy drawing, painting, reading, hiking, bike riding, stand-up comedy, and independently learning French! Although I do not watch television that much, my favorite show is Star Trek Voyager.
Undergraduate Degree: the School of Fine Arts - Bachelor of Fine Arts, Visual and Critical Studies
Art, Drawing, Oil Paints, Reading, Bike Rides, Outdoor Picnics, Live Music, Animals, Currently learning French!
What is your teaching philosophy?
To support students in becoming independent learners by preparing them with the study skills, enthusiasm, and curiosity to continue to ask questions and seek answers.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I want the student to be comfortable with me, so I will ask them briefly about themselves, their areas of interest, and most important: the area they believe they are struggling.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help students become independent learners by first discovering the best way in which they learn (visual, auditory, repetition, etc.), and teaching them study skills that will suit their mode of learning. It is also important to teach students what questions to ask professors while learning new information or reviewing old material.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I am an enthusiastic person, so I believe I can keep students motivated with encouraging phrases, positive reinforcement, and relating problems to real life situations. In addition, humor can be the best cure when a problem seems overwhelming.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a concept, I will try to do independent research on my part to discover additional ways to present the material to the student. It is always wise to refer them to his or her teacher if it is a concept that the student is struggling to understand.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I think patience and positive reinforcement are important ways to help students who are struggling with reading comprehension. Strategically, visually representing abstract concepts present in reading assignments into outlines or other visual means can be helpful. In addition, having the student relay the reading assessment back to the tutor is also beneficial in knowing if they understood the passage.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
First, a tutor must identify the student's learning style and cater sessions to his or her style. Second, continuing to remain positive with the student and ensuring them that it is okay not to know how to solve the problem, is crucial. As a tutor, you want the student to build confidence and be comfortable around the tutor.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
To help a student become engaged or excited about a subject that they are struggling in, I try to relate it to their life somehow. If it is math, I find a way to make it applicable and have them understand the reasons as to why they are studying it. With English, helping students apply literary concepts to their own life can also be exciting.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
To ensure a student fully understand the problem, I try to have him or her successfully complete a new, like problem without looking at notes that he or she took during the tutor session.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I help to build students' confidence within a subject by helping them with not just answering the question correctly, but understanding why the material they are currently studying is fundamental and applicable to everyday life.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's needs by first asking them if they know how they learn best. If they do not know, I use a simple and quick test called the VARK, to discover what is their best learning method. In addition, sometimes a tutor can discover the student's preferred method of learning based on their other areas of interest (ie: art, reading, music, etc.)
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I implement the VARK studying techniques, by either increasing my repetition when I tutor, my visual representation of the information, or relocate to a quieter and less distracting area of the library.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I am a huge advocate for scrap paper and a pencil. However, if students are struggling with basic math concepts, sometimes bringing along some beads or other items that come in various quantities can be great for students to see abstract numbers represented in concrete terms.