# Sam

Certified Tutor

Undergraduate Degree: Loras College - Bachelors, Mechanical Engineering

Spending time outdoors, biking, fishing, and hiking

Mechanical Engineering

What is your teaching philosophy?

I find that teaching is the best way to learn, so I typically phrase my questions to the student in a way that makes them verbalize their thinking process. EX "What do you think the first step in reducing this equation is?" If they do not know, then I will give subtle hints as to what the steps are. After several examples, or as many as they seem to be comfortable with, I generally like to have them solve a problem by themselves to help prove to themselves that they have mastered the problem.

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

In my first sessions, I like to get to know one another by sharing our likes/dislikes and hobbies. I also like to get a feel for student's knowledge so I know where we need to start and where we would like to end up.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

My teaching strategy is to help students grasp the bigger picture of the subject that they are working on. I also find that teaching is one of the best ways of learning. If you feel comfortable enough to teach a subject, then you will excel in reinforcing your knowledge.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I find that keeping a very low level of stress and frustration helps everyone stay motivated. I will always offer encouragement and make sure the student knows that what they are trying to learn is not easy. Everyone struggles when they first start.

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

Repetition is key. When I was learning many subjects, I would find example problems and work each one over and over until I felt as though I had mastered the practice. I will provide many similar examples until they feel comfortable solving the problem on their own.

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

I have found that having the student say their thought process out loud helps me to understand where they are going. If I know their thought process behind their decisions, then I can either encourage it or lead them in the right direction. Having the student do most of the work is key. I will never do a problem for the student and move on immediately.

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

I will ask the student questions on the material and ask them to describe, in their own way, how to go about solving the problem.

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

As a tutor/teacher, there is nothing better than having a student reach the "AHA!" moment. The same goes for being a student. I will offer constant encouragement and help until that moment is achieved and trust me, the feeling of complete understanding is worth it!

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

To build confidence in a student, I will give positive feedback as well as demonstrate how far they have come in x amount of time.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

The first couple of sessions, I will spend time getting to know the student and their learning strengths and strategies. This will help to pave a path of successful tutoring in the future.

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

I am a very personable and social person. I can generally pick up on personalities and relate to people in any given scenario. I will tweak my teaching strategy to fit my student's personality.

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

Materials depend on the subject being taught. For younger students, I will use more games, and for older students, I will use more examples and practice problems.