I graduated from Virginia Tech in 2014 with a degree in physics. Currently I am pursuing a Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering at VCU. I have a strong background in subjects of math and science with algebra, calculus, physics and chemistry being my strongest subjects.
While with students, my goal is to help them to come up with answer on their own. What I mean is that I will guide students through discussion, questions and examples without explicitly giving them the answers. This along with positive reinforcement is how I plan to help students learn the content and increase confidence.
Outside of school, I enjoy spending time outside. (Yes I am an engineer/physicist that actually likes being outside). Whether it be taking my dog to the park or playing sports with friends, I enjoy being active. Other than that, I spend time with my girlfriend, friends or family.
I look forward to meeting and working with you.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University - Bachelor in Arts, Physics
Graduate Degree: Virginia Commonwealth University - Master of Science, Biomedical Engineering
Sports, outdoor activities, carpentry, spending time with family and friends
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I have a simple teaching philosophy. I want the student to figure out the problem while I guide them to it. I do not want to be the one doing the problems. I can do this through starting the process for them and asking them step by step questions to help guide them, or I can show them examples of similar problems and help them discover the process and then translate that to their own problem. (All of this is math related.)
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I first would like to get to know them. I want to know what their strengths and weaknesses are and what their goals in their class are. This could be accomplished through a pre-test that contains the material one should know by the end of the course. From that test, I could learn the student's style and knowledge of the subject and base a program of study around that.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
This was touched upon in my philosophy. I can use various approaches to help guide the student towards answers rather than solving the problem for them. Encouragement will also help with confidence in the subject, and a high confidence will promote independent learning.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Short answer: confidence. Like I just said, encouragement will lead to confidence and confidence will lead to enjoyment. It is difficult to keep a student motivated in an area that they do not enjoy. Also, a student will get more enjoyment out of succeeding in an area that they originally struggled in. It is a sense of overcoming struggles.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Spend extra time and use outside resources to make sure that the student understands that concept. The last thing I would do is to get down on that student.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension is a subject that is best improved through practice and strategy. I would go over strategies such as reading the questions first to know what to look for.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I do not have a lot of experience with students that I do not already know, but understanding the student's background is always an important first step. Gaining their trust is always important as well. They must know that you are there for them and you actually know what you are talking about.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Encouragement. Show them that they are capable by guiding them to the answer without them even realizing you are doing it. Asking lots of questions about what they should do next can help with this.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Practice problems plus random little questions throughout a session about material covered earlier in the session.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Showing them that they were able to solve a problem on their own and that they actually know the material. Point out times when they correctly do something without help.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Observation and communication.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Knowing the student's needs can help me to focus on different areas that they struggle with. I can adjust the time I spend on different areas based on their strengths and weaknesses.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I like to try to keep my language synchronous with the student's teacher. Sometimes different teachers use different vocabulary with the subject, and I want to make sure I don't confuse the student with terminology. Keeping that in mind, I will try to use materials provided by the teacher to maintain consistency.