I am currently studying at Santa Fe College. I am about to achieve my AA in engineering so I can pursue my bachelors in mechanical engineering.
At my current college, I have tutored both college algebra and various levels of Spanish (up to AP Literature) for the College for Kids Program. I also have two years of teaching experience for the University of Florida's Baby Gator program teaching various levels of pre-k to middle school mathematics as well as incorporating Spanish into their language courses. For that reason, I love to tutor Spanish.
Spanish is straightforward, and greatly improves the understanding of how to write proper essays. In other words, it reteaches some forgotten fundamentals of formal communication because its seen through a simplified language.
The way I tutor implements confidence and familiarity. One of my biggest struggles as a student was not knowing if I was following the correct steps, or going in the right direction. The first step is actually to understand the end goal. That is where confidence comes. I teach how to get familiar with problems, steps, and concepts in various of subjects that allow students to spend less time figuring out what needs to be done to confidently figuring out a problem.
With education aside, I love learning new things by meeting new people. There is nothing more interesting than what another person has to say. I also enjoy reading foreign literature as well as keeping up to date with international news. I am also actively involved with the growing technologies. From android phones to graphic design, there is always something new everyday.
My sports include volleyball table tennis and just about any water sport. I am also a pretty big fan of all the Marvel and D.C movies coming out. Loving the modern movie scene.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Santa Fe College - Bachelors, Mechanical/Mechastructure Engineer
I love technology. From android phones to graphic design. I play volley ball and table tennis, and enjoy watching modern movies. I also enjoy reading foreign literature and meeting new people.
What is your teaching philosophy?
That there are two basic ways of teaching. One is repetition; the more they see something, the higher likelihood it will be remembered. The 2nd is that when tutoring, students need to feel safe and comfortable with their tutor. The majority of times, students freeze up on questions because they feel pressured. If taught in a more comfortable setting, the less likely they are to freeze up on an assignment or test because they feel comfortable answering.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would like to get to know them. I would briefly ask about their hobbies or what they would like to study. I would also make sure that the student feels understood. I would also build a resourceful reputation by clarifying topics, or making a question easier to understand. All of this while I put together a proper teaching style depending on how the student behaves.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By teaching them to be confident. Independent learning has become so easy with Google. However, it takes confidence to interpret material on your own, and base a Google search on that specific problem. Usually, I would recommend printing out formula sheets, vocab words, or important dates. This isn't a quick process, and I do believe that the tutor's job is to assist a student bettering their ability to learn independently. In many cases, I would guide the student to the correct answer instead of doing my own work and showing an answer. I would explain my thought process and why I made the choices that I made.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Reassuring them of improvement. Students often give up due to putting time into something, and seeing no results. What they fail to see is how they were able to accomplish a task they previously could not. It is often overlooked, and it takes someone else to point it out and show to them that they are in fact learning.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would break it down into smaller problems, or try to relate a concept to something they already understand. Making unknown material familiar through examples is another good method, but drawing a diagram or a scene makes the concept stick a lot better.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Since English is my second language, I also have trouble with reading comprehension. I overcame it with various methods. The best one was reading books about things that I was interested in. So I would recommend reading on their off time, but most importantly, is that I would offer encouragement. I would make sure students know what they got right, and ask them to attempt understanding one sentence at a time and tell me what they think it meant. Students learn more by being wrong, but only if they felt safe and not judged.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Communication, confidence, and friendliness. It would be ideal to become friends with the student so they feel more comfortable around me, but that is not always the case. Building a relationship based heavily on communication is what I strive for. Any question or concern that is said will be acknowledged and deemed important. This allows the student to feel safe, and maximizes the likeliness of students asking questions on topics they are unsure of. This goes hand in hand with confidence. If a student knows that every question they ask will be responded to with kindness and reassurance, they will ask more vs feeling ridiculed or judged. If a student can confidently make wrong answers, they are more likely to learn.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
By building passion. Passion is formed by loving what you do, and by those around you. I love rewarding positive behavior with high-energy expressions and comments. This always lifts up the mood of the student, as they see that it isn't impossible to work with the subject. Another method I use is to shrink down the problem. If it's math, I'll use easier numbers, or slowly build the problem's intensity. This allows the student to feel like they are getting somewhere as they feel more comfortable in the topic by giving correct answers and answering quickly.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
There is the basic switch the numbers technique in math, or changing the structure of a sentence. What I usually do in math is have the student voice to me their steps for solving a different problem, so they get comfortable thinking about what comes after what in the problem. I would then have them guide me through another similar problem, because I agree with the idea of learning through teaching. If it’s a language or history question, I will offer rhymes or clever ways to think about what the student is struggling with.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By verbalizing their success. Students will easily ignore any problems they have made, but by slowly acknowledging things they do differently and correctly, they start putting more effort in their cleverness and thought to a problem. I would also give easier problems to make the student quicker, as correctly answering a problem in a timely matter is a great confidence booster.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Through what they expect me to do. Obvious signs of struggle are silence, restating the question, or trying to answer with something completely incorrect. Based on how they masked their weakness, I can use different tactics. Usually, repetition works for most math problems, as well as breaking down concepts. Flash cards and writing out words works great for concepts and vocab, but usually all it takes is having the student write out the same steps they had on a previously problem with a slightly different problem.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
With previous tutoring experience, I can get pretty clever when it comes to making students understand. However, my favorite approach is just adapting to their personality. It can tell a lot about them, like if they are willing to hear silly examples, or if they just want to know a formula/definition.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Based on the subject, I will usually have the basic formula sheet, look up a passage they are working on, or ask for their vocabulary words.