I have been tutoring for approximately 10 years, and have a strong passion for helping individuals achieve their full potential. I specialize in tutoring math and science, but have strong skills in English as well. My favorite subjects to tutor are algebra and biology. Algebra because it is a critical foundation of higher math, and is a cornerstone to future success. Biology because it is crucial for understanding the nature of living things in the world around us, including ourselves.
I have worked with students of all age ranges and backgrounds, from elementary to college. I've also had two years of experience working with troubled students from disadvantaged backgrounds, who either had low motivation or poor fundamentals. I have developed a knack for spotting and improving upon a student's weaknesses.
I also focus on teaching my students how to be self-sufficient and organized in preparation for college and for long-term success. I take pride in the performance of my students and expect the best from them. In addition to tutoring students, I have experience leading countless study groups and tutoring many of my classmates as well.
As for myself, I am a straight-A student; graduated cum laude from CSUF with a BA in psychology with a focus on pre-med sciences. I will be applying to medical school in the summer of 2015 with the hopes of becoming a psychiatrist or pediatrician. My personal interests/hobbies include exercise & nutrition, piano, guitar, science, computers & technology, and medicine.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: California State University-Fullerton - Bachelor in Arts, Psychology
Music, piano, guitar, computers, animals, science, medicine, exercise
Elementary School Math
High School Chemistry
MCAT Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Give a student an answer and they'll be get good grades for a day. Teach them how to study and they'll get good grades for life.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Assess the situation. See where they're at with the class and what issues they're having. Find out their agenda. Work on getting caught up, and then getting ahead.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Try not to hold their hand the entire time. Help them to figure things out for themselves. Show them how to find the answer through logic and reasoning.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Be enthusiastic about the subject. Relate it to life and the real world. Make the subject into a game and challenge them. Encourage them and give them confidence. The feeling of scoring well is a great motivator in itself.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Break it down into many simpler ideas. Break the problem into steps. Explain the rationale behind the concept. Utilize mnemonic devices. Practice makes perfect.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Help them visualize what's being read. Have them think critically about a passage. If their vocabulary is weak, help them build it up. Encourage recreational reading with some suggestions of popular books.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Find out what areas they are weakest in, then start filling in the gaps. A student may have incomplete knowledge of the subject because the teacher skimmed over it or skipped it, or the student just didn't understand it and needs a reiteration of the lesson. It could also be that the student is lacking study/organizational skills, in which case you need to give the student proper guidance.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
For sciences, I like to relate topics to real situations. If you can see how science applies to the world around you, it becomes a far more interesting subject. For math, once I've built up their skills, I challenge them with the most difficult problems. When you're able to solve the most challenging problems, it's hard not to feel good about it.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Quiz them with hard problems. Make sure they can do them on their own from start to finish. Constantly ask them about material that was just covered to see if they retained it. Don't hold their hand the entire time; you're not there to babysit them. Your job is to teach; their job is to learn. They won't learn anything if you're just giving them all the answers.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Make sure they have a strong understanding of the material. Give them every possible variation a problem, so that when they see it on a test, it won't catch them off guard. Practice makes perfect.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I usually help the student through homework. Seeing how they handle the problems usually reveals areas where they're lacking. The student and/or the parent usually has some idea of areas where they need the most help.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Since I tutor math and science almost exclusively, the issue most students have is visualizing the problems. I carry around a large whiteboard to help deal with this. Once they learn how to diagram problems, it becomes far more comprehensible. For math, most students simply need problems broken down into simple steps. After these steps are practiced in repetition, problems become very routine. Some students need a long detailed explanation, in which case you really need to know the subject inside and out in order to give a proper tutorial.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
A whiteboard, dry erase markers, graphing calculators, and index cards.