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Joshua

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I have a B.S in Neuroscience from UIC and have professionally tutored college level students for over 2 years. Additionally, over the past year I have worked with my University's Biology and Chemistry Departments where I worked as a Research Assistant developing course material for undergraduate nursing students in Chemistry as well as developed training tools and study aids for upper level 400 Biology students. I will be attending graduate school next year where I will be pursuing a Masters degree in teaching the Sciences.

I love teaching and helping students understand a subject. It is a very gratifying experience to watch and help a student who was formerly struggling with a subject turn into a very knowledgeable and adept student. I am a patient, skilled and experienced tutor; I specialize in taking difficult and complex subject matter and breaking it down into a much more easily understood version for my students.

Joshua’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Illinois at Chicago - Bachelor of Science, Neuroscience

Hobbies

Black smithing, wood working, drawing, guitar, dog training, rock climbing, wake boarding and reading.

Tutoring Subjects

Biology

Cell Biology

Chemistry

College Biology

College Chemistry

Developmental Biology

General Biology

High School Biology

High School Chemistry

Honors Chemistry

Neurobiology

Neuroscience

Organic Chemistry

Other

Psychology

Science

Social Sciences

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My philosophy is that every student learns differently and is at their own specific skill level in understanding the subject matter. I aim to identify what works best for each individual student and teach to them as a unique individual.

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

In a first session I like to delve into why the student is seeking tutoring, what their skill level is in the subject matter, and how they best learn in a one-on-one teaching environment.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Developing confidence and good studying habits are key for a student to become an independent learner. I aim to cultivate these attributes in my students by working with them at whatever skill level they are at, and by helping them improve their own inherent abilities.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Developing discipline, maintaining focus, and showing how to manage a student's workload.

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

I aim to teach students at an intuitive level and build a blue-print in their minds about the subject, and how each piece fits in and relates to one another. I use a student's pre-existing knowledge, which they are comfortable with, and build off this area of inherent confidence.

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

I break down the subject matter into more easily understood bits and work patiently with them as they move from struggling to success.

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

I've found that listening to a student and identifying where they are struggling is a great place to begin constructing a tailor-made lesson plan for them.

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

I try to draw out what is inherently interesting about the subject matter itself. I believe that almost any field is interesting if you can just simply tap into a student's own interest and relate that to the field.

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

When I work with my students, I perform exercises where we check our work and give them practice problems based on the material we just learned. I then review any material they may be struggling with until they fully understand all of the components of the problem.

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

I set my students up for success and build their confidence in a step-wise fashion. Nothing is more demoralizing than to constantly come up against problems you feel that you don't even know where to begin, so I aim to build a student's abilities according to their current skill level and knowledge.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

When I first meet with a student, I like to find out what they hope to get out of tutoring in general, and then continue down that line of conversation. By creating a dialogue and making an effort to find out where a student is at in their academic career, I can evaluate their current needs.

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

Everyone learns differently, and it is important to teach to each individual's preferences. I make a point of identifying what type of learning my student prefers, and making sure I teach in a way that makes the most sense to them.

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

Typically I will work with the school materials (study guides, practice problems, homework) the student works with every day, and cover the material their teachers will be developing their tests around. I will also use my own written materials and whiteboards.