A photo of Toni, a tutor from University of West Georgia

Toni

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Tutoring is an opportunity to show a student just how smart they really are. I love being able to show people that all they need is a good teacher to be able to understand all the material they are struggling with. I was the type of student who did not do well when I paid attention to the teachers. I had to figure out my own way to learn which caused me to understand everything in a variety of ways. This helps me as a tutor because I can teach most things multiple different ways. My passion is teaching math because it's so understated for how creative and invigorating it can really be. Many teachers just read the textbook to the student which leaves the student lacking much understanding of how cool math really is. I love to show people that. I tend to spend just as much time giving my students confidence as I do actually teaching them. I have found that without doing this, most students will understand everything, but they will retain nothing. So in the end, it doesn't help them to sit through all the tutoring and put forth all the effort unless they are confident that they can do the work on their own.

Toni’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of West Georgia - Bachelors, Computer Science

Hobbies

healthy eating, alternative medicine

Tutoring Subjects

10th Grade Math

1st Grade

1st Grade Math

2nd Grade

2nd Grade Math

3rd Grade

3rd Grade Math

4th Grade

4th Grade Math

5th Grade

5th Grade Math

6th Grade

6th Grade Math

Algebra

Algebra 2

Arithmetic

CLEP College Algebra

College Algebra

College Computer Science

Computer Programming

Computer Science

Drawing

Elementary Math

Elementary School

Elementary School Math

Geometry

High School Computer Science

Java

Math

Middle School

Middle School Math

Nutrition

Other

Painting

Photography

Pre-Algebra

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Summer

Technical Writing

Technology and Computer Science

Web Design

Web Development


Q & A

How would you help a student stay motivated?

By giving them incentives and structure. Showing them how the knowledge they are using can be practical or helpful for them in their future.

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that learning needs to be tailored to each person individually. Everyone learns in their own unique way and needs to be taught with that in consideration.

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

I really like to understand where a student's confidence level stands with the material. Are they overly-confident where they can't see where they are messing up? Or are they overwhelmed with anxiety feeling like a failure? It's important to assess these features, as it makes the learning environment very different.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Helping a student become an independent learner means helping them feel more confident about the material they are receiving help on. That's the first step. If they aren't confident then they will struggle to succeed, even if they truly do understand all the concepts.

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

I try to approach my teaching method in a different way if the first way doesn't seem to get through. Sometimes it's not about teaching it a different way. Sometimes it's about finding out why the student has a block here. Maybe they had a bad experience that is standing in their mind's way of understanding. Finding the root cause can be just as important as approaching the teaching style differently.

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

It's important to give brief summaries every so often to more accurately and deeply understand the reading material. Sometimes taking notes along the way is also necessary. Looking up words that aren't known well can help the student feel more connected with and confident about the material they are reading.

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

Getting to know who they are as a person. :)

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

By finding out what their goal is, it makes it much easier to refer back to that goal as a way to remind them why they are wanting help in the first place. Also, finding ways to apply the subject material to everyday life is a very insightful tool to help people be more engaged.

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

I always think that having the student teach back the material is probably the best way to understand if they really get it. Sometimes I will simply ask if the student can explain their own work, but many times this can end up with gaps of misunderstanding still being present.

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

Usually just by explaining the truth -- They haven't been taught the material in a way they understand yet. They just need it to be taught the right way for them, and once that happens, they will understand it very well. At this point, I'll give examples of poor teaching methods they have likely experienced, and most students feel a lot of relief after having the realization that they eventually can understand everything once taught the right way for them.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

By asking them questions and being perceptive to small comments they make about their capabilities or frustrations.

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

Creativity!!!

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

It really depends on the student. Some students just need to be told what to do one-on-one and then they understand it. Other students (or sometimes the same student with a different subject) need pictures and diagrams or hands-on activities to get them involved.