A photo of Haruka, a tutor from Pacific Union College

Haruka

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I am really passionate about teaching biology and writing. I love exploring out in nature: in forests, meadows, and underwater.
My college degree is in Biology, and currently I am pursuing a Masters degree in Integrative Medicine Research.
Throughout the past 7 years of tutoring/teaching, students often compliment me for explaining concepts easier than their teachers. The best tutors are those who have a true passion for the subject and not someone who just have good grades (although I have both!). I want to help if you are confused, lost, or overwhelmed with all the information you have to know.
When I teach, I like to be clear and organized, so I can effectively guide you through the complex concepts rather than let all the information boggle you down.
I like lists because long paragraphs just become a messy pile of words.
Snowboarding, photography, scuba diving, and hiking are all fun things I like to do!

Haruka’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Pacific Union College - Bachelor of Science, Biology, General

Graduate Degree: National College of Natural Medicine - Master of Science, Integrative Medicine Research

Hobbies

Scuba diving, Hiking, Photography, Being out in nature

Tutoring Subjects

Anatomy & Physiology

Biology

College Biology

College English

College Essays

English

Essay Editing

General Biology

High School Biology

High School Chemistry

High School English

Life Sciences

Marine Biology

Microbiology

Middle School Science

Physical Science

Physiology

Plant Biology

Science

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Students learn best when information is organized. Tutors are there to help organize all of the knowledge and information that is laid out in front of them. I use active learning styles and incorporate different strategies to help organize the information students need to learn.

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

I like to figure out the student's learning style, whether they are auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learners, or a combination of them. I like to set expectations for both myself and the student, and from there, we'll have fun learning.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Teachers often tell students what to do, but rarely do they show students how to accomplish that. I'm here to show you different ways of studying and learning so that we can figure out together what works best. After successfully figuring that out, the student can become an independent learner.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Motivation comes from visualizing the goals you want to achieve. To remain motivated when faced with obstacles takes a little willpower. Willpower is something that needs to be replenished with rejuvenating breaks. A good balance of work and break will keep students motivated.

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

There's always another way to look at a concept. As a teacher, I know that I should be able to explain concepts in countless number of ways. If a student doesn't think that I am explaining things clearly, I don't get upset at him/her. It's my responsibility as the teacher to figure out what part isn't clear and find out the best way the student can visualize the concept.

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

I used to have reading comprehension issues. It usually stems from a different learning style. Visual learners can read and understand what they are reading. Auditory learners need to be able to hear it being read. Kinesthetic learners need to follow along with their fingers, make gestures about what they are reading, and write down important parts, etc. Some people work best with a combination of these learning styles, such as hearing a passage read to them and following along what is being read (visual) at the same time.

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

I like to try to assess the way the students currently approach their studies. I try to get into their shoes, and reach into my own experiences to see what I think would help. The tips and tricks I have learned along the way often also help my students.

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

I only wish to teach subjects that I am super enthusiastic about. When I'm ecstatic about what I'm teaching, the student naturally picks up on my charisma and stays engaged. My ultimate goal is to help the students get excited about the subject that they used to dislike or struggle with.

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

If I already know the student's learning style, I have them explain the material in the way that would help them most. For visual learners, they can jot down the material and show me. For auditory learners, I just have them repeat it back to me. For kinesthetic learners, I have them show me by solving problems creatively.

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

I meet the students where they are at. The subject can be simplified to their understanding level. I build their confidence by having them reflect on what they have learned thus far. Each step forward, I also have them reflect on their progress to show how far they've come.

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

I use a whiteboard, different colored pens, scratch paper, a timer (for some things), and my own notes.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I take both a bird's eye view as a mentor, and the perspective from inside their shoes. I need to know where they are coming from and how I felt when I was in their spot. Then, I reflect from on my own experiences and find a tool from my toolkit that I've picked up along the way. I give the students my tools.

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

No tutoring session is helpful unless I meet the student where they are at. The student's needs can be different from day to day, depending on everything that is influencing their life. I need to be attentive and intuitive in the way I approach each tutoring session.