I graduated from SUNY Maritime College in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in business, and I am now studying physics at Stony Brook University. My personal philosophy is that anything is possible when someone has a goal he or she set for herself or himself and he or she willing to put in the effort to attain that goal, even if the steps in between are difficult or not very interesting to them. That goal can be as simple as passing a single test or as big as knowing exactly what they want to do one day and working as hard as they can to achieve it. My favorite subject is Physics because I love seeing how the universe works; I also enjoy math because it's a huge part of Physics!
My method is to first make sure the student knows exactly what the question is asking them to find, then break the question down into as many simple steps as needed to show the student how to progress to the right answer. Rather than perform each step for them, I prefer to guide the student from one step to the next ensuring they understand why each step is necessary before moving on to the next. Besides that, practice makes perfect!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Stony Brook University - Current Undergrad, Physics
Spending time with friends, reading books and science/technology news, hiking, kayaking, and Xbox.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Anything is possible with the right goal in mind, and the attitude that practice makes perfect! Also, breaking questions down into simpler steps and understanding each of those steps helps in not only finding the solution, but also understanding to overall purpose of the problem.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Find out what the student is having trouble with, ask to see examples of their schoolwork in this subject, and begin to work with them on understanding that subject.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By guiding them through each step of a problem, and helping them realize its purpose, I hope to help them find their preferred method of understanding problems so they can learn to do this on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would remind the student of the ultimate goal they are trying to achieve, and then encourage them to practice the areas they are lacking motivation in so they can achieve that goal.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would make sure the student understood what the skill or concept was for and how it would be relevant in the future. Then I would work on helping them understand the skill and how to do problems using that skill.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would help them understand what parts of what they are reading are key to understanding the subject matter being discussed, and lead them to form their own explanations of the purpose of the reading and its key points.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
By allowing the student to explain what they don't understand about a concept and the methods they chose to use which proved incorrect, I can then attempt to show them the correct way a concept should be undertaken and also help them understand why they were mistaken.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Preferably I can show them how that subject will come into play later on, especially if it is in an area they want to study or work in someday. If not, then by showing that they can achieve success in that subject, then I hope they will become excited about it on its own merits, rather than whether or not they feel it is important to their future.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
After guiding the student through the material I would have them practice problems in front of me, but do them on their own, so I can see they can figure out the problem without my continued guidance. Afterwards I would give them additional practice problems to do on their own so if they run into an issue, or forget a step, they can contact me for help.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By helping a student understand the concepts they are having trouble with and reaching a point where they can handle not only those concepts, but new concepts without guidance from a tutor.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By finding out the subject/concepts a student is having trouble in, and seeing them perform a problem in that subject/concept, I can see what they are doing wrong and help them correct their mistakes. If the issues is at a more fundamental level in understanding the concept, I will explain to them what the purpose of the concept is, what they are trying to find, and ultimately, how to find it.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
The student's own subject material, a calculator, pen and paper.