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When you are trying to learn, there are no stupid questions.

As a student sitting in class, it can sometimes be intimidating to raise your hand to ask a question. Maybe you don't want to appear stupid, or you don't want to seem like you haven't been paying attention, or perhaps you have anxiety and don't feel comfortable speaking up; but asking questions will help you verbalize your understanding of the topic, they can help your instructor to know how to clarify their own statements for your benefit, and questions are a great way to process information.

During my five years of classroom teaching experience, I worked to make my classroom a safe and welcoming environment for students so that they could feel comfortable asking questions. When I'm working one-on-one with a student, I aim to create the same safe space. As a tutor, I encourage my students to ask as many questions as they need to feel confident in mathematics. Math requires a good deal of practice to gain proficiency, therefore when I am working with a student, there will be a constant dialogue that will help me check that the student can answer the problem correctly with me, and that they also understand the mechanics of the topic so they can repeat their success again and again.

I know that mathematics can be a difficult subject, but I believe that anyone is capable of understanding and enjoying it! As long as the student is willing to try, it is my goal to help them learn.

Rebecca’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Arizona State University - Bachelor of Science, Biology, General


comic books, science fiction, embroidery

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

When you are trying to learn, there are no stupid questions.

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

The student and I will talk about the subject so that I can get an idea of how comfortable and familiar they are with basic terms and concepts. I'll often ask them basic questions about their feelings about the subject and their study skills so that I know how best to help them learn.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I can help a student become an independent learner by finding out what the student needs most in order to better their skills. Sometimes, a student just needs to do lots of practice problems to get the hang of a technique, or sometimes they need better or simpler explanations for terms used in class. Once I know what they need, I can help them identify how to move forward so they can do well on their own.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Encouragement and setting lots of small goals. Sometimes you need a cheerleader to help you stay positive when the problems and lessons get tough. Other times, you need to set small, manageable goals to help you feel accomplished (which can provide self-encouragement to achieve more).

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

Every student learns in different ways; if a student is struggling with one method, I will choose another method until I find the one that works best for them. With mathematics, often the easiest way is to do more practice problems, but if there is a video, gif, allegory, or joke that I know that could help, I'll share that too.