I am recent graduate of Ball State University in the field of Mathematical Economics. I have tutored undergraduate Statistics within the Economics Department for the past 2 years and have loved helping business students through their required Statistics class! My tutoring style puts heavy emphasis on trying not to make a student feel like they are working with a tutor, but with another student in a study session. While it is important to come to a teacher/tutor for help if one has questions, it is even more important to get to the point of figuring problems out in your own way. There are garden variety formulas, equations, variables, etc. in Mathematics and Statistics that may call for "memorization", but it is of utmost importance that a learner be able to use their own reasoning to work through problems. For me, it is important that I communicate problems in real-world context and emphasize that there is almost always more than one way to think about a problem. I truly enjoy connecting with individuals on how they reason and helping out where there may be blips/flaws.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Ball State University - Bachelor of Science, Mathematical Economics
Baseball (Coaching, Playing, Statisical Analysis), Golf, Sports in General, Video Games, Board Games, Trivia, Economics
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy revolves around establishing a connection between the subject matter and the student's personal life.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would introduce myself and ask what the student's interests are. Afterwards, I would proceed to ask about the biggest struggles they may be having.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help to point out real world examples of the material that is being learned. Also, I reinforce that repetition is the key to success.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
This question is unique for each individual student. For the most part, I would try to connect the material with something in their daily life. If that is too much of a reach, I would encourage the student to set up a rewards incentive for his/herself.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I think the key is to be patient. When a student gets frustrated or embarrassed about not picking up certain concepts it is important that we, as tutors/teachers, reinforce that we have all the time in the world for them. Providing personal stories of perseverance can help as well. Again, most of the time it is about re-reading and repetition, however "boring" that may be.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Well, reading comprehension is not my strong suite. My only advice is to read very carefully, get used to underlining important sections, and then reread the question.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I think a sense of humility is very necessary. When you can make the student feel like he is working with a "study buddy" rather than a tutor, it is a little bit more relaxing and less stressful.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I like to bring up personal experiences with the subject matter (e.g., incidents that get me excited about whatever it is that I am tutoring and neat things that you can do down the road).
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
After the student completes a problem that they are struggling with, it is necessary to work a similar problem so that they can understand the exponentially positive effects of repetition (and hopefully do some similar problems on their own time).
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Again, it's about humility and helping the student understand that no one is perfect. Most of the time, students will say something like "oh, I'm not very smart" or "I'm no good at this subject." What they really mean is that they are not motivated enough to practice the subject. There's a famous quote by Hall of Fame baseball player Reggie Jackson: "A baseball swing is a very finely tuned instrument. It is repetition, and more repetition, and a little more after that." You could change "baseball swing" to any math or science subject.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I usually start by asking about very basic concepts on the subject matter and then go from there.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
This question, again, is unique for each student. Sometimes, a student will come in with a plan of attack and a set of questions that they want answered. Sometimes, the student is on the opposite end of the spectrum and completely lost. The latter requires a little bit more probing into their understanding of the subject.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I am a big fan of using textbooks and the whiteboard. Often, especially for more involved problems, I will work the problem out on my own pen and paper while I ask the student to do the problem again so that I can see where the problems are. When using the textbook, I like to provide alternative definitions to some concepts so that the student can understand what's at hand more clearly.