Throughout my college education, I have had the opportunity to work with tutors and as an informal tutor myself. My experience in the field has allowed me to discern how each type of student can easily grasp a certain topic, be it languages, mathematics, or computer programming. I consider myself a patient and encouraging teacher, always striving for my students to advance in their studies and feel confident about their progress, regardless of the pace at which we work. I enjoy teaching and always aim for my students to achieve their greatest potential of comprehension with our tutoring sessions. As a student myself, I know the difficulties each high school and college course can present, and therefore aim to tackle these obstacles first hand. Also, language is not a barrier in my courses thanks to my proficiency both in English and Spanish, allowing me to communicate fluidly with the vast majority of my students.
I have an extended experience with mathematics, and I consider myself adept at most topics handled by courses up to Vectorial Calculus. I have finished the Kumon math learning program, and am therefore familiar with intense and fast paced math educational approaches. My current college degree requires an adept knowledge in several programming languages, such as Java and MATLAB, both of which I have understood and excelled at academically. Having grown up in a bilingual home, as well as having attended both American and Colombian schools, I am familiar with both inmersive and academic approaches towards teaching Spanish.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Universidad de los Andes - Current Undergrad, Biomedical Engineering
SAT Composite: 2120
SAT Math: 720
SAT Verbal: 730
Rock climbing, hiking, fantasy literature, fantasy writing, horror films, videogames, comic books
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
When teaching, I aim for two overall goals with my students. First, I aim to spark my students' minds with every class. When I tutor someone, I am aiming not only to help them understand the topic, but dominate and internalize it, so that they may transform it from an obstacle that needs surpassing into a tool used to further their goals and studies. Second, I always aim to incite passion and curiosity for my students' studies. When I was in my high school sophomore year, I had trouble with and sincerely hated general chemistry. After flunking my first test, I searched for a tutor. With only a week's worth of classes, not only had he managed to help me comprehend and master my doubts and difficulties on the subject, but also to genuinely care for and feel curious about the subject in general. By senior year, I had a genuine love for chemistry, and went on to excel at college level chemistry courses and apply my knowledge on the subject to my college education projects. I hope to inspire a similar love for whatever topic my students seek tutoring for in every session.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In my first session with a student, I aim to assess two things: the topic my student requires help with, and the level of understanding my student has of said topic. When assessing the topic, I aim to understand the structure and method of the course, as well as the main topics the course has and will cover. When assessing my student's level of understanding, I aim to pinpoint their strengths, their weaknesses, their learning method, and the order of priority for the tutoring topics at hand.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By inciting them to not only understand the topic, but also dominate it and feel curiosity for it. This way, what was once an obstacle for them will now become a tool that they will pursue to master, and therefore help them in their future endeavors.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By applying practical and didactical exercises. The goal behind each activity I assign my students is to break the mold of a purely lecture-based class and to involve the student, as well as to show them the practical implications of the topic at hand in real life.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would search for an alternate approach towards the problem with patience and open mindedness. Each person has a separate way of learning, and the key to a good class is finding a teaching method that exploits each student's mentality towards their benefit.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
My approach would be to perform a quick full reading of the text at hand, followed by a second reading where we fraction the text into segments by main ideas. Each concept would be read and analyzed for a main topic, and any concept that is not understood would be looked up for further clarification.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
My priority is to identify my students' strengths and weaknesses regarding the study topic at hand, and with this knowledge begin to approach a teaching method that best suits each of my students' mentalities.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would identify their hobbies and interests, and orient my exercises towards these topics.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would use a combination of test materials both from my student's class and of my own design, selecting a certain fraction that specifically tackles my student's weaknesses on the topic.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By keeping track of and showing him the progress in his results.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
First off, by testing my student's knowledge regarding the basics of the topic. If the student presents any difficulties with the basics or prerequisites, we delve into the topic presenting the difficulty before any further advancement. If not, then we continue onto a general overview of the course, and perform the same evaluation.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I aim to identify my student's weaknesses with the topic at hand from the start of our sessions, so that we can tackle these obstacles with personalized and engaging methods and activities that fit into and make use of each student's personal learning mentality.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Pen and paper is always indispensable in each of my classes, allowing me to design exercises and explain the topic to my students hands-on, Depending on the topic at hand, though, I may use PowerPoint presentations, graphs and diagrams, textbooks, exercise books, topic-related videos, and many other forms of media that may facilitate my student's understanding of the subject.