# Jonathan

Certified Tutor

Undergraduate Degree: Cornell University - Bachelors, Chemical Engineering and Computer Science

ACT Composite: 34

ACT English: 35

ACT Math: 34

ACT Reading: 32

ACT Science: 33

Piano, Classical, Jazz, Volleyball, Soccer, Mountain Biking, Motorcycles, Water Skiing, Classic Rock, Guitar, Programming, Reading

Algorithms

AP Computer Science

AP Computer Science A

College Computer Science

Computer Programming

High School Computer Science

Java

SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level 1

SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level 2

Technology and Coding

What is your teaching philosophy?

I place an emphasis on problem solving. We work through problems, and I challenge the student to really understand the problem. For example, I'll ask, "Is this the best or fastest way to solve the problem given the constraints?" Or, "What if we changed this number? What happens now?" We also dive into specific issues that the student has to iron out any deficiencies. If the student is having difficulty, I try to guide him/her to the right answer, as opposed to just saying what the answer is. This way the student struggles, first trying paths that may not be correct before reaching the correct answer. I feel this is important because A. it simulates an environment where the student must rely on their own problem solving abilities, and B. it shows the student that failure is a normal part of solving problems, and that it is OK to "not get it on the first try."

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

We will evaluate where the student stands. If the student is struggling, we will try to work on the things that are giving him/her trouble. If the student has a foundation and is looking to get to the next level, then we will go over harder questions. Within the first 20 minutes, I evaluate at what level I believe the student is, and adjust accordingly. Oftentimes, we will simply go over a review sheet or find practice problems to do.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By instilling confidence in their problem solving capabilities, and by enforcing the concept that it is completely okay to not understand. I try to encourage problem solving techniques and have the student try to come up with an answer themselves. Also, I show them ways they can research new topics on the Internet (such as using university websites and material posted by professors).

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I try to make learning fun. I enjoy figuring out how the world works and try to pass along this desire to my students. While not everyone has the same desire or propensity for learning, I think everyone can benefit from looking at concepts from different angles. If I succeed, then the student gains an appreciation for the subject in question and is motivated to further their understanding.

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

We work to solve or address the problem directly. We try looking at the situation from different angles. If one way doesn't work, we try something else. I make sure that the environment is positive, and I let the student know that it is OK not to understand something the first or fourth time.

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

I try to gauge where the student is at and then adapt to their needs and personality. Some students don't like to be led step by step, but others do. It just depends. It's the job of the tutor / mentor /teacher to find the right target approach. Likewise, it's the job of the student to be open to listening.