A photo of Stephen, a tutor from Virginia Tech University

Stephen

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I have twenty years teaching experience in math & physics. I worked my way through college and know what it means to be a working student. I got into graduate school after being out of school for five years by taking a graduate class at my own expense and scoring in the top half of that class. I believe in empowering student success. I help students understand problems by developing their critical thinking skills. I have worked with a wide variety of student backgrounds and motivations and have an adaptive teaching style that can meet most students' needs.

Stephen’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Virginia Tech University - Bachelors, Physics

Graduate Degree: University of Oklahoma Norman Campus - PHD, Modern Physics

Graduate Degree: University of Oklahoma Norman Campus - PHD, Experimental High Energy Particle Physics

Hobbies

Watching science fiction shows, especially Star Trek and Star Wars, and playing computer games, too.

Tutoring Subjects

11th Grade Math

12th Grade Math

Algebra

Algebra 2

Algebra 3/4

Astronomy

Astrophysics

Calculus

College Algebra

College Physics

Earth Science

Geometry

High School Physics

Math

Middle School Science

Physical Science

Physics

Pre-Calculus

Science

Trigonometry


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe in empowering students to succeed by increasing their confidence and showing them that they know more than they think they do. I focus on fundamentals of underlying principles which can be applied to a variety of problems.

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

I will ask targeted questions to get to the root of their misconceptions. Then I will correct those misconceptions by focusing them on the important underlying concepts.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By helping them to see that there are a few key points to master for any given topic. Once you understand those, you can approach a broad array of problems.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

By reinforcing what the already knows and giving positive encouragement as we go. Most students understand more than they think once you get them to realize it.

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

I will try to relate it to some everyday experience with which they are familiar. If necessary, we will back up to the basics.

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

Point out key words and phrases.

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

Give them confidence and treat them respectfully. Help them to know they are not alone in struggling with certain concepts.

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

I will try to reference pop culture icons, when possible.

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

Ask follow up questions, turn the problem around, or review it from the beginning to reinforce their ability to abstract to different problems.

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

Positive reinforcement and targeted questions to gauge their comprehension of key concepts.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I ask a few simple questions that let me gauge their understanding of key concepts.

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

I am aware of numerous learning styles, and adjust my approach as necessary after we get started.

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

I find it best to use materials provided for the class by the instructor. I will work through these at the student's own pace.