I graduated from La Sierra University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. I then went on to teach Biology and Anatomy & Physiology at La Sierra Academy. I am currently a PhD candidate studying Marine Biology at Loma Linda University and have spent a great deal of my academic career studying cellular molecular biology. I have a real passion for teaching. I know what it's like to be a student and be confused, stuck, frustrated, and at times, all of the above. I try to teach concepts that may seem complex by using analogies students can relate to. Personally, nothing beats seeing a student fully understand a concept they once thought too complex. When applicable, I show students how to approach and evaluate problems, helping them become independent critical thinkers. My hobbies include music, sports (primarily basketball), and reading.
La Sierra University - Bachelors, Biology
Loma Linda University - PhD, Biology
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I will introduce myself and tell them a little bit about me. I will then ask the student to tell me a little about them in order to break the ice and not have them feel uncomfortable or awkward for asking help from a complete stranger.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help the student analyze and eventually utilize the examples given in the book to attack similar problems.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Every time a student learns a new concept they once thought was too complex it helps build their confidence, which can be very motivating. Also to help the student apply what they are learning to life. Once they realize it is not just useless information but information that can be very helpful and actually applied to their lives, it can be quite motivating as well.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would ask them to explain the concept to me. Whenever the student gets stuck in the explanation, it would show us which area to review. Also going back a few lessons may help as well, because maybe they are having trouble grasping the new concept because they never fully understood a concept a few lessons/chapters ago.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would have them read the section in portions and break up the sentences in order to make sure they don't move on to the next sentence without having fully understood the present one.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found that analogies help students understand concepts much better. I am a visual learner so I think visual aid helps tremendously as well.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
By showing them that it is not just useless information, but how it actually applies to life. Showing them how gaining this knowledge can actually help them in their daily lives can get them engaged.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would have the student explain the subject matter to me. If the student can explain it to me then the student fully understands. Analogies can also be most helpful in aiding the students to grasp concepts.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By showing them that they have learned many things that they once thought were too complex. By explaining things to students either by visual aid or analogies they can fully grasp concepts. Once they realize that they now understand the material it can really help their confidence to develop.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Usually having the student explain to me the subject matter really helps. It helps me know what the student knows and what they don't know.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
If I see that the student is really struggling I usually will go at a slower pace. I also try to use analogies the students can relate to in order to explain concepts in a more understanding fashion.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
A laptop can be most helpful for visual aid. I also use a notepad and pen to help explain things visually to the students.
What is your teaching philosophy?
To explain things in different ways to see if one of them clicks with the student. I also tell them that if they don't understand something to tell me. I will not get frustrated, upset, angry, etc. if the student tells me that they still don't get it. When I was a student and didn't understand something I would ask the teacher for help. If after the explanation, I still didn't get it, I would tell the teacher I understood when I really didn't. I felt I would be bothering them too much. I beg all of my students to never employ this method with me. I let them know that I will be more than happy to explain things 100 times in 100 different ways until the student fully understands the material.