A photo of Justin, a tutor from Community College of Allegheny County

Justin

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I am a math and science enthusiast that loves to help others become more comfortable with a subject that they do not feel confident in. I understand how difficult concepts may seem at first but more importantly how great it feels once those concepts finally click. My patience goes on for miles and miles so I will never be frustrated with the learning rate of an individual. I love a good challenge and see tutoring as a learning experience for both individuals involved. My interests outside of academics are reading both fiction and non-fiction works, hiking forests, trails, and mountains, kayaking rivers and lakes, bicycling the Great Allegheny Passage, jogging around the city of Pittsburgh, playing guitar and singing, and cooking delicious food.

Justin’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Community College of Allegheny County - Associates, Engineering Science

Hobbies

Science, Math, Music, Cooking, Hiking, Kayaking, Cycling, Running, Reading


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe understanding that each student has a specific learning style is key to helping them understand and feel confident with the subject material. I also believe that once a student is beginning to understand that content, it is very important for the teacher to challenge the student and help them realize they are capable of more than they may have realized. Above all, patience is paramount.

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

I would like to start off by getting to know each other a bit. Next, I would gauge the student's comfort level with the material to be learned and try to find what the student's motivation is to be learning it in the first place. Finally, we would try to structure a study plan that would lead up to the goal the student is trying to attain. Then, it's time to practice.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Helping a student become an independent learner is a matter of motivating a student to want to learn the given material, offering ideas as to what can be done on their own time, and helping to prioritize their schedule.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Some helpful methods to motivating a student are keeping up a consistent work routine, offering new and engaging exercises, introducing helpful videos, and developing a positive relationship. All of these methods should be geared towards the student's particular goal. Ultimately it comes down to understanding what motivates the individual.

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

First, I would let the student know that it's okay to not understand a concept right away. Often it just takes time to click. Next, I would find a way to relate the concept to something that they may experience day to day (or to something that greatly interests them) in order to make it seem more practical. Finally, we would practice through some exercises until the material is understood. I may also refer them to some videos that I find helpful to the particular concept.

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

It's best to keep a dictionary within reach, so that when you come across a word that you don't understand, you can quickly look up it's meaning, which clears things up nicely. If you realize you've just read the last paragraph without really paying attention to its content, just reread it and focus on what is being said. Ask yourself questions about the text so that the ideas and themes stick. Ultimately, take it slow and be patient. It's not a race. The key is to understand the material at your own rate. Speed will naturally come the more you work at it with the proper foundation.

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

Always come up with a plan before beginning sessions. Set goals. Decide what I can help the student work on such as homework, extra credit, or a fun and interesting exercise. Break the ice and spend a little time getting to know each other. If we're in a comfortable situation, learning new material becomes a lot easier to focus on.