I am a motivational Supporting Instructor and Peer Tutor for Math that hopes to help my students are proud and have fun getting to the correct answer. I have worked at Delaware County Community College as a Supporting Instructor for the past two years. Not only have I been a secondary instructor in the classroom during the Professor's lecture time but also have prepared lengthy amounts of materials concerning study skills.
Group-orientated work is the focus of our supplemental program and have I led and worked with up to 35 students at a time. For the past year, I have also been working as a Peer Tutor at my college. I offer tutoring services in up to four math college courses.
As a Math & Natural Science major myself (originally a Psychology major), I have undergone many of the same experiences as my students have. This means sometimes means having to take a math course due to a specific major. I discovered my love for math through an Intro to Statistics course that focused on the history of mathematics. After I switched my major, I didn't need the course, but I learned how to encourage others to see this subject in a new light.
I connect with my students by finding out each individual's math experience, which is an important and delicate process. I know that our past encounters in math classes have left a permanent effect on our mentality toward this subject. Some still feel "defeated" and that's where I help. I go out of my way to express to my students that you cannot be bad at math, but just possibly have had a bad experience with math. I try to pinpoint if there is either a lack of practice or a lack of understanding in the material to aid my students to their fullest potential.
For me, this job is about having my students leave a session, feeling confident and having proven themselves wrong with a smile with a phrase something like, "Give me another problem, Lauren! I know I will get the next one right, too!"
In my free time I enjoy writing poetry, editing my nonfiction historical novel, hiking, reading and doing yoga!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: West Chester University of Pennsylvania - Current Undergrad, Biology, General
Yoga, Reading, Hiking, Cooking, Playing saxophone & piano, Editing my novel, Writing poetry, Completing math homework, Reading science current events!
10th Grade Math
10th Grade Writing
11th Grade Math
11th Grade Writing
ACCUPLACER ESL - Sentence Meaning Prep
CLEP College Algebra
CLEP College Composition
CLEP College Mathematics
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Science
Elementary School Writing
GED Reasoning Through Language Arts
High School Chemistry
High School English
High School Writing
Introduction to Poetry
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Science
Middle School Writing
Study Skills and Organization
Technology and Computer Science
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
To answer a question with another question, leading you to the right answer.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
This depends on how many times we work together. If we are only working together for one session, I prefer to get to the meat of the work. I will ask you to set a goal with me for what you are trying to achieve. If you plan to get tutored multiple times by me, I like to get to know my students a little bit more personally. This includes finding out what your hobbies are, music, and food interests. Also, I will ask how you connect with your teacher, peers, and if you've been tutored before. We will discuss learning styles, your typical grades, study habits and general concerns or information you may have for me to help you the best that I can!
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become a more independent learner by actually getting them interested in the subject. That may be to make problems come alive with their personal interests, requesting they do homework with friends (overlooked by parents), or explain to them how simple Algebra relates to the world around us! I like to relate math to each student's personal world, helping them see their math homework in their everyday life- making more of an impact!
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By sharing my own Math story with them of how I went from originally failing Algebra 1 to teaching it four years later with great success. Also, I would help the student understand that I am almost certain it isn't the effort level they are putting in (usually if they work hard for understanding) but that sometimes it takes a little bit more time for certain concepts to settle in. It isn't easy for everyone to grasp why we add exponents when we multiply numbers with them, but that's where I come in! Also, very simple clean humor goes a long way to get the student laughing.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would ask the student how their textbook or teacher reflects a certain concept. Then, I will ask them if there is not enough understanding or if they have not done enough homework problems. Sometimes repetition truly is the way to Algebra's heart, and sometimes it's showing the student the skill in a different way. I also enjoy introducing math songs or raps from YouTube for concepts like the quadratic formula. Allowing students to understand concepts in a different way than they are normally taught or relating it to something they like (such as music) changes the way they understand it.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Help the student understand that the key to any word problem is breaking down the sentences into pieces. Each piece should represent a part of the problem. Each word problem should have a number of steps. The final and most important key to reading world problems is to draw pictures with them!
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I think it's most successful to show a student how to do problems and fully explain it, then ask them to do a couple to try it out. Then, as I transition to the next lesson - I make sure to review so the student feels confident for when they have to do homework on their own.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
If a student is having an issue with sign numbers, I will use a deck of cards to help them be more hands-on. You assign black and red to positive and negative and can use multiplication or addition. Then you draw cards and have to solve the match problem! If a student is involved in a sport and is having trouble with times tables, we could play, for example, volleyball as I ask them questions when it's their turn. It's important for kids to be active when they learn so they not only have fun, but remember better!
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Ensuring tutor and student both have a copy of the textbook / study packet and using the whiteboard as a main resource. This helps reinforce the school setting in a more positive way!
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I tell them a personal story about me, and how I wasn't confident when I was in middle school and the beginning of high school. I just "didn't get it" and never thought that I would! I did fail algebra my freshman year of high school and never had impressive grades, but I tried my hardest. I share the importance of doing homework, building a connection with your teacher, asking for help when you need it and to remember that if I can do it - they can too!
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
As I'm teaching a student, I never assume that they know certain things until I know them very well because I want to build confidence. If the student happens to know fractions, but isn't strong yet with factoring - I can at least help motivate them and give them praise for what they DO know! This is important when learning, a student has to be accepting of the praise from a tutor, but also actually feel confident about their skills.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I always have the unconditional positive regard for others, because I am unaware of what they may or may not be going through. I pay attention to their personality and always remember to be patient, every person is unique and I don't have a cookie cutter learning style.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
A variety of things: A small whiteboard, study packets, pencils, stuffed animals, non-peanut candy, whiteboard markers, erasers, extra paper, crayons.