I volunteered as a tutor in both high school and college to my fellow classmates. I tutored in subjects I have already taken as well as in subjects I was currently enrolled when a classmate needed extra help outside of school. I feel what makes me a good tutor is I am able to take my own struggles in the subject and pass on my knowledge on how to overcome the hurdle. I can usually rely information in different ways to hopefully allow the student to understand, make connections, and maybe think of new ways to handle the same struggle. I also enjoy passing on knowledge regarding subjects I have taken to help others learn to enjoy these same subjects.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy on teaching is that I hope that each student would be able to take everything they learn and use it in ordinary life outside of school. Having the right answer is not the only thing in learning, but having the conceptual/critical thinking ability behind the problem and situation is the key to utilizing knowledge. Critical thinking is necessary beyond the classroom.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
At a first session with a student, I might first have us get to know each other and have the student discuss what types of problems they have been having and possibly plan out a strategy to overcome their problems.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Over the course of the sessions, I would become less involved in the step-by-step process for the student and start to become only used as a resource. If the student needed my help, they can ask me, and I would help them by having them use their knowledge of what we previously learned to come up with the answer on their own with little aid from me.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
To help a student stay motivated, I would keep offering them positive encouragement throughout the session. If they are struggling really hard and ready to give up, I would also tell them stories on how I was in their same position, but kept up with the positive thinking and was able to do well in school.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty, I would have them step back from the problem and breathe. Then go back to a simpler problem similar to the difficult one and have them learn the concept of the problem, and then have them use that concept on the harder one.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The strategies I have found to be successful are learning by example/experience and visual aids. Sometimes the student needs to be shown how to do a problem first so they have an idea on where to start. Visual aids help because they can change words into understandable pictures.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
The techniques I would use to ensure a student understands the material are examples/experiences and visual aids. Sometimes the student needs to be shown how to do a problem first so they have an idea on where to start. Visual aids help because they can change words into understandable pictures. This is especially true for word problems; they can be hard to understand, as words and pictures change the language of the problem so that the student can understand.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
To build their confidence, I would focus on their achievements in the subject, no matter how small it is. If they did well on a question, even it was a simple one, I would give them positive feedback and compliment them on their hard work to achieve their goal.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
To evaluate a student's needs, I would have them tell me what they have been struggling with and then have them demonstrate how they would go about the problem without my help. Then, I would work from there and focus on their specific issues on the subject.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
When tutoring math subjects, I usually use pencils, paper, the textbook, and a calculator (sometimes to double check the math). For extra help, I would have the student create flashcards on important equations and formulas.