A photo of Ray, a tutor from Hillsborough Community College

Ray

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I look forward to helping you in any way I can. I love working with students and seeing those little moments when their eyes light up, because I know that they are seeing and understanding something special for the first time. I liken these moments to the ones they must have experienced the first time they saw snow, ate cotton candy, or tried pizza--there is really nothing quite like it! I have always loved helping people. I have been working with students for the past six years as an AVID Math Tutor. I have worked with students from third grade all the way up to adults obtaining their GED. I have specialized for the past four years in helping seventh and eighth graders with Pre-Algebra through Honors Algebra I. I will be earning my B.S. Degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Math in May of 2016, once I complete my student teaching.

My students refer to me as Mr. Ray, and since my last name is Anderson I sometimes have a laugh with them about being Mr. Anderson from the Matrix. I've even worn black shades just like him!

Ray’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Hillsborough Community College - Associates, Associate Degree with an emphasis in Education

Undergraduate Degree: Grand Canyon University - Bachelor of Education, Mathematics

Hobbies

Reading, Writing, Exercising


Q & A

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

When meeting with a student for the first time, it is important to take a little time to get to know them, and to help them discover their special and unique approach to learning before jumping right into tutoring.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

A good tutor will have the student think about what they are doing and find out what the student knows, and let the student not simply tell them how or what to do. They will also provide their students with at least one resource that the student can use on their own when they might not have access to a teacher and/or tutor.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

One way to help students stay motivated is fairly simple, but it is also quite profound, and that is to "Believe in your students!" Tell them they can and encourage them to learn to work smart as well as hard; you may be the first one that believes in them. A good tutor must transfer a belief in their students that tells them they can if they are willing to do the necessary preparation and work !

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

A good tutor is patient with their students and has a mindset that says "What is easy for one student is or can be extremely difficult for the next!" It has been my experience that, when lessons are delivered for a student by capitalizing on their primary followed by their secondary modalities for learning, the difficulty often vanishes as if by magic!

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

When it comes to helping students who may be struggling with reading comprehension, I am a big believer in encouraging my students that if you do not know or understand what a word means while you are reading, take the time and Google it. There simply is no excuse for not looking up what a word means.

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

First and foremost, students have to know that you care about them as individuals and about their academic success. Taking the time to find out what your student's learning style and preferences are for helping them retain information is one of the most important strategies that a teacher/tutor can do for his or her students! Believing in and helping them believe in themselves is a close second! Lastly, I would say "Letting students know that the only way they are going to get good at anything is to practice it, and to remind them that everybody is bad or not as good as they would like to be and/or eventually will be when they first get started!"

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

Believe in each and every one of your students; this is the best way to help students get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in! Help them understand that the fault may not lie with them; they may have never heard it, saw it, or practiced it in a way that made sense to them.

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

Taking the time to ask your students questions is key; "Does that make sense?" and "Do you understand it better now?" are a great way to make sure students understand the material! Having students repeat/recite back to you the steps for solving a math problem, for instance, is another way to check a student's understanding. Having them explain why they are doing something is also an excellent way to assess a student's true understanding!

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

One way to build a student's confidence in a subject is to give them permission to fail. Explain to them that they will make mistakes if not now in college. etc. The main thing that you are interested in is them putting forth their best effort. "Trying your best, and practice + hard work on the student's part will take care of the rest!" Lastly, let them know how important that subject may be in the real world and how learning it will benefit them.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I think that the best way to evaluate a student's needs is to have an honest conversation with them! Ask them what their favorite subjects are, what their not so favorite ones are, and why.

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

The best way to adapt tutoring to match the student's needs is to deliver the content to the student in a way that unlocks their ability to learn, and that is by matching your delivery with the student's unique learning style! This is the first step in unlocking a student's full potential to learn anything, not doing so is detrimental to both the teacher/tutor and the student.

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

"Just like one would probably not hire a plumber, electrician etc. if they forgot their tools." A good tutor should have materials, i.e., their toolbox that they can use and/or reference to further help their students, be it other math books, special folders/quick reference guides, and of course spare paper and pencils, and a calculator.

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is made up of primarily three things. First, show your students that you care about them as individuals and that you care about their academic success. Second, believe in your students and help them transfer that belief to themselves. Lastly, help each student figure out how they learn best, and then deliver the content to them in that manner!