The most amazing thing about the human brain is just how much it already knows. It can form words and sentences, bounce between conversations and cooking dinner, and constantly process a massive amount of information coming in from the environment. It performs incredibly complex calculus and physics just to keep someone standing. Yet, for all its complexity and power, we still struggle to find the right wording for an essay. Math problems can seem too big to tackle, and new concepts and material can be difficult to grasp. That's where I come in.
In 1991, Ulrich Schiefele did a review of scientific literature and found that interest helped students learn complex concepts more concretely than students who were not interested in the material presented to them (Schiefele, U. (1991). Interest, learning, and motivation. Educational psychologist, 26(3-4), 299-323.). One of the best things about being a tutor is being able to see the moment everything "clicks" and makes sense. I make a conscious effort to relate what students are working on to things they are interested in and already understand so the new material will "click." It gets them engaged with the material, and motivates them to keep working on it.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Idaho - Bachelors, Psychology
Spinning yarn; Crochet; Camping; Reading; Baking; Cooking; Machine learning
College Computer Science
High School Computer Science
High School English
Technology and Computer Science
Q & A
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
For a first session, I would determine where the student's strengths are, what their interests are, and what they hope to accomplish through tutoring. This information helps me build a foundation to better guide the student and relate what they are learning to their life.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I ask questions to prompt the student to think about how they should go about answering a question or solving a problem. Additionally, if I see there is something a student is having a particularly difficult time with, I create written guides for the student using color to help them keep track of what is going on.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Interest is critical for motivation. By relating the work a student is doing to what they are interested in, they stay engaged and learn the material much better.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Difficult material can be made much simpler by breaking it down into small chunks. Additionally, using metaphors that relate to information the student already understands can be a really powerful way to help them learn the new material.