I believe learning should be conducted in an open environment, meaning that both tutor and student should be on the same wave, with student asking any questions whenever he(or she) wants. I am also a strong supporter of the fundamental teaching approach to any subject: anything should be taught by starting with basic definitions and laws, and later growing into something more complicated. In my opinion, this is the only way to satisfy student's curiosity and build acuity in subject of focus.
University of Colorado Boulder - Current Undergrad, Aerospace engineering
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that tutoring must be conducted in an organized, yet unobstructed environment. The students must be able to freely communicate with the tutor without any hesitation; however their learning process must be monitored and controlled by the tutor in order to raise discipline and produce results.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, I would typically start by casually talking to the student for about 10-20 minutes in order to understand their personality by myself. I would then shift the talk towards the subject they want to be tutored at, the content of current learning material, and the difficulties that the student has with the subject. This way I can fully understand what I must do as a tutor to help this person achieve what they want in the subject.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
A lot of students, especially ones that are taking math and science classes, struggle with motivation to independently and sustainably learn the subject. Thus, to help them become an independent learner, one must convey to the student the fact that succeeding in any subject takes a very considerable amount of work, and it is completely fine. By showing them the convenient ways that this work is done and helping them produce the results by themselves, I can dispel the lack of motivation and get the students on track with their independent learning abilities.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
In my opinion, the most important strategy is just being on the same wave with the student - being as friendly, kind, helpful, and sometimes fun is a very good way to encourage the student to actually ask questions and motivate him to develop understanding of the subject.