I make a great tutor because I have experience tutoring a variety of people in a variety of subjects. I know how to cater to different styles of learning since I've tutored athletes, who are historically not driven, as well as pre-medical students, who are historically driven, along with everyone in between. I also know how to listen. Tutoring is not all about teaching. It is also about knowing what your student wants and needs and figuring out how to give them that in a way that makes sense to them. I also really enjoy the subjects I can tutor and I feel that that enthusiasm reaches the student in a way that makes them feel more engaged.
Undergraduate Degree: Florida State University - Bachelor of Science, Biological Science
Graduate Degree: University of South Florida-Main Campus - Master of Science, Medical Science
ACT Composite: 31
SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1450
I enjoy reading fantasy literature. I enjoy playing sports, predominantly ultimate frisbee and soccer. I am interested in medicine and the human body.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that I am there to guide the student to find the answer for themselves. They already have a teacher, I just translate what the teacher says in a way that makes sense for the student while providing tips and direction.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, I like to talk to the student and find out what they want out of the class. Is this something they're interested in? Do they just want to get their work done and get an A? This allows me to cater to their wants and not just their needs. I also like to figure out how they think they learn best so that if I find along the way that they actually respond better to a different method, I can alert them to it. Finally, I like to get to know my student a little (aspirations, likes, dislikes, etc.). Finding common ground or being a little personal can allow the student to be a little more receptive and trusting.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I myself am an independent learner and found that, upon learning how it is I learn (I write everything down word for word), I feel more comfortable being able to go to a library or other place alone and know that what I am doing is helping me. So, in order to help another person become independent, I would pay extra attention to how they learn and help them figure out a way to make their technique something they can do on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I found that allowing little breaks during the session lets students rest their brains and come back to the material fresh. I also like talking to students about the application of the subject matter, especially in or on the human body, in order to make it interesting and more personal.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I like to use analogies and metaphors to explain difficult concepts. If that doesn't work, I usually try to approach the concept from a different angle. If that still doesn't work, I leave the concept and go on to the next concept since they usually build on each other. If a student can see how a concept is applied, it may make it easier for them to understand its fundamentals.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
For students struggling with reading comprehension, I am a strong proponent of re-reading and breaking down. Understanding individual parts is easier, and putting them together is easier than trying to understand a whole paragraph. Usually, comprehension for me boils down to what do I have and what do I need, which then allows me to figure out the way I'll get what I need from what I have.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found that just being open to questions and being patient have been the most successful.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Finding a way to make the subject personal to them, either by pointing out how it works in their body or everyday life, will allow the student to be engaged since they are essentially learning about themselves. Also, for people who are naturally competitive, making it seem like they have to "beat" this subject works well.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I ask questions and quiz the student, both right after they've learned the material and in the next session to see if they've retained the material. I also have the student try to teach me about individual concepts.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I compliment students when they're doing well. If they're struggling, I try to show them how to make things easier with different ways to approach the concept. I am never negative.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I first ask the student outright what they think they need and start from there. As we go through sessions, I pick up on weaknesses and bring them up.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt by asking what the student needs. I can be a pseudo-teacher if they really have no idea or I can just be someone who quizzes and drills, making them practice. I am a good listener and can be a backboard to students who just need to talk about subjects. I can write things down, find models on the Internet, or just watch them do their work and provide input when necessary.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I predominately use paper and pencil to write down and show them how I do things. I also use the Internet for models of concepts, using them as a launchpad for what I will talk about. If the student has models to work with, I will figure out how to use them so they can copy my manipulations.