I have been tutoring for the last 3 years in all areas of Math. I have a Masters in Systems Engineering from University of Virginia. For me, the best thing about tutoring is the light that goes on when a student gets 'it'.
Besides Math, I love to read. I read all kinds of books, my favorite being those aimed at self development.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, India - Building Engineer, Chemical Engineering
Undergraduate Degree: University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA - Mechanical Engineer, Systems Engineering
Reading, and solving math problems
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I teach via questions. I ask my students many pointed questions that make them think of the answer to the problem themselves.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In the first session, I would like to get to know what the student wants to achieve. I also would like to know where does the student stand, that is, his baseline, and from there go up one step at a time
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
A student becomes an independent learner when he starts thinking about the ways to solve the problem himself. I ask pointed questions as to how he might approach the problem and hence, the solution. This can also be seen as developing an algorithm.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would encourage the student all the way. A student is frustrated when he is stuck at a point from where he cannot get ahead. I help him overcome this frustration by helping him understand the point, and then help him go a notch up each time. This builds his confidence in solving any problem.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I will try to see if an example that he is familiar with helps. If that does not help, I go to the basics that he is comfortable with and start from there.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I do math. If it is a math problem, I ask the student to read the question and tell me what do they understand.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Aligning my tutoring to their needs is the best strategy. Whenever he is frustrated, I go back to the place where he feels confident. Then I challenge him to the next level. Once he is confident there, I go to the next level.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
In my opinion, students get excited when they know they can do it. Appreciating their efforts and encouraging them helps them stay engaged.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
By quizzing them until I feel that it is not something they have memorized. Also, by asking them to explain the concepts.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
When a student solves a problem on his own, sharing his glory with him. When he is frustrated, then a little hand-holding so that he can walk through the problem.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By asking him. Sometimes, in the course of tutoring, I come to understand where he lacks or where he is strong. From there, I try to help him achieve his needs.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Some students need more hand-holding. I help them through the steps. Some students need a little help here and there. For those students, I let them work through their problems until they get stuck, and then I gently help them.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
All of the materials were brought by students themselves.