I believe that figuring out the best way you learn is a constant process. As a tutor, it gives me great satisfaction to be able to contribute to a student's growth in learning. While growing up, I always struggled in math. My tutor made me more confident in my abilities and myself. I later went on to become a volunteer tutor at an elementary school for 4 years where I learned that I love teaching others. My strong suits are life sciences, psychology, reading, writing, and government. My favorite subjects to tutor are the sciences. I find a lot of students are intimidated by subjects like biology. But, with a tutor that can explain things in a way they understand, they can grow to love it. I am currently an undergraduate student at The University of Texas at Austin receiving my Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Biology. Outside of academics I love to watch and play basketball, spend time outdoors, and watch documentaries.
University of Texas at Austin - B.S., Psychology (biology minor)
What is your teaching philosophy?
My goal in teaching is to create the best learning environment possible. Every person learns differently, but once that style is identified and catered to, learning becomes more rewarding and productive for the student.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
It is vital that a student is comfortable to be able to learn. In a first session, I would begin by having the student tell me about themselves and what they enjoy doing outside of school. Then, I would relate whatever subject they need assistance in to something they enjoy doing. I would also tell them about myself, hoping to make them feel more at ease.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Asking the student questions, instead of just giving the answer is critical. Though sometimes it may seem easier for both the student and the tutor to just give out the right answer, the student will benefit more if they can work through it themselves.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
When I have tutored younger students, I find small prizes like stickers work as a great motivator. For older students, breaking up the more difficult material with easier material helps them feel confident, maintain focus, and stay motivated.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
First, attempt to break down the concept in terms that the student can understand. Breaking a problem or skill into small parts makes it more manageable. Then, give the student multiple practice problems or questions pertaining to the concept. Repetition is highly important in skill mastery.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension can be a difficult skill for some students. I would provide the students with tools to assist them while reading like slowing down, reviewing small sections of the material while reading a long passage, and practicing active reading by taking notes.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
First, remind the student that they are intelligent and capable, and that whatever subject is giving them trouble is nothing they cannot handle with some hard work. Then, make the subject more interesting to the student. For example, if Biology is giving them trouble, explain some real-life applications to the subject to make it more interesting.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Creating practice problems or flashcards to quiz the student.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Start with the material that is the easiest to grasp for the student. Then, have the student explain the concept to you. They will see that they do understand and are capable of doing well in the subject. Then, build off that confidence with more difficult material.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
The student most likely has the best idea of what they struggle with or perform well in. Talking to the student before every session about what they need help in is imperative.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Altering the teaching style to accommodate the student's learning style is extremely important. I would assess the way the student learns best through asking and observing them, and then planning a teaching style like discussion, lecture, etc. that best fits their needs.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Flashcards, practice problems, technology (can either be an aid or distraction--depending on the student), and highlighters.