I graduated from The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in English, with specific emphasis on creative writing. For those of you that follow SEC football, Hotty Toddy to you!
I began tutoring middle school students while I was an undergrad. I tutored math to students who had behavioral problems and needed motivation to complete homework. In order to gain their interest in the learning material, I would ask what their hobbies were and used those as analogies to solve math problems. The feedback I received from their teachers was phenomenal.
I work with both the parent and the student to meet each of their academic goals. I begin by understanding the specific needs of the student and create my tutoring lesson plan accordingly. If the student needs follow up help, they are welcome to contact me even when I am not officially tutoring them in their home and/or online. I provide both emotional support and academic support. A student cannot succeed by simply memorizing, regurgitating, and spitting the material back onto the exam. Teaching the student tips and tricks to learn the material and make it his/her own is the best way to retain a lot of information in a short amount of time. And finally, a student doesn't just eat/sleep/study. Rather, he/she needs encouragement and moral support to fulfill his/her life long career goals - and that's what I am here for.
I recently finished up with a high school student who had a C in his English class. After a few sessions with him, I was able to assist him with his English research paper, which brought his grade up to an A. My favorite part of the session was when the student told me: "I wish I would have met you earlier in my life." This is the sentence that I strive for in my job as a tutor.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Mississippi - Bachelors, Biology, General
PCAT Reading Comprehension: 91
PCAT Quantitative Ability: 55
PCAT Chemistry: 65
PCAT Writing: 5
Travel/Touring; Movies; Reading; Tutoring students; ice skating
10th Grade Reading
9th Grade Writing
Anatomy & Physiology
High School Biology
High School English
High School Writing
Introduction to Poetry
US Constitutional History
What is your teaching philosophy?
An instructor must first get to know the student very well (i.e., strengths/weaknesses, likes/dislikes, etc.) in order to determine what teaching strategy will work best for the student. Creating an individualized tutoring session tailored specifically for each student is the best way to teach. A robber can steal money from me, but he cannot steal knowledge from my brain. Knowledge is gained only by sharing information. A tutoring session should conclude with both the tutor and the student having learned something new. As Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning illustrates, the best way of learning something is to teach it to someone in your own words.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
As a tutor, it is my responsibility to do my homework and studying before meeting with my student. I do not meet with a student and just "wing it" while I am tutoring them. I find out from the student/parent what the specific subject, homework assignment, paper, concept, etc. the student is having trouble with. I get to know the student as a person by finding out the student's strengths/weakness, likes/dislikes, and hobbies. I then create an individualized plan to target the best way the student will learn based upon who they are as a person. For instance, I used the analogy of 4 bases on a field when I tutored math to a middle school baseball player. Utilizing the individualized tutoring session, the student gains a lot more from me rather than spending the first 15-30 minutes of the session trying to explain to me what his/her assignment is and what grades he/she received in the previous session. In this manner, we get to work right away in the first session.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Independent learning is a crucial skill that every student MUST HAVE in college. The student must master this skill in high school before college. It is important to first figure out what type of learner the student is: auditory, visual, kinesthetic or all three. I would then provide specific individualized study skills to the student based upon which technique works best for them. If the student doesn't know what type of learner he/she is, then my student will take a learning test to figure out which learning style best suits him/her. For instance, if I am teaching anatomy to a kinesthetic learner, I will teach him/her how to draw a diagram of the heart to learn its anatomy. Mnemonics and flashcards also work well for kinesthetic learners. First figuring what type of learner the student is and then teaching the student how to utilize the study skill (e.g., flashcards, mnemonics, etc.) that works best for him/her will make the student an independent learner.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
In my initial contact with the parent/student, my goal is to understand what the student is like as a person. I want to understand what the students' likes/dislikes, strengths/weaknesses, and hobbies are. For instance, if I figure out that this student likes Bugs Bunny cartoons then I will utilize Bugs Bunny and carrot analogies to solve math problems. If a student is obsessed with hairstyle and make-up, I may explain parts of an essay using fashion humor and analogies. Oftentimes, students are just given an abundance of material to blankly memorize and do not understand the application of the knowledge they are learning to the real world. This is the reason why students are not motivated. By taking an idea that they are already familiar with and using an analogy to learn something that is unfamiliar invokes interest in the student. This interest will then keep the student motivated to learn. And finally, the analogies also help in retaining the learnt knowledge. A student may never remember introduction, body, conclusion, thesis statement as parts of an essay. But telling the student that the thesis statement is like the smoky eye on a girl - something catchy and most highlighting feature of her make-up routine- then the student will always remember that the thesis statement is supposed to be catchy and the core of an essay just like the smoky eye make-up is for a girl.