I am currently a full time student at the University of Richmond. I am pursuing a bachelor's degree in Mathematics as well as a minor in Education with a concentration in Elementary. I am also a part of the division one field hockey program here at the University of Richmond. I love sports and am looking to become a teacher and/or coach in the near future. I have experience tutoring from high school and have continued into college. In relation to my background and interest in sports, I believe practice makes better, since no one is perfect. I take this into consideration while tutoring as I like to help students work through examples and non examples in order to build a deeper understanding of the topic at hand. In addition, I try to build engagement with the student and the subject through personal interests and connections. Both through tutoring experience as well as personal experience in the classroom, this engagement in the subject makes for a better foundation to build on and greater progress.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I like to teach with a holistic approach that allows the students to learn through examples as well as experimentation. Additionally, I believe retaining information correlates with a deep understanding of the concepts within each problem. Thus, with more comprehension comes easier problem solving.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I believe a useful study and organizational plan can help each student become an independent learner. Each individual has their own type of learning style. With a well-thought-out routine of study, the student can practice more effective ways of learning.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
A good source of motivation correlates to the student's interests and personal experiences. Thus, relating the subjects and study at hand to personal interests helps to keep the student motivated and interested in the topic.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, I try to get to know a little bit about any interests that the student may have in order to relate ideas to the content, if applicable. I also try to ask the student what areas he or she finds difficult in order to get a sense of where they see themselves. And lastly, I try to get a sense of where the student is within the entirety of the known material to compare to his or her description and to predict what obstacles we may come upon in future topics and concepts.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If this happens, I would ask the student to break down the concept and describe it to me. With this, I would look closely at his or her response and use that to trigger where problem areas might be. Then, I would be able to go back to those areas and dig deeper into the skills and ideas needed to understand and apply the concepts.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
If students have difficulty in reading comprehension, I would ask them to discuss sentences and passages from readings to get them to look into the meaning of the readings. Random spots of summarization in readings make students continually focus on the comprehension of the reading, which will help them learn how to read to learn.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
When starting with a student, I have found that using a variety of small activities helps the most. These different activities can help me as a tutor identify the student's strengths and weaknesses, both in learning styles and subject matter. I believe this and the incorporation of the student's interests will help in creating a good basis for future tutoring sessions.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
First, I would try to relate the topics to one of the student's interests. Relating their interests or personal experiences always helps engage the students and sparks more and more interest in learning the content.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I believe practice makes better, since no one is perfect. Practice problems and activities help the student apply his or her knowledge to questions covered by the material. Since you can change the rigor of questions and activities, these problems can also help in determining how well the students understand the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Motivation and positive reinforcements are very helpful in building a student's confidence. The use of beginner problems that only cover main ideas also helps in building confidence. It gives the student courage and the drive to continue to work on solving problems.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
To look at a student's needs in the subject area, I present a couple of questions that range from very easy topics to more challenging areas. Based on how they answer the problems, I can see what areas he or she is having trouble in as well as his or her thought process in solving the problems. This will help me observe and better understand his or her comprehension of the topic and where tutoring needs to begin. Additionally, after seeing the student show signs of struggle in one problem, I would make sure to stop increasing the level of difficulty in order to keep the student at the instructional level and not develop frustration.