I approach teaching tutoring the same as I do other aspects of life: I identify what I my students already know about the topic and use that foundation to achieve mastery. I have found this to be a very effective method because once my students realize how much prior knowledge they actually have, they are more receptive and eager to expand on this knowledge and reach our goals for the session. I often draw on my own experience as a learner to try and identify some of the obstacles that may impede my students progress. I have come to appreciate the impact that issues in other aspects of my students lives may have on their ability to focus and learn. I have had no more rewarding experience than having a young student tell me how good he or she feels after having done very well on an exam thanks to our tutoring session. I have experience the same sense of pride when one of my adult learners get their certification after having gone through my preparation course, especially given that this person had not stepped in
to a classroom for over 15 years. It gives me great pride to be able to say I knew you could do it!. It is such a gratifying and humbling feeling that it keeps me constantly striving to improve my communication skills, to hone my knowledge base and give my students 100% at all times.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: The City College of New York - Bachelors, Biology, General
Undergraduate Degree: American University of Antigua School of Medicine - Current Undergrad, Medical School
Scrabble, reading, knitting, crochet, world cuisines, dancing, spending time with friends and traveling.
10th Grade Math
10th Grade Reading
11th Grade Reading
12th Grade Reading
1st Grade Math
1st Grade Reading
2nd Grade Math
2nd Grade Reading
2nd Grade Writing
3rd Grade Reading
3rd Grade Science
4th Grade Reading
4th Grade Science
4th Grade Writing
5th Grade Math
5th Grade Reading
5th Grade Science
5th Grade Writing
8th Grade Science
Anatomy & Physiology
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Science
Elementary School Writing
High School Biology
High School Chemistry
High School English
Middle School Science
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that no one was born prescient. Therefore all the knowledge that any one individual has was acquired. I believe that we are able to acquire vast amounts of knowledge, given the proper approach for each subject and learner.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Introductions: finding out what makes my student happy, what is his/her preferred setting for studying, what their goals are short and long-term, and what they want out of our tutoring session. After ascertaining his/her current level, I would discuss with them what he/she thinks is the most productive way for us to achieve his/her goal together.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By having my student realize what is his/her most effective learning method/approach.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By keeping my student focused on his/her own formulated short and long-term goals. It may just be a sense of pride in themselves and their parents or me when the goals are met. It may be the fact that a particular score will get my student whatever their target is (better chance for college admission, a promised treat from their parent, etc.).
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would reassess the foundations. I find that, most often, skills and concepts are more challenging when the foundations are lacking
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I start with very simple reading material and have my students read aloud to me and explain to me what they have just read. Then I expand on this approach using my complex material. Once I'm comfortable that my student's comprehension is appropriate for the reading level, then we move to more formal testing approaches for reading comprehension assessment.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
This varies with the student population. Some students try to ascertain how much I actually know before they "entrust" their learning to me. And that is fine. So for those students, I may start with a Q&A session on the target topic. Or if the student is advanced enough as determined by pre-session assessment, we may jump right into it.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
By helping my student realize how the "offending" hurdle fits into their greater plans. By reminding my student of the fact that obstacles are victories not just won, and by trying to figure out together how to "make it happen."
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would ask my student to close the book and explain the topic to me in his/her own words. I would ask my student to draw an illustration of their understanding of the topic. Finally, I would ask my student to become a teacher and write some test questions on the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By making sure that my student realizes that he/she can master the subject given the right approach and, of course, hard work. I would cite actual examples from my experience of students who started out believing that they knew very little of a topic actually acquiring national certification level knowledge. We would start from what we know and build up on that.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
My philosophy of learning is based on a holistic approach. My students are not parts. So I examine not just the academics but also the surroundings, the support system, the dreams and aspirations of my students, and whatever obstacles current or future that may impede their progress.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I may have to change my approach, my learning tools, or my complexity level to match the student's current needs.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use whatever materials my students require. I have used pictures, catchy tunes and mnemonics, pictures, models, pre-screened websites with practice items, animations and demonstrations. The only thing I do not do is stand on my head(I'm no longer 18)!