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Tam

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I am a chemist, graduated from the University of the Sciences - USci - in 2011, currently working at a gas analyzer manufacturer. Born and raised in Vietnam, I came to the U.S. in 2004 and completed my high school and college degrees here. I have experience tutoring and instructing chemistry laboratory to undergraduate students during my years at USci. I am currently tutoring several high school students in various subjects, and science is always my strong area.

Being grateful to my parents for their continuous support for my education, I believe that education is the only way to advance in life. Education does not only include the accumulation of knowledge but also the application of what you have learned and the attitude associated with your application. Everything has to come in a package.

I enjoy tutoring, particularly tutoring teenagers. When I was 12 or so, I had a tutor, or exactly, a mentor. She not only tutored me but also inspired me to grow to be a useful person in life. I am thankful to have had my tutor-mentor-best friend with me through my rebellious years. Therefore, now, I would love to guide students to go through their period of try-to-find-my-way and also inspire them to reach higher education and become useful members in the society.

Tam’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Widener University - Bachelor of Science, Chemical Engineering & Chemistry

Graduate Degree: University of the Sciences - Master of Science, Chemistry

Hobbies

Movies

Tutoring Subjects


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Practice makes perfect!

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

At first, I would clarify the student's goal - what he or she expects to accomplish after the session. Then I would check the student's knowledge about the topic and start explaining and walk him/her through examples to illustrate my explanations.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

After I explain a problem and show an example to the student, I would ask him/her to do another similar example to make sure that he/she can reproduce what has just been learned.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I would never stop encouraging the student to keep trying after mistakes.

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

I would break down the concept into single ideas/steps, give examples and check for understanding of each idea/step, and eventually combine all ideas/steps into the original concept that the student has difficulty with.

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

To solve a mathematical or chemistry word problem, I always ask the student to identify the question/unknown value, determine an appropriate approach/formula needed to find it, and go back to check for given materials in the problem.

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

I think checking for understanding is a very important step in every session. There are basic concepts which a student may have missed and never realized it. It is never time-wasting to reinforce these basic concepts to help the student to move faster and more steadily on advanced materials.

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

For students who struggle, I would start with the simplest related problem, then move on with more advanced ones once the student gets more comfortable. Once they are able to break a brick, they will be more willing to face a wall.

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

I would give the student a similar example and ask him/her to reproduce what has just been learned.

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

I would assign the student more practice problems to work by himself/herself.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I would ask questions.

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

Each student learns differently. Some ask for more practices; some prefer explanation on how to approach a problem; some struggle because they do not know what is suitable for them. If a student knows what he/she wants, I would follow his/her preference. If not, I would take time to try different approaches until finding the best method for the student.

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

I prefers to follow the student's classroom resources and/or his/her teacher's suggestions (textbooks, workbooks, websites, etc.) If the student needs outside resources, I suggest them based on my experiences with past students.