I have my bachelor's degree in Mathematical Sciences from the United States Military Academy. I was accepted in the Pi Mu Epsilon National Honorary Mathematics Society New York Alpha Zeta Chapter while in college. I make a great tutor because I have experience leading others from my experience at West Point, also known as the United States Military Academy. It taught me patience and how to interact with diverse personalities. I also graduated this year, so I have the fresh experience being a student.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Teach critical thinking so that the students can learn how to problem solve on their own. Teach them your methods and thought process, and also, find out theirs when they approach a problem and try to blend the two methods.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Ask them what they struggle with the most and what they like the most in the subject. If they enjoy visual math but do not like more abstract concepts, try to help them visualize the tougher problems.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Teach them your personal methods for being an independent learner, and if they do not like those, try finding out what subjects they like and how they learn in those classes. Then, try to find a way to apply those methods to a more challenging subject.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I enjoy math because I enjoy the feeling of correctly solving a problem. I know that most people who do not like a subject do not like it because they are not doing well. When someone begins to conquer a difficult subject and starts getting correct answers, it becomes easier to stay motivated.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try to approach the concept from as many different angles as possible until we find one that sticks. Oftentimes, what people find difficult about math is when it becomes less visual, so I would try to make it more concrete or simplified.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading can become difficult when it feels like too much information at once. Breaking it down into parts can help each part stick more. When approaching a word problem in math, I write down the important pieces of information as I read them in order to easily refer to them when I am trying to solve it.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I try to see their approach to a problem, and then show them mine and see how they are different. When I am struggling with a problem, seeing how someone does a similar problem successfully helps because I try to apply their problem solving method to my own problem.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would try to show them that it is not that difficult once they understand it. No one likes to feel dumb, and trying and failing in a subject will make people want to procrastinate and avoid it. Learning in a different environment than a classroom might be more successful. Once they start to understand it more, it will seem less daunting.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would show them how to do a problem and then ask them to try to do it guided by me, and then alone without help from start to finish. If it is correct, then that is great. If not, then I will try to reteach it.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Getting a math problem correct feels great, so I would try to expose them to that feeling as much as possible - first with my help, then without. I would also stay positive throughout the session so they do not lose motivation.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By asking them what they struggle with, and by observing their behavior during the session.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Based on their preferences and behavior, I will adjust my teaching style. Some students prefer to see how it is done correctly and then ask questions when they do not understand how to get from step 2 to step 3. Some people like to hear every single step broken down slowly in order to understand how to solve a problem. It depends on the student.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I find that with math, you only really need paper and a pencil, but with younger students, visual aids might become more helpful, like whiteboards.