My passion for teaching surfaced after I helped my mother complete her Associates Degree in Child Care. She didn't have any hope when she approached me with her dilemma: She needed a job and she wanted to contribute, but she didn't know a lick of English and had barely passed her adult classes. What she did have, was passion. She just needed help. I am so proud to say that four years later, she got her degree and now teaches kindergarten. She's the happiest she's been and it's really improved her quality of life.
That experience taught me that I'm incredibly patient and as a teacher, I always bring my best to the table (not to mention coax the best out of my students). For me, it's also a way to pay it forward. I've had some incredible teachers in the past and they changed my life for the better. I want to help do the same.
On a side note, I'm also working on my GMAT's to enter grad-school in 2017 so I am constantly sharpening my knowledge. I hope that through this medium, I can continue to help people realize their dreams.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: The Art Institute of California-San Francisco - Bachelor of Science, Media Arts And Science
GRE Verbal: 154
Blogging/ Writing, Painting, Ceramics, Designing
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Learning takes courage, and that's what I help build. I help my students WIN.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In my first session with a student, it's all about understanding where the student is in their curriculum, how solid their fundamentals are, and how confident they are in the subject (and about learning, in general). I also like to go over the curriculum in detail so we know where we have to focus (according to the student feedback) and I can come up with a lesson plan for the following weeks. Depending on how the student feels about test taking, I usually like to give a test during the second session on core fundamentals on the subject so I know how much work is cut out for us. But most importantly, the primary focus of our first session is to start creating a safe environment where the student feels safe to learn and explore a subject without fear (bearing in mind that the tone of the first meeting always sets the tone for the rest of our sessions).
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Excellence in a subject comes from unshakable fundamentals. At a given time, a student may have a specific goal for the tutoring, but eventually, it comes down to building strong foundations so that they can feel confident that they can take on any challenge that the subject brings in the future. I believe that enables the student to become an independent learner.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
A person feels motivated to do anything when they see results instantly or are rewarded for their efforts. They also feel motivated when they aren't threatened or stressed out. As a tutor, I always focus on winning small battles so that the student starts building confidence. I also provide a safe and enjoyable environment so they feel like they're bouncing ideas off of a friend instead of learning from a figure of authority.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Here are a few ways we would tackle a difficult skill or concept: 1) We attempt to work through the skill or concept through a different angle, exploring possible underlying principles that may be unclear. 2) We look at real world examples of the implementation of that skill or concept. This is a great enabler since it helps to bring a concept to life. 3) We do an activity that would help provide an illustration of the skill or concept. 4) We revisit the skill or concept with a fresh brain. Sometimes it's just a matter of sleeping on an idea that enables the comprehension.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
1) Identify what the student understands and doesn't understand. 2) Before reading, identify the purpose for reading. 2) During reading, monitor their understanding and enable them to start monitoring it themselves using reading speed. 3) Enable the student to illustrate what they read pictorially. 4) Help the student think actively as they read.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Building a comfort level and a safe environment is honestly my top priority. A student can only learn if he/she trusts their teacher and knows that he/she is on their team.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Excitement comes from confidence, and confidence comes from success. Helping students win small battles always works to get them engaged. Apart from that, we always keep our end-goal in sight. So if a student is just going through the motions, I help keep the objective in perspective so they can stay motivated. That's also why I usually track progress pictorially.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
1) Short pop-quizzes are a great barometer. 2) Multiple revisions for consecutive weeks. 3) Helping the student take effective notes so that they can revisit the material when they need it.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By enabling small victories and ensuring a solid understanding of fundamentals in a subject.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By asking them! Honest feedback is the best way of evaluating what the student needs. However, sometimes taking tests can be the great method of evaluating their needs (when the student isn't forthcoming, when they need to test their understanding, or when they are confused about their needs).
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
By custom tailoring my lesson plans to their speed, ability, and comprehension. We always have the end goal and a map to get there in sight, but how many steps we take depends completely on the student's needs.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Textbooks, workbooks, regular stationary, a laptop or iPad depending on the lesson plan.