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A photo of Tarif, a tutor from CUNY Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Science

Tarif

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Currently, I am a fourth year Medical Student in the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at CCNY. This is a seven year BS/MD program, so by the end of the seven years, I will have achieved both degrees. I have a lot of tutoring experience in the K-12 age especially in the 7-12 grade range. I have taught SAT, SHSAT, ACT, SAT subject tests and Regents exams as well. My favorite subject to tutor is math and biology, but I am able to tutor other subject areas like reading, writing, chemistry, and physics. My tutoring style is very student oriented with some lecturing. I make sure that most of the time I am asking questions, even if it is basic, just to get the student to always be on his/her feet. I also make sure to use a lot of diagrams and flow charts when teaching. Outside of school, I spend a lot of time exploring and doing photography. I also love listening to music, watching basketball, and spending time with friends and family.

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Tarif’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: CUNY Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Science - Bachelors, Biomedical Science/ Medical Degree

Undergraduate Degree: CUNY Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Science - Bachelors, BS/MD

Test Scores

ACT Math: 33

ACT Reading: 33

ACT Science: 35

SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1520

SAT Math: 760

SAT Writing: 790

Hobbies

Music, Photography, Driving

Tutoring Subjects

10th Grade

10th Grade Math

10th Grade Reading

10th Grade Writing

11th Grade

11th Grade Math

11th Grade Reading

11th Grade Writing

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

7th Grade Math

7th Grade Reading

7th Grade Science

7th Grade Writing

8th Grade

8th Grade Math

8th Grade Reading

8th Grade Science

8th Grade Writing

9th Grade

9th Grade Math

9th Grade Reading

9th Grade Writing

ACT Math

ACT Science

Adult Literacy

Algebra

Algebra 2

Biology

College Algebra

College Biology

College English

Developmental Algebra

Earth Science

Elementary Algebra

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Science

English

General Biology

General Chemistry

Geometry

Graduate Test Prep

GRE Subject Test in Mathematics

GRE Subject Tests

High School

High School Biology

High School Chemistry

High School English

High School Writing

Intermediate Algebra

College Math

Math

Middle School

Middle School Reading

Middle School Science

Middle School Writing

Molecular Biology

Other

PSAT Mathematics

SAT Math

SAT Mathematics

SAT Subject Test in Biology E/M

SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level 1

SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level 2

SAT Subject Tests Prep

Science

Test Prep


Q & A

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

First, I would spend a good 5-10 minutes just talking to the student about myself and asking about the student. Then, I would give them a few easy questions to work on, increasing the difficulty as we go to assess where they are at. At the end, I would create a plan/schedule for us to work with.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

This would be done by giving them more practice problems to do instead of lecturing. The sessions will be more analytical and question-based. Through this, students will get accustomed to thinking rather than just listening.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I provide positive feedback and always give them encouraging remarks when they do well. I also make sure they have set goals for themselves. If a student is struggling, I may give them easier material to boost their morale, and then give them harder material.

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

I would try different methods of teaching, like using flow charts, storytelling, drawings, and games. I would also help them with a bunch of questions first before letting them do anything by themselves.

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

I make sure to use review books a lot, because they cover the material in a very concise and easy manner. Furthermore, I may bring in flashcards or review sheets.

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is that if you learn to like the subject, you will do well in the subject, no matter the difficulty. This holds true to me, even through medical school. It's easier to learn something if one is engaged and actually interested instead of dreading the subject.

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

Incorporating a topic that was previously learned into a new topic always helps reinforce the concept. That is also the basis for physics, mathematics, and medicine. This layering approach is really effective in building concrete foundations for analytical thinking. I also find the strategy of using flashcards, flow charts, and pictures very effective.

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

In order to get a student excited, I always try to tell a story that relates to the problem or create a question that incorporates the concepts in a funny situation. Furthermore, I would always start off with easy questions to ease the student into the material.

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

In order to test if the student truly understands the material, I would repeat the same question that I gave earlier on (one that the student got wrong) and make him/her do it again.

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

Constant repetition of questions will build confidence. I will also make sure to keep a record of the scores the student has been receiving on classwork and homework, and make sure to document the improvement. Nothing improves confidence more than seeing that you are scoring better and doing well.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Often, I give some sort of an assessment to see where the student is at. For example, for SAT tutoring, I give them a mini SAT, which consists of a reading section, a math section, a writing section, and an essay. Furthermore, I make sure to check their report cards and feedback from the teacher.

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

Every student is different and needs to be treated differently. In order to understand what a student needs, I take some time, reflect, and try to understand where the student is coming from. I also make sure to actually ask them what they want to get out of the sessions and what they feel they are most struggling with. Not all math students struggle with geometry; some of them struggle with everything but that. It's important to evaluate the student before anything.

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

The first advice I give is basic: READ! I tell them to get in the habit of reading books, newspapers, magazines, and articles. I also teach them various strategies. One strategy is to read the questions (but not answers) before the passage to get a sense of what you are reading for. I also ask them to jot down at most three words for each paragraph to summarize the purpose and point of the paragraph.


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