I am a motivated college student. I am a quick-learner. And I have a great passion for teaching and mentoring, regardless of the subject. I grew up in poverty, but through hard work and the motivation of mentors and teachers, I overcame my circumstances. Because I myself know the cost of improving oneself and of overcoming one's circumstances, I expect nothing but hard work, determination, persistence, and a positive attitude. I'm not an unfair person. I don't expect for you to do all the work alone. I will learn whatever material you are learning with you.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: St. John's College - Bachelor in Arts, Liberal Arts (Double Major in Philosophy and the History of Science and Math)
Writing fiction and philosophical treatises, composing music, violin, piano, cinema, reading literature and theory, and analyzing the news
AP US History
College Level American History
Elementary School Math
High School English
High School Level American History
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
To ensure my students get the attention that best suits their personalities and study habits. To provide a relaxed yet rigorous environment in which they can ask questions and develop complex skill sets.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get to know the student; ask them their likes, dislikes, their academic strengths and weaknesses, what they're looking to gain from their tutoring sessions, and how they hope to attain their goals. I will then explain to them my philosophy and my expectations. We will then begin working on whatever they need help with.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help to encourage them to not spend too much time on social media, as it fosters mimetic forms of thought rather than independent thinking. I can provide them with resources concerning the topics they find interesting. I can help them learn how to ask questions that go beyond the assignments given to them by teachers. I can engage them in discussions concerning their topics, and teach them how to challenge their own assumptions.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would try to make the sessions as productive and fun as possible. I would break down their long-term goals into manageable portions. I would help them see what rewards they stand to reap should they continue along the path they set for themselves. And I would find ways to make the topics they are studying interesting and pertinent to them.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
First and foremost, encourage them not give up. To teach them that success is a measure of perseverance despite failure. Find the method that best suits the student's learning style (visual, analogical/metaphorical learning, etc.). Re-explain the concept as many times as necessary. Employ drilling exercises, games, and practice. Provide resources that explain the concept/skill in question in simple terms.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Hone in on the passage in question, place the passage in its context, go from word to word explaining the full implications involved, get them to raise questions about the passage, help them figure out how to properly interpret the answers to their questions by using the text, and, lastly, help them read between the lines. After helping students with a particular passage, I help students make room to read as slowly as necessary to extract as much information as possible from the discourse in question.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The most successful strategy has been to be honest with the student, to make them feel comfortable, but to also encourage rigor and attention. Most importantly, making the material in question pertinent to the student makes it important and hence worthy of care.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would help them by demonstrating interesting applications and prominent thinkers in the subject they are struggling in. For example, if they are not interested in mathematics, show them videos of physical applications of science, or show them mathematical paradoxes. If they dislike history, I'd show them interesting moments in history and interesting historiographers that have shaped the development of Western thought. I would employ whatever resources I have available to me to help them see the importance of the subject in question, both to themselves and to the world at large.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
One technique would be to ask them to explain the concept they've just learned in their own words. Another technique is to test them with sample questions. Another strategy is to ask them to provide examples of the concept they have just learned.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Of course, practicing the skill set of a given subject is essential in building up the student's confidence. Also, having the student explain the subject's concepts in their own language helps them gain fluidity in the language of the material in question. Encouraging them to practice and do extra research on the subject on their own time helps as well. And lastly, never make them feel bad for any failures they confront.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
The best way to gauge a student's needs is by making them comfortable enough to tell you. By so doing, you encourage the students to admit for themselves what their weaknesses are. Another helpful tool is looking at their grades. Also, by asking them questions, one can determine whether the student truly has mastery over the material or not.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
In general, I try to mold my personality to fit whatever the student needs. At the same time, it is also important to try to mold my teaching habits to fit the student's needs. If the student is motivated, then the focus won't be on drilling information, but on helping them better grasp concepts and the context of the concepts they are learning. But a student who is less motivated will require more drilling, more practice, and more exercise.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
It depends on the subject in question. If it is math-based, I bring a dry erase board and a marker. I bring the books and textbooks necessary. I bring an iPad in case something needs to be looked up. I bring pencils and paper. And I bring any materials they asked me to look over.