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Guidance is a key aspect in any educational environment whether it is during the final year as an undergraduate or learning to read in elementary school. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Chemistry and Biochemistry. I am currently attending pharmacy school at VCU to pursue a career as a pharmacist. During my time at Virginia Tech, I have tutored elementary and middle school students in science and math. A true sense of reward comes from teaching young students. Most of my students struggled and were often afraid to say what they thought because of the fear of being wrong. As a tutor and mentor, my role is to create a comfortable learning environment where students focus on how wrong answers help them to arrive at the right answer. I always told my students that I am open to all answers and that no one is ever truly wrong. No one should feel that their contribution to a learning environment is ever wrong.

In addition to mentoring elementary and middle school students, I have also tutored freshmen chemistry and surely enough, the fear of being wrong still persists in these students as well.I told them what I told my younger students about how being wrong helps us to learn and find the right. Once students started to incorporate this into their mentality, tutoring sessions would suddenly become just casual conversations because my students were basically teaching and motivating themselves. If given the opportunity, I will motivate my students as a tutor and be with them every step of the way. I don't want my students to feel lost and discouraged. I want them to feel empowered and curious no matter where they are compared to others. No student should ever be left behind.

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Michael’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University - Bachelors, Chemistry/Biochemistry

Graduate Degree: VCU School of Pharmacy - PHD, Pharmacy


Composing music

Tutoring Subjects

10th Grade

10th Grade Math

10th Grade Reading

10th Grade Writing

11th Grade

11th Grade Math

11th Grade Reading

11th Grade Writing

6th Grade Writing

8th Grade Science

9th Grade

9th Grade Math

9th Grade Reading

9th Grade Writing

Adult Literacy


Algebra 2

AP Chemistry




College Algebra

College Chemistry

College English

College Physics

Elementary School Writing



High School

High School Chemistry

High School English

High School Physics

High School Writing


Middle School Science


PCAT Chemistry






Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is to connect with the student as a person rather than a tutor. I want to be friends and help them learn in the process.

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

I definitely get to know my student outside of the school work and mend my teaching style based on his/her personality.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

To become independent, students must master the fundamentals and be able to utilize them to their advantage. I strongly believe that a strong foundation and the ability to apply that knowledge are both key components to becoming independent. I always reiterate key concepts and remind the student of the importance of the basics and the ability to apply them.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I always remind the student of their goals and why they are learning in the first place. Then, I would relate to the student by giving examples of times that I felt the same way. I would also try to give them words of encouragement!

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

I would ask the student to teach the difficult concept to me to gauge how much he/she knows. As the student tries to explain, the reason for student's struggles becomes more clear as he/she tries to explain more.

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

I would advise the student not to just read the words. Read the words and understand what they mean in context. Many times, students just read the words and forget what kind of context they are being used in. Also, I would ask them to read the title to help make a mental note in their mind of what the reading is about.

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

Being organized and tending to the teaching style the student prefers has been most successful when I start with a student.

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

I would try to relate the subject to something they would be interested in. Also, I would show signs of enthusiasm as well by speaking with hints of excitement!

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

The teach-back method and practice problems are the best techniques that I have used to monitor the progress of my student. The teach-back method is where the student tries to teach me the material after we have reviewed a concept.

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

Students oftentimes feel "ashamed" or "embarrassed" to ask for help. I would remind the student that they had to the courage to ask for help to better themselves. Also, I would reiterate the fact that the student is doing well, and their progress is something they should be absolutely proud of.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

In my opinion, evaluating students is a continuous process. When I am teaching a concept or explaining how to do a problem, the students' behaviors and facial expressions almost always reveal their needs.

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

I would ask them directly to see what they need if I sense that there is hesitation or confusion. However, instead of using close-ended questions, I would ask them open-ended questions (e.g., "What does x equal?" instead of "Is x equal to 2?").

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

I use any notes that I have made prior to the tutoring session to help guide me. Sometimes I prepare helpful hints for the students if necessary. Mostly, I use the Internet to assist my tutoring.

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