My name is Dayna, and I am very happy to be working with Varsity Tutors. I have graduated from Howard University College of Medicine. My extensive experience with teaching makes me an excellent candidate for the position. To me, tutoring involves understanding, mentorship, and leadership. It is my mission as a tutor to embody these qualities.
My very first experience with tutoring was at Robert E. Lamberton High School in Philadelphia. As class valedictorian, I tutored my peers in Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Advanced Topics. During college, the bulk of my community involvement for the next ten years consisted of teaching and mentoring young children. For three years, I was as a Program Coordinator for Safe Haven After School Program. There, I coordinated dance, cooking, creative writing, and a service learning projects for 40 youths. I also encouraged my children to strive for healthy bodies, stellar grades, and noble character.
Years later, in the summer of 2014, I was a Tutor for Howards Preliminary Academic Reinforcement Program (PARP). For six intensive weeks, I taught Anatomy, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology lectures and led tutoring sessions for a group of fifteen prospective medical and dental students. I also provided mentorship and advice on how to become a successful medical student. Taking leadership in this program was my way of paying it forward, since I participated in this program before enrolling at Howard.
Most recently, I have had the pleasure of being a Youth Science Enrichment Program Coordinator. On a monthly basis, I visited EXCEL Academy in Maryland to teach rudimentary anatomy and physiology, and to spark students interest in the medical field. At another recent event, I was ecstatic to participate in a medical student panel at McKinley Technology High School. There, I spoke about the challenging yet rewarding path to a career in medicine.
I have already done much to uphold what I believe are my core ideals: understanding, mentorship, and leadership. Please consider me as your tutor, so that I may continue.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Temple University - Bachelor of Science, Chemistry
Graduate Degree: Howard University - Doctor of Medicine, Medicine
Arts & Crafts, Decorating, Dancing, Health & Wellness, Natural Haircare, Drinking Tea
10th Grade Math
11th Grade Math
12th Grade Math
3rd Grade Math
4th Grade Math
5th Grade Math
6th Grade Math
7th Grade Math
8th Grade Math
9th Grade Math
Anatomy & Physiology
Elementary School Math
High School Biology
High School Chemistry
High School Physics
What is your teaching philosophy?
To me, tutoring involves understanding, mentorship, and leadership. It is my mission as a tutor to embody these qualities.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In the first session, the first thing is to establish our goals and to go over some tried and true study strategies. We definitely want to be clear about the changes that need to be made so we can learn from past mistakes, if there are any!
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help by making suggestions about how to approach problems in a stepwise and strategic fashion. I can also help by guiding the student to use resources in a smarter way.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Staying positive and being reassuring is always the best way to keep students motivated! It's always great to remind students of my own past struggles, emphasizing that I had to practice and struggle on my own in order to become the master of my subjects!
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try to use multiple resources to solidify difficult concepts. For example, videos and metaphors are a wonderful way to gain a new perspective. In addition, I'd try to break down difficult topics into multiple smaller ones. Lastly, asking the student to teach you what they just learned will really let you know how much they really understood!
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Practice, practice, practice! Also, maintaining patience and moving slowly and steadily through the material is always best. So many students make mistakes when they want to rush through homework problems!
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Lots of times students forget about the cool ways that science and math can be used for real-life problems. Letting students know about all the awesome career opportunities out there is the best way to encourage a student to keep an open mind. Also, reminding a student about how much you may have struggled with a topic in the beginning makes learning difficult topics less daunting!
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I take frequent breaks from teaching/explaining things and ask the student to repeat back to me what I just said (in his/her own words). I also suggest online videos for a different perspective. At the end of each lesson, I summarize everything we did that day.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Let the student know that they really are super smart! Its also helpful to teach students that most subjects are not easily mastered on the first try. I also like to emphasize that students can go as far as their hard work takes them--they can only do well in a subject if they actually make the effort while remaining consistent!
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's needs by giving them a diagnostic exam. This isn't always done formally on pen and paper! This simply involves me asking them questions and making note of their thought process and approach. From there, I can assess weak areas and determine where I can offer my assistance.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I typically use any or all of the following: a whiteboard with dry erase markers, pen and paper, printed worksheets, prepared lesson plans, MCAT textbooks, and a learning tools website.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I help students break down what they are reading so they can figure out how to interpret questions piece by piece.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I tailor my tutoring to my student by first assessing their learning strategy. Some students are more visual, and others learn by doing. If your concepts can be learned through a fun activity, then the tutoring session can be more engaging for the student!