I am a person that believes that sharing knowledge is essential in everyone's life. From learning how to walk, to understanding the dynamics of the standard model of subatomic particles; knowledge should be shared and passed on as the legacy of our own existence in this universe.
My love to sharing knowledge developed after I tried studying Physics at a university in Bogota, Colombia, when I was 17 years old.
Then I decided to come to the United States. I understood, after struggling in a language I barely knew, that knowing where to find information was fundamental, and very fortunately I found a great resource. Not in the classrooms, or even with the very busy professors, but in the library, in the Academic Success Center; where the tutors helped me understand everything.
Once I knew about the ASC at the library, I spent almost all my time in there. I recognized that the tutors helped students struggling learn information, and helped by sharing their knowledge with the students. Subsequently, that generated a desire of learning more, so that I could share it with everyone I could. Next, I got a job in there, and I explored the different teaching methods for individual students.
Now, I am very much looking forward to acquire more experiences working with students to improve my methods and improve how students learn.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy is very simple. I think everybody has a different way to learn, so if we can identify how a student learns, we can teach them anything we want.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Definitely try to know the student as much as I can. If it is possible, try to know what the student likes and dislikes, and use that to his advantage.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Teaching him how to learn, showing him real life examples, and letting him understand how the real problem is not to not know the information, but where to find it.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Reminding him what the he is after, reminding him that even if he does not feel it, he is improving in every aspect.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Try a different approach, and if that does not work, then try a different learning method.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
What I do most of the times, is try to read at a pace that the student feels most comfortable. If the student still feels uncomfortable, I just try to explain every step of the reading as we go through.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
One of the best strategies that I use is to ask questions that would make the student get to an answer on their own. Another effective strategy that I use when the student has difficulties understanding something is showing them similar examples, and solving them together. Once the student has an idea of how to solve the problem, usually they can solve it by themselves.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Usually students get a tutor for help because they want to succeed in their studies or reach one of their goals. Thus, I remind them what they are pursuing, what their purpose is. That way, they usually get back on track and keep fighting. In other situations, I like to tell them a random story (or an anecdote) of hard times, and how at the end that only makes them stronger and wiser. That usually helps.