A photo of Meagan, a tutor from Northern Arizona University

Meagan

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I understand math, especially Algebra subjects, are incredible complex and often abstract for students to learn. I enjoying breaking down the topics into "why" they work. I focus less on memorization of formulas and more on the reasons why the numbers are used. This approach also means that students are getting a deeper understanding and it makes it easier to apply their prior knowledge to new concepts.

Meagan’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Northern Arizona University - Bachelor of Science, Elementary Education

Graduate Degree: Northern Arizona University - Masters in Education, Special Educaton

Hobbies

Riding horses, spending time with family and friends, traveling, and camping


Q & A

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

When you teach a student why something works, he/she is able to apply it to new things, increasing his/her independence.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Students stay motivated when they see progress. Even if they aren't understanding every part of the topic, focusing on the pieces will help their confidence.

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

Anytime a student is having trouble, I step back and break it down into pieces. This will allow them to not only have small successes, but also gives them chances to build on the learning.

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

This is a big challenge with word problems. I would have them underline or reword the problem.

What is your teaching philosophy?

I understand that everyone learns differently. As a teacher, it is my job to find out what way works best and modify my teaching.

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

In a typical first session, I will assess prior knowledge and find out when the student last enjoyed math.

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

I have found that engaging the student and making a personal connection will allow for us to have a good working relationship.

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

I would help students get engaged with a subject they are struggling with by setting up problems that they will have success solving. Even if they are not able to understand a full topic, they will be able to see that they can do parts.

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

I do a variety of checks for understanding. My favorite is to have students re-explain the problem, or "teach" me.

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

Students will grow in confidence as they are seeing success. Breaking down problems will allow them to have success more often.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Most students are going to come to me with specific questions, but as we begin I am able to ascertain prior knowledge and skill level quickly.

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

As a current classroom teacher, I am constantly monitoring students and their needs. I constantly adjust or teach concepts in a different way.

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

I would hope that the student gives me an idea of what areas are causing his/her confusion. From there, I would pull a number of different resources in order to show the problems in a variety of formats.