A photo of Brendan, a tutor from Bucknell University

Brendan

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I am a recent graduate from Bucknell University as a physics major. I have spent the past 4 years teaching and mentoring other students as either a tutor or a teacher's assistant, and I would love to continue to help students grow and learn.

Brendan’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Bucknell University - Bachelor of Science, Physics

Hobbies

Reading sci-fi and fantasy, tennis, racquetball, tabletop games

Tutoring Subjects

10th Grade Math

11th Grade Math

12th Grade Math

6th Grade Math

7th Grade Math

8th Grade Math

9th Grade Math

Algebra

Algebra 2

Algebra 3/4

AP Calculus BC

AP Computer Science

AP Computer Science A

AP Physics 1

Calculus

College Algebra

College Computer Science

College Physics

Computer Science

Elementary School Math

High School Computer Science

High School Physics

Math

Middle School Math

Physics

Pre-Algebra

Pre-Calculus

Science

Technology and Computer Science

Trigonometry


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I recognize that each student has a preferred method of learning, so I work to identify the way a student is most comfortable learning new material, and I teach towards their strengths.

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

In a first session, I would ask what topic they would like help with. Then, I would break the topic down into core ideas, and work on core concepts with the student until I identify which core concept they are struggling with the most and focus there.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I always strive for a strong understanding of core concepts because I believe that with a solid foundation, a student is much more easily able to connect the dots and build upon that foundation when it comes to learning new material.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I would keep a student motivated by keeping track of their progress, showing them how far they have come. I also like showing how most complex problems can be solved by putting together much simpler core concepts that they already know, which helps to make any problem more manageable.

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

If a student is having difficulty, they may prefer a different teaching style, such as hands-on work rather than lectures, or they may not have a strong grasp on the material that built up to the new concept. I try to address these problems by teaching in a way the student is most comfortable with, and by starting as small as possible, reviewing whatever material is necessary for understanding the new topic.

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

I stress the importance of the context in a sentence. Most comprehension issues can be helped by looking at the surrounding words and sentences.

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

When I work with a student, it's always to talk with them. Students are the ones who know what problems they're having and how they're most comfortable learning, so I always start by asking them those things and finding out how I can tailor my tutoring to their needs.

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

I usually find it easy to help my students get excited about the subjects that I tutor because they are subjects that I'm excited about, and my enthusiasm tends to be infectious.

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

I tend to ask questions which combine different core concepts that we have been working on. This way I know that the student not only understands each concept, but is able to identify different concepts and put them together.

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

I help to build confidence by showing what progress they have already made, and by breaking down complex problems into more manageable core concepts, which seem less daunting.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I usually evaluate a student's needs by simply asking them. I'll ask them to explain what they do know about a topic, and then either build from there or work on misconceptions.

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

Each student has a different preferred learning method. So my first goal is to try to identify that and then accommodate their learning style. I can teach by lecturing, back and forth dialog, visual aids, pictures, diagrams, graphs, practice problems, etc. Once I identify which kind of tutoring they respond best to, I can continue to work in their comfort zone.

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

Depending on the student and the topic, I will use whiteboards, hand made props, notebooks for practice problems and notes, learning games, video lectures and online assessments.