A photo of Esther, a tutor from Howard University

Esther

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I graduated from Howard University in 2011 where I received a Bachelor of Science in Biology. While at Howard University, I was selected to work as a Biology and General Chemistry tutor for all four years. After graduating, I worked for 3 years as a provider at a group family daycare center and oversaw the educational processes of the k-8 clients. I am passionate about the role that engaging supplemental education can play in building a student's self-confidence and in creating new opportunities for personal and professional success.

Tutoring students is one of the most rewarding activities in which I have ever participated. Passing on my passions for knowledge and success is something I try to accomplish with each person with whom I work with. Every student deserves a tutor who will approach their needs in different and innovative ways. I accomplish this by getting to know my students as unique individuals. In this way, I can vary my teaching style to suit each student and stay open to adjusting as necessary. Teaching the sciences is one of my passions, as it is a mystery to many students but one of the largest gateways to success. Helping students with their math is also a challenging but rewarding task. With the right student-tutor relationship, I believe anything can be accomplished.

My approach to teaching is that of confident comprehension of subjects, rather than reaching an answer. The student who understands why his or her incorrect answers are wrong will, in the long term, consistently arrive at the correct response. The confidence that students have in themselves plays a big role in learning, whereas fear and anxiety are a hindrance to learning and memory. This is a key player when it comes to exams as well. My main goal is thus always to help the student to learn how to confidently maneuver through problems and obstacles.

I have experience tutoring elementary school, middle school, and high school students-- but I am also more than willing to tutor other age groups! I love to make learning fun, especially because schoolwork can often be frustrating and exhausting.

Esther’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Howard University - Bachelors, Biology, General

Hobbies

Reading, Cooking, Korean Culture, Travel

Tutoring Subjects


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My approach to teaching is that of confident comprehension of subjects rather than reaching an answer. The student who understands why his or her incorrect answers are wrong will, in the long term, consistently arrive at the correct response. The confidence that students have in themselves plays a big role in learning, whereas fear and anxiety are a hindrance to learning and memory. This is a key player when it comes to exams as well. My main goal is thus always to help the student learn how to confidently maneuver through problems and obstacles.

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

After getting to know you and sharing our expectations, the first session will typically involve a benchmark assessment to determine your standing with the particular subject. I use that data to determine and develop your strong points and areas where you may need an extra push.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Independent learning usually takes place if there is intrinsic motivation. This means that the student desires to achieve and has sufficient motivation to work on their own. I can facilitate this process by showing the student my passion for their success and the subject, as well as providing ample resources for the students to engage in outside of our sessions.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I will help a student stay motivated by checking in on the student at a rate that matches their level of independence. In my school, teachers are encouraged to engage in quick "pulse checks" with their students. Pulse checks lets the student know that you are as invested and interested in their success as they are, and that motivates them to continue.

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

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or a concept, I would try scaffolding or differentiating the idea. I may do this by tapping into the prior knowledge of the student. I may also change my lessons so that I pre-teach vocabulary. The technique of pre-teaching vocabulary aims to decrease the complexity of new concepts when the student is able to identify key terms in the lesson. I may also introduce visual aids. I may also use the technique of "pausing , asking questions, pausing and reviewing" throughout the lesson.

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

I will attempt to help students who struggle with reading comprehension by pre-teaching the vocabulary. If the student is an English Language Learner, I would translate the key terms to the best of my ability. With a subject like science, understanding the key terms may have a great impact on the student's ability to comprehend the topic.

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

Scaffolding is a great strategy when working one-to-one with a student. Introducing the material by tapping into the student's prior knowledge aids in building the student's confidence, and ultimately their retention.

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

Students are usually excited about a subject that they are struggling in when they've experienced a boost in confidence. This often happens when they achieve an 'aha!' moment. My job as the tutor is to bring the student to the 'aha!' moment by presenting the material in a way that they can relate to, and offering them many opportunities to practice applying that information.

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

Pre- and post-testing is the best way to assess a student's understanding of material. Pre-testing provides me with the student's understanding of the material prior to instruction. Post-testing will assess the student's understanding after the instruction. I often incorporate these assessments at the beginning and ending of the topic.

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

I encourage my student at all times. Even if the data shows that a student is struggling in an area, I highlight the achievements of the student thus far and let them know "Hey! You were able to achieve in this area. With a little more work and effort, you will also succeed in your topic of difficulty!"

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

There are a variety of ways to assess many needs of a particular student. Standard science assessments will provide me with the student's academic standing. I am also able to assess a student's reading comprehension needs by providing a passage-based set of science questions. Using the data from these assessments guides me in how to tailor my tutoring for the student.

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

I adapt my tutoring to my student's needs by providing more or less of certain forms of instruction. For example, if the student is an English Language Learner (ELL), I would provide more pre-teaching of the vocabulary, perhaps coupled with translation. If the student is gifted, I would differentiate the lesson with passage-based science questions (which would indirectly give them practice for standardized tests) and by expanding the topic to include higher-level thinking.

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

During a tutoring session, I typically use a variety of resources. I rely on PowerPoint to teach a concept. If applicable, I am subscribed to sites that provide interactive practice and videos.