I am an experienced science educator at the university level. I am flexible and engaging with my students, and consider their understanding of the material and joy in learning it to be of the utmost importance.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Lake Superior State University - Bachelor of Science, Biology, General
Graduate Degree: Eastern Michigan University - Master of Science, Biology, General
learning new things (solving problems, reading academic papers), video games (not very frequently), enjoying outdoor activities
What is your teaching philosophy?
I seek to increase literacy in STEM fields through engaging and flexible teaching styles.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Introduce ourselves and determine learning interests.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Encourage them to continue exploring for questions that they have, and demonstrate the rewards gained by doing so.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation often falls when students feel that they are not making progress. Stepping back and making smaller, incremental accomplishments can help solve some of that.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Approach it from a different angle, using new examples or an entirely different style.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Patience and using multiple different examples and explanation styles are critical, as each student learns in a unique way. Asking questions to gauge the student's preexisting understanding of the material is a great place to start.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Often much of the material being taught on a subject is introductory, and may seem dull in comparison to the future possibilities of the field. I like to get students excited by giving them examples of what new things can be done, but only by first acquiring a basic understanding of the subject.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Asking them questions that they likely know, or know how to solve, and letting them surprise themselves when they actually know the answer is a great start. Reiterating that it's more about the thought process than the actual answers is a great way to encourage thinking in the future, and it also incentivizes further answering.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I use a variety of teaching styles, ranging from following the student through a problem they work out themselves, to using visual examples and supplemental material to determine what yields the best results from the student.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Quizzing students on a combination of questions and material that they independently understand is an excellent way to ensure that they actually understand the meaning behind the answers.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I myself struggle with reading comprehension. Breaking the reading into smaller pieces and asking questions frequently are good ways to let the brain process incoming information.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Determining the level of understanding of the material is always crucial to evaluating the needs of a student. Often, students understand more than they realize and simply need encouragement to build upon what they have already achieved.