I am a passionate learner who has studied studied Spanish, math and science at college, went on to learn Japanese on my own and eventually studied business at the graduate level at UCF. Informally I study history and culture and love to read. I taught English, Reading and Writing in the Japanese public school system for nearly 5 years from 2001-2006 and know well the satisfaction that comes from seeing a student succeed. I have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and at this moment am taking an online digital marketing course through the University of Illinois.
It's this passion for knowledge coupled with my belief in the importance of helping others that makes me such a great tutor. I have learned a lot in my 37 years and would like to pass this knowledge on to the next generation.
Undergraduate Degree: Indiana University-Bloomington - Bachelors, Biochemistry
Graduate Degree: University of Central Florida - Masters, Business Administration and Management
Camping, Hiking, Japanese, Spanish, Soccer
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to put the student first. I have great empathy for someone learning a tough subject and would like to step in and give them a helping hand. I believe that every student has their own learning style, and I try to adapt as much possible to it when teaching. The most important thing is that the student learns, and it's up to me as the teacher to bring about that outcome.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I'd spend a few minutes getting to know them and learning what they've found difficult in learning the material. At this point, I'd explain to them my teaching method and let them know what they can expect from me. For the rest of the session, we'd go through a lesson plan that I would have prepared. Wrapping up, I'd ask how the session went and if they feel confident regarding the material that we covered. I'd possibly assign them a homework assignment or just let them know what to prepare for prior to our next session.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By guiding the student through the learning process and not simply lecturing them. I believe that the student and tutor work best as a team with the tutor as the one to give direction and instruction and the student as the person carrying out the work. In practice, this means having the student work through all the problems during a session but under my direction. You learn by doing and it's important that the student works as much as possible during each and every session. This means writing out answers and working through problems with pen and paper, not just answering verbally. Gradually, a student will gain confidence with the material and be able to handle problems on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
The most important thing is to come to every session with a bright and positive attitude. This will aid discouraged students because they'll think they have a supporter on their team. So often students lose motivation because they're not receiving the support they need and feel alone. If you lose confidence that you'll ever learn the material then it's difficult to stay motivated. Finally, it's important for students to have those wonderful moments of success when something clicks and you get excited to learn more. It's up to the teacher to help create an environment where these moments can take place.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I'd take it slow and work through their difficulty. We'd discuss where they're having the problem and come up with a way to address it.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I'd go through the passage in question and ask simple questions to gauge what the student is not understanding. These questions would be pointed and aim to direct the student to what's important in the reading material. I'd then ask the student to explain to me in their own words what the passage is trying to say.