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Anakaren

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I am a graduate of UC Berkeley. I received a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Arts in Art Practice. Throughout my college career I worked as a Physics Tutor focusing on Introductory Physics for college students. After graduating, I volunteered as a Science and Art Teacher at a middle school in Honduras. Before college, I completed the International Baccalaureate program including in my studies HL Math, SL Physics, and SL Computer Science. Throughout high school I taught art, sports, and computer skills to 5th and 6th graders. While I can tutor many subjects, I enjoy Math and Science (especially Physics) the most. I help students to understand abstract concepts and relate them to their own experience. I work with my students to develop problem solving skills. I believe that being independent learners helps individuals push successfully through most academic and work related situations. Therefore, I try helping students develop strategies and skills that better enables them to learn any subject on their own.
In my free time, I enjoy reading (especially fantasy novels), painting/sketching, cooking, playing board games, and taking long walks.

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Anakaren’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of California-Berkeley - Bachelor in Arts, Mathematics and Art Practice (double major)

Test Scores

SAT Composite: 2250

SAT Math: 750

SAT Verbal: 780

SAT Writing: 720

SAT Mathematics Level 2: 770

SAT Subject Test in Physics: 770

Hobbies

Reading, cooking, and playing board games.

Tutoring Subjects

10th Grade Math

11th Grade Math

12th Grade Math

1st Grade Math

2nd Grade Math

3rd Grade Math

3rd Grade Science

4th Grade Math

4th Grade Science

5th Grade Math

5th Grade Science

6th Grade Math

6th Grade Science

7th Grade Math

7th Grade Science

8th Grade Math

8th Grade Science

9th Grade Math

Algebra

Arithmetic

Calculus

College Physics

Elementary Math

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Science

Geometry

High School Chemistry

High School Physics

IB Mathematical Studies

IB Mathematical Studies SL

IB Mathematics

IB Mathematics HL

IB Mathematics SL

Linear Algebra

Math

Middle School Math

Middle School Science

Other

Physics

Pre-Algebra

Pre-Calculus

Science

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Summer

Trigonometry


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

As a teacher, my main goal is guiding students to develop learning skills and a profound understanding of any subject they are studying. Teaching is much more than sharing academic knowledge. In my teaching, I push them to become resourceful independent learners. To the best of my ability, I guide them to gain the skills and confidence to master their academic and professional goals.

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

I always like to start getting to know each other a little bit better. I start the session sharing some information about myself and having my students share their hobbies, activities, goals, and anything they would like to share. Then we talk about the specific goals and help they would like to get on our tutoring sessions. I ask many questions to guide my students to identify their strengths and struggles. We come up with a study strategy together to fit the student's needs. Then, as time allows, we would move on to work on specific content and strategies.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

The best way for me to help my students become independent learners is having them identify all their resources and guiding them to use them effectively. Students often feel that their learning depends solely on their teachers. I like helping students realize that while teachers, schools, and any academic system is extremely important in their learning process, they do not necessarily dictate what a person learns. A student should be responsible for their own learning and seek out books, online resources, teachers, and tutors, and they should use any tool to ensure their learning. Helping a student realize this is the first and most important step. Then, it is just a matter of helping them become more resourceful.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

There are many ways to help a student stay motivated, and it depends much on each individual. First, we could help the student remember why it is important for him or her to improve a grade, do well on a test, or survive a class. Placing smaller goals within a larger picture helps. A student might not be particularly interested in a subject, but remembering that a good grade will get him or her closer to a bigger goal such as getting into college can be very encouraging. Also, always help students see their strengths and progress. It is easy to get discouraged if you measure your progress solely on a grade and if you focus on what you do not know or have. Shifting that perspective and having the student notice their progress is a huge motivation in general. Helping a student narrow down what he or she needs to work on also helps with motivation. Often, the only thing we see is a bad grade, and we just see a problem without knowing how to approach it. When the student is able to identify the specific issues he or she has, then the student can see that their goals are doable and approachable.

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

First, I would work on understanding why the student is struggling with that skill or concept. Without doing this, any further efforts might not be very effective. A common example is that the student has some knowledge gap. No matter how many ways we work on the student's understanding of the concept or development a skill, if they do not have the necessary background knowledge, they cannot fully learn the new information. We would need to fill that gap first and then continue. Maybe it is a matter of style or a matter of the right kind and amount of practice. Each person works differently, so we have to do some "reverse engineering" to identify the best approach for each student.

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

As with anything, I would first assess the main reasons they are struggling. In any case, once we identify the reasons, I would help the student develop a systematic approach that helps him or her understand the text. For example, if the reason the student is struggling is because of a lack of vocabulary, then we would work on strategies to infer meaning of words from context, prefixes, suffixes, etc. If the student is struggling to keep track of the sequence of events in a story line, then we can work with creating a timeline. There are many reasons a student might be struggling with reading comprehension, we just need to identify the underlying reasons and develop a strategy from there.

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

It depends a lot on the student and their situation. However, I would say that one of the most effective strategies is helping students identify patterns in their work. Let's say that a student has not been doing well on some tests. Helping the student study the results themselves shows them what the issue actually is. For example, on a math test, a student might notice that all the problems involving ratios were incorrect, but that all the problems asking the student to work directly with fractions and percentages were correctly approached. From that, the student can see that he or she does not have an issue working with fractions, but does not have a good understanding of what a ratio is. A student might notice patterns on their study habits, their approach to answering questions on a test, and many other things. Getting them to be very self observant has been a successful strategy with my students.

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

I find that students are more likely to be engaged with a concept if they can connect with it on a more personal level. I would try to find a way to find how a subject or particular concept relates to them. An example that comes to mind is impulse in physics. I have often gotten my students engaged and excited about that concept by pointing out that we naturally "use" impulse to our advantage, often to protect ourselves from injury. It becomes immediately relevant in their lives and hence, the student is much more likely to be engaged with that particular concept.

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

Direct and subtle questions are definitely useful. Having my students explain to me their thought process when solving a problem or answering a question is very effective. It indicates what they do understand completely, what they guessed, what they did because they partially remembered doing something similar before (even if they do not understand it), and so on. If a student has a very clear thought process and can justify it, then that student has a very good understanding of whatever is being discussed.

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

First, I like to help the student notice how much he or she already knows about the subject. This goes from knowing facts to applying knowledge about the subject, even sometimes without realizing it. Also, helping the student identify the skills that he or she possesses that are very relevant to learning and working with a subject helps the student gain confidence in his or her abilities in general. They also gain confidence in the fact that working with said subject is doable. As we work, always keeping them focused on noticing their progress helps students know that their efforts are being effective.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Understanding their schedule, goals, workload, struggles, background knowledge, and many other things. As we work together, I evaluate how they are responding to the strategies I am implementing and how they are progressing towards their goals. I also evaluate how much time they can dedicate to working on the subject we are studying. I take into account what they respond to best when it comes to learning. Of course, asking them what they need from our sessions is very important as well.

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

I plan our sessions to address what they need. If I am working with a student who has an upcoming test and not too much time to dedicate to studying for it, our sessions are targeted to help them do well on said test. This usually implies that we focus on test-taking strategies and enough conceptual understanding to do well (as opposed to a deeper understanding). If I will be working with a student for a longer time and they are looking for a deeper conceptual understanding, my tutoring involves many more examples, suggested "homework," discussions, and different kinds of practice. In general, I am flexible with my schedule, and I am available through various media. My students know they can approach me with any questions and concerns.

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

I mostly work with math and physics, so I use a lot of sample problems and drawings. I use the webcam to do some simple demonstrations for science.


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