Teaching students to get them excited about science and research is one of the
most appealing and impactful aspects of being an academic. I have experienced education as a student, teaching assistant, and lecturer in multiple universities and countries. Inspired by my teachers and working first-hand with some of them as a teaching assistant, I have discovered the following principles that guide my approach to teaching.
First, an instructor should always think from the student's perspective to devise the best way to
explain a seemingly-complicated concept, e.g., by reducing it to its subproblems, and by clearly illustrating the connections to previously taught concepts. Peeling away the apparent complexity to reveal the core concept will help the student to successfully retain, recollect, reapply, and expand upon the idea, which is in fact the true purpose of learning. Second, collecting and incorporating feedback is critical. Engaging students early on and periodically via surveys and quizzes helps gauge their progress and understanding of the material. Office hours are a useful opportunity to individually work
with students from unique and diverse backgrounds.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Sharif University of Technology - Bachelors, Math/Electrical Engineering
Graduate Degree: University of Pennsylvania - PHD, Electrical Engineering
10th Grade Math
11th Grade Math
12th Grade Math
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Motivating the student, transitioning from easy to hard problems, and evaluating through quizzes, exams, and homework.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get to know bilaterally, know the background of the students, and know as much as I can from her/his status in the course. Start to teach elementary material and explain a timeline.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I think transition from easy to hard is the key. During lectures, a student should be asked to solve the problems, and whenever he does not know, to guide him by giving hints without a final answer. Through practice, the student transits from a dependent person to an independent learner.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By giving questions that she can solve, and hardening the questions such that she can become confident about herself.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Try to find the root of weakness and strengthen him in that area. Giving take home questions can help a lot, too.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Giving more reading that in addition to the main text, covers easier text.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Finding the weaknesses and then transiting from easy to hard material.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Building self-confidence through solving a range of problems from easy to hard.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Asking questions during teaching, and doing problem solving that includes the students.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Encouraging the student to start with problems that she can solve, and then transition to harder questions.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Asking her background, previous grades and questions about the topic.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Include material that addresses his weaknesses.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Mainly the textbook of the student, and then supplementary material from other books which are slightly harder.