A photo of Kevin, a tutor from South Dakota State University

Kevin

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Metaphor of Teaching

Teaching is like riding a bike. The roads upon which I ride my bike have many hills and valleys to deal with but they are never too tall or too deep to overcome. Students and I will have good and bad days, but no problem will be so great that we cannot overcome. The wind can be a friend by pushing me from behind to make the journey easy or it can be an enemy by pushing against me to hold me back. The distance is the same but the effort is much greater when there is a head wind. Students will receive an education, but for some it will not come as easily as it will for others. I, as a teacher, will try to make the education the student receives feel like a tailwind. My bike is a tool that enables me to cover great distances over the duration of the day. Sometimes my bike runs smoothly if the chain is well lubricated and the wheels spin true. Sometimes my bike is sluggish when the chain is dry or dirty and the wheels are out of round. The students and I will have to work with the resources we are given. I will make their education the best it can be with those resources. Many days the students will be riding uphill against a headwind and many days the students will be riding downhill with a tailwind. The students will realize that not all days will be difficult and not all days will be easy. The goal of my bike rides is never the destination but rather the journey itself. Perseverance to overcome the weather, the terrain and condition of the road, and the condition of my bike is what is gratifying. I, as a teacher, must persevere above the resources I have been given, the differences among the individuals, and my own capabilities to give the students the education they deserve. Students will understand that receiving an education is a journey that will never end.

Kevin’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: South Dakota State University - Bachelors, Microbiology/Biology

Graduate Degree: University of South Dakota - Masters, Secondary Education

Hobbies

None

Tutoring Subjects

Anatomy

Anatomy & Physiology

Biology

College Biology

Ecology

High School Biology

Life Sciences

Microbiology

Physiology

Science


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Teaching is like riding a bike. The roads upon which I ride my bike have many hills and valleys to deal with, but they are never too tall or too deep to overcome. Students and I will have good and bad days, but no problem will be so great that we cannot overcome. The wind can be a friend by pushing me from behind to make the journey easy, or it can be an enemy by pushing against me to hold me back. The distance is the same, but the effort is much greater when there is a head wind. Students will receive an education, but for some it will not come as easily as it will for others. I, as a teacher, will try to make the education the student receives feel like a tailwind. My bike is a tool that enables me to cover great distances over the duration of the day. Sometimes my bike runs smoothly if the chain is well lubricated and the wheels spin true. Sometimes my bike is sluggish when the chain is dry or dirty and the wheels are out of round. The students and I will have to work with the resources we are given. I will make their education the best it can be with those resources. Many days the students will be riding uphill against a headwind, and many days the students will be riding downhill with a tailwind. The students will realize that not all days will be difficult and not all days will be easy. The goal of my bike rides is never the destination but rather the journey itself. Perseverance to overcome the weather, the terrain and condition of the road, and the condition of my bike is what is gratifying. I, as a teacher, must persevere above the resources I have been given, the differences among the individuals, and my own capabilities to give the students the education they deserve. Students will understand that receiving an education is a journey that will never end.

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

I would like to introduce myself and meet the student. Get to know one another and determine the student's goals.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

The student needs to understand how to critically think about how science is done and understand the results of good science. Learning this takes time and commitment.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

A student must have a goal and work towards that goal. The goal can be merely passing a course, or it could be having a career that allows the student to earn enough money for a comfortable life.

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

I would try to break down the skill or concept into easier parts or create an analogy that allows the student to grasp the skill or concept easier.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Students need either to read more or get the information they need in a different way. Fortunately there are a lot of resources on YouTube that allow a student to get the information without having to read.

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

Strategies really depend upon the student. Semantic maps, Cornell notes, forayers, practice problems and sometimes simple notes.

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

Students need to recognize why the content is important to understand for themselves and then develop that understanding in their own personal way.

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

Techniques such as summative assessments like simple quizzes, tests and formative assessments such as homework and practice problems.

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

Students need basic problems, and then increase the level of problems as confidence builds.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Providing the student with a formative quiz/test allows an instructor to see the level of education the student has to build upon.

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

I determine where the student is at and adjust the curriculum from his/her level.

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

The materials I typically use are paper, pen/pencil, calculator, YouTube videos, notes/textbook and a person that wants/needs to learn.