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Meriam

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I am a graduate of Loyola University Chicago with an Honors BS in Biology and an Honors BA in French, and have been a tutor for years. Having worked in countries all over the world, I am comfortable working with a diverse range of people, regardless of their language fluency and subject expertise. Since graduating, I have been attending a post-bac program at the University of Toronto in intensive Spanish and Arabic, before continuing on to medical school. I have also been tutoring numerous subjects for over 10 years, including Math, French, and Biology. I truly believe that it is with individual attention helps maximize one's full potential. Tutoring has shown me that everyone has the ability to succeed with hard work and the right means of studying.

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Meriam’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Loyola University-Chicago - Bachelors, Biology and French

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 33

ACT English: 33

ACT Math: 35

ACT Reading: 34

Hobbies

Playing Violin and Piano, Painting, Writing Poetry, Drawing, Swimming


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that individual attention can help people reach their full potential. Everyone has their own way of learning, and combining that learning style with hard work is the key to achieving success.

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

I would first determine what the student's goals and areas of difficulties are. After determining this, I ask the student what best helps them learn, or try to figure it out one on one with the student. Figuring out the specific learning styles, such as visual aids, repetition, etc., helps me make sure the student is learning comfortably and efficiently.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By helping the student learn how they best learn, and what they should most work on, the student can then focus on their weaknesses and use their newfound knowledge on how they best learn to overcome them. I also provide the student with outside sources they can turn to if they need additional help.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

At times, it is overwhelming seeing how much work there is to be done to achieve a goal. I, thus, find it best to "divide and conquer," splitting large tasks into smaller, achievable goals. Seeing goals accomplished and build up over time is incredibly motivating, and reminds one of the bigger picture without seeming too daunting.

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

I would break the skill or concept into smaller chunks. Sometimes misunderstanding arises from not comprehending foundational skills. By determining the root of the problem, the student can focus on relearning the foundational skill or concept they are struggling with, and then build on top of it to learn the more complicated skill or concept.

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

I break down the passage into smaller components, and work on learning each part individually. Then, I transition to seeing how the parts fit together and the overall meaning of the piece. This also helps determine whether there was a specific part of the reading the student struggled with or whether the student was struggling with an overarching theme.

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

I have found that making a plan of our focuses and goals helps students greatly because it gives them something to work towards. I also have found that repetition helps a lot of people learn really well. I, thus, try to incorporate repetition of past concepts into lessons so they are reinforced.

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

I try to relate the subject into something relevant that they are interested in. For example, memorizing a physics equation is made far more interesting by showing the student how it directly applies to their everyday life. Visual aids and videos that show the concepts in a novel way also help make the subject more understandable and fascinating.

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

I would use verbal and written testing to make sure that the student understands the material. It is extremely important that the student can apply the concept to multiple problems themselves, and not just one example problem. If the student is able to walk me through the problem in simple terms themselves after having learned it, I know they understand the material well.

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

I show the student the progress they have made by giving them positive reinforcement and reiterating the concepts or skills they are doing well. By also focusing on what the student's strengths are, I am able to show the student not only what they've improved on but also what ways of studying worked for them well (for example, they can apply the learning strategies they used on their strengths to other areas).

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I evaluate a student's needs by determining their weaknesses and strengths from our lessons when we've broken the concepts into smaller parts. I discuss what the students find difficult and try to assess the difficulties during the lesson as well.

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

I try to follow the learning style of the student specifically. Different learning styles include visual, verbal, mathematical, and many others. Visual learners, for example, benefit greatly from visual aids, such as tables and charts.

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

I typically use concise visual aids of the information in my tutoring sessions. This can be anything from bullet pointed outlines to tables and charts. I also give the student external sources they can use, such as videos or links that explain concepts.


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