A photo of Zakaria, a tutor from Florida International University

Zakaria

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I graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Florida International University (FIU), where I majored in Biological Sciences and minored in Chemistry. I am currently in my gap year awaiting matriculation into medical school August of 2016. My first instructing experience was as a shooting line coach in the U.S. Navy, where patience and attention to detail served me well in improving my fellow sailor’s skills. My academic instructing experience includes being a Peer Led Team Learning (PLTL) leader for science-based subjects, a Learning Assistant for Human Anatomy, and tutoring students in various subjects or for graduate school entrance exams. My favorite subjects are Biology, Physiology, Anatomy, and Biochemistry because I am intrigued by how the human body functions. I find it important to always facilitate a positive learning environment by being supportive, enthusiastic, and accessible. I enjoy teaching because it helps me better learn a subject, while connecting with people on a meaningful level as I help them succeed academically. In my spare time I enjoy playing soccer, reading, playing guitar, freediving, and travelling.

Zakaria’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Florida International University - Bachelors, Biology, General

Test Scores

Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior: 129

Hobbies

Medicine, soccer, travelling, reading, freediving, and playing guitar

Tutoring Subjects

Anatomy

Anatomy & Physiology

AP Biology

Biology

College Biology

Ecology

Environmental Science

High School Biology

IB Biology

IB Biology HL

IB Biology SL

IB Chemistry

IB Chemistry HL

IB Chemistry SL

Physiology

Science


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe in providing a lively and comfortable learning environment. I strive to positively impact students by guiding them through the challenges I faced and helping them bridge connections. I find it important to be dynamic in my delivery and articulate concepts in different ways in order to optimize understanding. I try my best to give my students the tools they need to succeed, while encouraging constant self-evaluation in order to discover what their strengths and weaknesses are.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

I find it important to break the ice and get to know my students on a personal level and discover what makes them unique. This allows me to adjust my teaching style to better challenge them, reinforce them, and spark their interest in the material.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I encourage every student to find their learning style so that they can maximize their efficiency. I am always willing to provide studying tips and suggestions for online resources.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I find it helpful to remind them to remain focused and keep things in perspective. It's important to provide every student with the confidence that they are capable of accomplishing anything they want if they put in the effort.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

Ask them what they are having trouble understanding and try to make it more relatable with examples. Also, I adjust my teaching methods to their learning style. Ex. If they are a visual learner: show them a picture, video, diagram, etc.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Practice makes perfect. Try to break up long paragraphs into smaller sections and summarize each section of what you read in your own words.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

I try to understand what they are having difficulty with the most. It helps to be clear and ask a lot of questions. This helps to ensure they are learning at the right pace and that they are gaining confidence in their abilities.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

Find out what they do and don't like about the subject and try to relate concepts to their interests. Also, this might sound silly, but sometimes you have to trick or convince yourself you like something before you begin to actually like it.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

I want to hear students explain concepts to me in their own words and if confident enough, provide their own examples. Also, I like to ask questions as we go along.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Encourage them to practice, practice, and practice. Tackling different types of problems and concepts allows students to build a strong foundation, which leads to students feeling more capable and competent. At the end of each session, I allow them to summarize everything that they learned so that they can reflect on their accomplishments.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Sometimes a student's needs can be discovered by a short quiz. In the long-term, I encourage every student to make a list of the topics covered and evaluate their comfort level with each. I believe self-evaluation is an important learning tool that allows students to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I change my pace, examples, and topics of focus in order to match each student's personality, interests, and progress.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

I tend to use a lot of visual examples, so a whiteboard with colored markers, worksheets with diagrams and pictures, and of course, the Internet.