I have worked many years as a Systems Analyst, and applications developer. I have a lot of experience with programming. Often people looking for a tutor are having trouble piecing together the things they have been taught into the results they want. Sometimes, students need help getting over the fear of trying. Put another way, they may need to learn how to fail productively. One of the most useful skills for a programmer is to be able to plan their approach so that they don't loose progress as they attempt new things and learn as much as possible from every attempt.
Tutoring in general is different than classroom teaching in that the lecture has already happened. Listening, reacting, and guiding are usually more useful at this point.
HCC - Associates, Computer Technology
College Computer Science
High School Computer Science
Technology and Computer Science
What is your teaching philosophy?
A student seeking a tutor is probably already taking a subject with a lesson plan. If they are having difficulty with the first plan, adding a second probably won’t help. The key is to help the student understand the plan they already have, and help them figure out how they can follow it.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Ask about the material being studied. Find out what they understand and where they need help. I would also try to find areas in the material where what they do understand can be applied, so they can start to feel some success.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By going through the process of figuring out solutions with them. Answers must not appear as if by magic. Enforce techniques for investigation, and problem solving. Knowing the solution only helps if your keep running into the same problem. Knowing how to find a solution works over and over.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Helping them succeed with something that they previously didn't is usually a good start. Knowing as much a possible about their reasons for learning can also help frame any encouragement effectively.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Look for more fundamental ideas that can build toward the target. Move to the simplest expression of the idea that you can find and try to build up from there. Point out similar ideas that show up if other more familiar contexts.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Drawings may help. Restating or helping them restate information using simpler language, and sentence structure. Identify jargon that they are likely to keep running into and work on helping them come up with their own definitions.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Asking lots of questions, collect as much information as possible. Be interested in and positive about the subject, and them.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Remind them of areas where they are already doing well. Find ways for them to stretch what they do know into other less familiar territory.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Have them explain their solution to the original problem, or a similar one. Explain the idea in their own words.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Talk them through an inventory of their skills, and help them exercise those skills.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Asking questions, about the subject, about their motivation and interest. Discuss the material, get a sense of their comfort level.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Falling back to more basic ideas if the problems seem too hard. Pushing forward to find where we can expand into the ideas that need work.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Usually the materials that the student is using already, a pad, and some pencils. My computer and the internet. If my student provides me with information about the tools they are using I will usually try to set them up on my computer.