I am a recent graduate from Boston University. I have been tutoring for over 4 years now, and have loved every moment of it. When I was 18, I lived in France for one year with a host family, and went to a French school in order to study the language, literature, grammar, art and history. I've continued my journey in learning French by continuing to read French literature, watch French movies, and stay in touch with friends in order to practice speaking the language.
The four years I spent tutoring, I was working in Boston public schools where I gained extremely valuable experience teaching students of all levels. I'm passionate about learning and hope to make you feel passionate, too.
Boston University - BA, Psychology
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Give them the tools they need to be confident in their abilities, and practice these tools with them until they are comfortable doing it on their own!
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Tackle the problem from a different angle until the student understands. There are an infinite number of ways of looking at one single problem or concept, and so you can never run out!
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Subjects are vast, and there has to be at least one aspect of the area that the student can find interesting. For example, in learning a language, music can be a very useful tool. Finding music that the student likes can be one way to get him/her interested.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Test the student with practice problems that approach the material at a slightly different angle.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Make sure to incorporate material that interest the student in each session. Also, it is important to show the student the progress they have made so far, which can be really motivating for a student to see.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Practice reading out loud to develop some fluency, and once they are able to read a passage a couple of times, make sure that the student understands the key words or ideas in the passage that are important for comprehending the main idea and important details.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Open communication so we both understand each other. This way, we can make sure I understand what they are struggling the most in and what their goals are for the future. Setting goals is a very important first step.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Show them the progress they've made. Allow them to demonstrate their skills in some easier problems before moving on to the more challenging ones.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
For the most part, students understand their own needs. If a tutor can get their student to communicate their goals for improvement, and what they believe they struggle the most in, that is going to be more telling than making assumptions. Of course, over time with a student, you will come to recognize their strengths and weaknesses as well, and can work with the student to achieve their goals and make progress on the skills they struggle with the most.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
The most important part of being a tutor is recognizing what works and what doesn't. It takes a little bit of time, but a tutor learns to teach every single student a little differently than the last. Use different approaches to solving problems and tackle issues from different angles. Open communication is important here. The more a student can say about what works for them, and why, the quicker we move on to easier understanding and quicker results!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
1.)Set goals for their future in the material they are learning. What do you hope to achieve in these tutoring sessions? What do you ultimately want for yourself in relation to this material- to speak the language more fluently? To get an A? To improve your pronunciation? 2.)Learn what specific areas they hope to improve in most, and 3.) Learn what areas of the subject they already feel most confident in. Additionally, I hope to get to know my student a little and learn something about their hobbies/interests!