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Laura

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I am a graduate of the illustrious Spelman College with a B.S. in Mathematics. I am the second of five children and a fourth generation college student. My greatest aspiration is to continue in my education in order to become a licensed, professional engineer.

I am a hard worker and experienced tutor. I enjoy extending a helping hand, especially to help someone understand difficult concepts. I make a dedicated employee and am willing to go the extra mile for students. This position will provide me with meaningful work experience as well as keep me up to date and well practiced with skills that I am otherwise not using in my advanced level math courses. I have completed three levels of Calculus. I have also completed linear algebra, a math modeling course, and proof based courses on the foundations of algebra and calculus. I also have excellent written and verbal communication skills.

In my free time, I enjoy whistling, listening to music, playing sports, and finding new places for my friends and I to meet and experience delicious meals. I play the violin, and have had minor success teaching myself to play the piano and harmonica.

I look forward to working with students of all ages and backgrounds

Laura’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Spelman College - Bachelors, Mathematics

Hobbies

Whistling, listening to music, long road trips, playing sports, learning about vehicular and architectural design


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself." -Einstein A teacher has to be able to explain concepts to his or her students in many different ways in order to help every student understand the material. The more you can explain certain subject matter, the greater your mastery of it.

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

I would introduce myself in a friendly manner and take the first few minutes to get to know my student. In my opinion, this helps to create and maintain a more personal, low-stress atmosphere that encourages mutual respect and boosts productivity.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

A good way to encourage independent learning is to provide study tips, strategies, and even practice exercises for a student to complete. The best way to get them started is to first demonstrate then watch the student do it themselves.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I would encourage the student to set goals, as many or as small as necessary. A set of goals must also be paired with some form of reward system. For example, when reading a dense textbook, some have found that it is helpful to place a small piece of candy at the end of every few paragraphs. Once the student finishes the passage, they may eat the candy. Every met goal requires a comparably significant reward.

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

I try to find as many different ways to explain the concept as I can, often making use of analogies. As the concept begins to make more sense, I then focus on application.

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

A good way to develop the reading comprehension skill is to drill it excessively, yet patiently. I like to have a student read aloud from a book. Every so often, I will ask comprehension questions about the main idea, supporting details, and any major characters or topics.

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

Know the material by reviewing it before meeting with the student. Try to be encouraging and reassuring to keep stress levels low. Have several ways of explaining a concept. Most importantly, have fun. When studying becomes tedious, it can be difficult to keep learning and being productive. I like to remember to try to work in a small break every now and then.

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

Many students disengage with a subject because they do not know of its significance. Providing interesting examples of practical concept application can help spark interest in that subject.

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

My first step would be to explain the material in as many different ways as possible. I like to use analogies to provide the most basic level of understanding. Providing examples of practical everyday application helps keep the material interesting. Afterwards, the best way to make new material stick is to drill it repeatedly.

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

I would have the student practice that subject's concepts on a regular basis, first working examples with the student, then letting them work independently.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Taking an assessment of a student's skills in a certain subject can help me see what areas that student struggles in. Many students have needs in more than just their studies, however. These needs can often be met and evaluated simply by talking to the student and getting them to open up to you. Often, what they need is a kind word and an open ear.

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

The more I know about a student, the better I can assess their needs. I can quickly realize how and why I am not reaching a student and have an arsenal of tactics at my disposal. I can work with visual examples or analogies, depending on the type of learner I am working with. I realize when I need to slow down or when I need to break down certain concepts if pacing becomes an issue. I recognize when it's time to take a break. I have many ways to help keep my student on task and motivated.

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

I come prepared with enough scratch material, including paper and pencils, for me and my student. I bring my laptop in case I have a need of outside resources or have resources I would like to share. I have a timer to ensure that time is being used efficiently. I also have hands-on materials such as counting chips that I use specifically to teach multiplication and division.