## Zofia

Certified Tutor

Zofia’s Qualifications

### Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Brown University - Bachelors, Mathematics

### Test Scores

SAT Composite: 2290

SAT Math: 800

SAT Verbal: 740

SAT Writing: 750

### Hobbies

Enjoys hiking, biking and the outdoors.

### Tutoring Subjects

College Biology

Discrete Math

Evolutionary Biology

High School Biology

IB Mathematics

Intermediate Algebra

College Math

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

When I work with students, I focus on fostering self-motivated learners. My goal is for every student I work with to become an independent, self motivated learner. Academic success, like everything, simply requires practice. Intelligence is malleable. I firmly believe that every student can, and with my help will, achieve high levels of academic success. I aim to pass this confidence on to the students I tutor. I will sit patiently with students while they work on school work, prompting them when necessary. But I will never provide the answers because their thought process is more important to me than the final answer. With increased self confidence and a deep knowledge of the subject matter, the students I work with will continue to succeed academically and intellectually long after they stop working with me. I look forward to fostering self confidence and academic prowess in you or your child.

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

I believe that is it impossible to teach someone unless you first know a little bit about them and their academic strengths and weaknesses. In our first session, I will spend time getting to know you or your child. Then, I will go through a series of informal questions to gauge where you/your child's strengths and weaknesses lie. It is vital for me to know the strengths as well as the weaknesses because it is through our prior knowledge that we can gain new understandings.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

The most valuable qualities I can foster in my students are confidence, self motivation, and self praise. To foster this confidence, I like to work on academic games to stretch our minds. These games show younger students that they can attain academic success through hard work. I will celebrate academic success with you or your child. By focusing on the positive, students can begin to recognize where their knowledge is strong and gain self confidence. Only then can we truly make progress on the areas the student has not yet learned the required material.

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

Research shows that we learn better when the subject matter is made personal to us. I always relate the subject matter back to the student learning it. I show the links between what they have already learned and the new material. Additionally, I teach students where they can see the academic concepts we are learning in their own lives. These strategies have helped all of my students in the past learn difficult, seemingly impossible, concepts.

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

I believe that learning should always be fun. If it is not fun, what is the point? As a math major, I am well aware of the commonly held misconception that math is boring. Give me a chance to prove this wrong! I have dozens of different math games designed to teach mathematical and logical thinking. These games are fun, build confidence, and strengthen academic understanding. I have never failed to make a student enjoy math.

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

I always ask my students to teach me what they have just learned. This solidifies their understanding. It also offers me a chance to see how deep their grasp of the subject material is. Cognitive science research shows that to truly grasp a new concept we must come back to it several times over the course of weeks or months. Therefore, I always return to previously learned concepts several times a semester. In this way, when it comes time for a final exam, the learned material will be at the forefront of your mind.

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

The specific materials I use depend on the age of the student. However, I believe that no matter how old the student is, hands-on manipulatives are crucial. I always travel with a slew of manipulatives and games designed to help students think creatively about the challenge they are facing.

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

I always like to have students teach me first about what they have learned in their classes. This helps me gain an understanding of what tools you have which can help you understand new concepts and material. Once we have established a common ground of shared understanding, we can move on to the concepts that are giving you, or your student, trouble.

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

I always focus first on what you, or your child, do understand. I celebrate this material. I believe that the concepts you do understand are more important than the concepts you have not yet learned. It is crucial that we both see that, since you have learned material in the past, it is completely possible to learn new material in the future. I stress to my students that intelligence is malleable. The harder you work, the smarter you will become.