I'm a recent graduate of Electrical and Computer Engineering from Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Massachusetts with an interest in educating people and changing the world. I work as a Software and Field Engineer! Hope I can be helpful to you in some way! I have experience working with ages K-12 through various after school and summer mentoring programs. I tutor in Maths and Sciences. I also teach some computer science and test prep as well, specifically the SAT. I love teaching math because it's applicable everywhere! I believe in teaching how to learn, not just transferring knowledge. It's important for students to develop intuitions and not just memorize facts. In addition to ECE I'm interested in topics like Machine Learning and Data Science and how to apply them to other fields in the world. I'm a musician, I play tuba/baritone and sing as well! I also enjoy making popcorn, watching tv shows, and playing videos games!
Undergraduate Degree: Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering - Bachelor of Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering
SAT Math: 770
SAT Verbal: 720
SAT Writing: 720
Popcorn, Music, Video, Gaming, Machine Learning, Computer Science, Coding
What is your teaching philosophy?
The student hasn't really "learned" anything until they've learned how to learn. Additionally, the teacher hasn't "taught" anything until the student can teach it.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Have a chat! Any topic is welcome. I'm an open book, and I want to know what makes you excited about the world around you or what you want to do with the things you learn. Why are you doing what you do?
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
They say: "If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach him how to fish, you feed him for life." I think if you gave the man things like the scientific method or critical thinking skills, you could impact his life and that of everyone he knows. That's my goal: teach you how to approach a problem or question and apply those skills to other issues.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
It's easy to give up. I know, because I too am pretty susceptible to this. What's true is that nothing was ever accomplished easily, and especially not by giving up. Trudging through homework and persevering through problem sets only becomes more bearable as time goes on. Ironically, the "hard" work gets easier the more you do it. Sometimes looking at a problem the way you've been told to is mundane and tedious. I'd encourage students to try to make things relatable so they actually want to learn.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Explaining why a skill/concept is necessary can help students understand what they need to do to learn it. I like to provide some context when helping people with a task. Also, I take it slowly and reassure them that it's ok to mess up. Failure shouldn't be frowned upon, as it's an opportunity to improve. Everyone is different, and not all things come quickly to all people. Lastly, it's important to be versatile in your learning - try different approaches to practice and studying, or try different methods of researching and questioning.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Read your questions first. Skim the passage. Use a highlighter or pencil, and try to make connections between words and phrases in the questions and in the passage. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Try to learn how the student thinks and communicates so you can get on their level and speak their language. It's important as a teacher or tutor to be able to make material and learning relatable. Also, break the ice and have a bit of fun. You can get a lot more out of a good time than a boring one. All in all, you want to connect with the people you're helping; don't build barriers.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Ask them what they like to do for fun. If you're a good tutor, you'll be able to relate almost any subject to any other. Once you do that, you can bring your student through that connection into the world of the subject that is their "foe." This can open so many doors for the student.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Have them teach it back. See how they ingested the knowledge and how they spew it back (gross analogy, I know). What'll be interesting is to see if they come up with a new way to explain something or just emulate yours (in which case, you can decide if they are really learning). Also, teaching solidifies intelligence. That's partially why I'm doing this too. :)
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
You obviously can't start with the hard stuff, but starting with easy stuff may not be the most strategic either. I like to propose a medium-level difficulty problem, break it up into easier chunks, and then work through some easy stuff. What I like about this is that it shows the student that it's not impossible, while making them gauge how much thinking they really have to do. Additionally, once the medium problems are solved, the easy ones seem all the more simple. As this builds up to harder and harder questions, the student grows in knowing their limits and how to exceed them as well.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
It's not always easy to directly express what you're struggling with. Some people just don't know what they don't know. A commonly used approach is to give a "diagnostic test," but I think this just wrecks self-esteem and scares away the desire to learn. I would prefer to have a conversation with the student about a situation or such in the subject material and see from that how much or how little a student knows or wants to know. From there, you can also stem a sense of curiosity in them.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Every person and every day is different. It's not always possible for the same teaching style to be effective on Sally or John today or tomorrow. It's important to keep an open mind when tutoring because if life throws you a curve ball, you don't want to be the headstrong person that doesn't move to catch it and gets hit in the face. Have an arsenal of tools and skills at your disposal when you need to change it up a bit when things aren't working. Visuals and audio materials can be useful when pure conversation just isn't cutting it. Sometimes having a little problem set can be helpful if games or puzzles aren't cutting it. Versatility and preparedness are key.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Since I'm visual, and most people are, I like to draw pictures. Sometimes finding (or creating) relevant videos on the topic is good too. I also like to use fill in the blanks or puzzles because they can be a fun way to do typically mundane things. Also, for test prep, just having questions or entire test sections on hand can be useful.