As an individual who struggled for years trying to conform, to learn the way that others learn, I vow to show my students that there is nothing wrong with finding another way to learn. There is no shame in using different ways to learn, and nothing cheap about learning efficiently. There are ways that each and every one of us can learn more effectively, efficiently, and smarter. We just have to work together to figure it out. We can learn as a team. Talking through the 'why' and 'how's to make sure that all of the puzzle pieces fit, and that each concept makes sense.
University of New Hampshire - BS, Biology
Regis University - PharmD, Pharmacy
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Start with the basics. What things do they understand, and what do they think they need help with? Ideally, we start wherever the disconnect is. If that is at the beginning, with the basics, that is okay.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Challenge them to go through the same process we go through. Start at the beginning, and make sure that each piece makes sense. Have the student ask him or herself questions along the way, and try to answer them, but write down the questions they cannot answer.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Congratulate them when they are successful. Even little boosts can help. If we are working on a particularly challenging piece, I'd break that down into less complex pieces and have them answer those first. It's like working on a puzzle.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Start at the beginning with concepts they do understand, and make analogies to help piece those concepts together.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Have them try reading aloud to themselves with smaller segments at first, and then build to larger segments. With my own studies, I often have to break medical readings into paragraphs and check myself at the end of each paragraph to verify what I learned. I'd try that method to see if it helps the student as well.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Ask them questions to see how they are feeling about the material, what their goals are, and what they truly know up to that point. I'd also like to build a relationship so that they feel comfortable asking questions and challenging the material. I find that when you are engaged in the material, you allow yourself to really learn and hold onto that information.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Have them attempt the material, ask questions about what their thoughts are, and find something about the topic that may interest them. When you find a reason to care about a topic, it becomes a lot more engaging - even if you are only trying to use it to find your own answer.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Have them teach back. If you can teach someone else the material, you can often find holes in your own understanding, or, on the flip side of the coin, solidify the concepts that you understand.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Congratulate them on their successes, and give them time to celebrate small victories.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Ask them where they'd like to start. If we are reviewing from a past class, pull out those course materials to look through. If it is a current course, look through assignments together, and have them do a dry run.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Teach in a variety of different interactive methods in order to figure out which ways they learn best, and then continue with a few methods throughout so as to not lose interest.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Paper and markers, textbooks, the Internet, paper assignments, and a whiteboard to draw out concepts.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Anyone can learn and thrive, but we all learn in different ways and at different speeds. Some need to start at the beginning every time, and others need to know what the end goal is. If we figure out how best we learn, we can conquer any information in front of us.