I have an advanced degree in theoretical chemistry, and I'm currently a high school math teacher. In my graduate program, I taught small-sized undergraduate courses. I also have experience tutoring undergraduates and high school students one-on-one. After experiencing both, I believe a learning is much easier to facilitate in a one-on-one or small group setting. In this setting, I can observe how a student thinks and tailor my teaching style in a way that would most benefit the student.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Houston - Bachelors, Chemistry/Math
Graduate Degree: University of Houston - Masters, Theoretical Chemical Physics
I read a lot. I like fiction, math, science, some non-fiction. I also like to run, swim, and dance. I'm even on a swing dance performance team.
Basic Computer Literacy
CLEP College Algebra
Mac Basic Computer Skills
PC Basic Computer Skills
Technology and Computer Science
What is your teaching philosophy?
Generally, the process of learning involves first mastering the basics and then building upon them. I believe that this applies whether you are learning math or learning how to dance. I find that reviewing basic concepts and learning how they apply solves most problems that students encounter.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Once I know which subject the student is studying, I make it a point to know that they have mastered all prerequisite material. I would confirm this by watching them work through several problems and seeing if there is any lack of understanding of the basic concepts.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By letting them work through problems out loud. I would have them explain every step to me and correct them as necessary.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I'd let them know what their strengths are as well as what needs a little work. For example, once they understand a concept, I would have them work through similar problems until they are confident and then relate more difficult concepts to what they've mastered.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would make it a point to show them how it relates to a concept that they do understand. As long as the student has a solid foundation, there will be something they can build on. If not, then it's just a matter of building up the foundation.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I start by having them read something shorter. A lot of times, problems with reading comprehension stem from having a low attention span with reading in particular.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Watching the student work and adjusting the way I present a concept to mirror how they work.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would help them master a concept with which they struggle. This is done on a problem by problem basis and possibly even a step by step basis. When a student gets more problems correct on their own, they become more confident and tend to like the subject a lot more.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would vary the way a question is posed. If the student can recognize which concept(s) applies regardless of how a question is presented, they understand the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Build them up to where they can work out problems on their own. If they know how to begin to solve a problem, it's something to be happy about, and it's something that is easily further developed.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By assessing the student's mastery of the prerequisite material.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I'll explain something one way. If the student is still struggling, I will explain it another way. For example, some students learn better with visual aids.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Pencil, paper, and some material to work through.