I was born and raised in North Carolina where my curiosity drove me to study the sciences of our natural world. That curiosity allowed me to gain a greater perspective of scientific concepts and how those concepts are represented in each science discipline. This greater perspective also gets me pumped up about seemingly boring issues. My enthusiasm is contagious, and since I can get excited about the processes that occur with the most mundane things, like soap bubbles or ear buds, I see our experience of the world as having three levels. When we see something for the first time, we have no idea how it works, and it strikes us as magical. Over time, we lose interest as we get bogged down with so many details. But with mastery, you can see the deeper significance, and you find the magic again. My goal is to help you find the childlike wonder you had when you first saw a rhino or a firework display, but you’ll have that wonder about the fundamental physical, chemical, and biological processes. Your world is absolutely amazing, and I want to help you to realize that to appreciate it every day.
I am more concerned with you understanding the basic topic because it does actually apply to your life. Many methods of teaching are focused on recall of specific information but I believe that concepts are the most important part of learning since you can apply the concept to multiple scenarios. I have worked with children for several years and have never lost my ability to communicate with children of any age. I am very easy to talk with, and I like to get to know my students in order to relate scientific information to their own interests. We learn best when it relates to something we already know. Relating the concepts to your interests is my specialty!
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Bachelors, Chemistry
What is your teaching philosophy?
You learn best when you can relate new information to something you already know. I like to get to know you to explain concepts in terms that you are more familiar. Names can change; concepts stay the same.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I'd like to spend the first session getting to know a student. Learning about your strengths, weaknesses, interests, and struggles allows me to get a better sense of your perspective. My goal is to present information such that it is understandable from your perspective.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Learning how to learn is the main reason for education. If you understand the methods that work best for your unique mind, you can find more efficient ways to learn new information.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
It's all about zooming out to the big picture. It helps to envision your long-term goals to better inspire you to WANT to work now. It's about tricking your brain into completing work for your reasons, not someone else's.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
We will break down the concept into simpler parts and relate those parts to information that you already know. You are a nerd about something: sports, TV shows, rare bug collections. If you can relate new information to something you already know, it will be that much easier to remember.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Often we get focused on speed or just completing the reading. Stopping frequently to relate what you just read to your life will allow you to grasp the information better. Plus more breaks!
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I am a fairly open book; I don't like to hide my own personality or past. My openness often encourages students to share more with me. With greater communication between us, I'll be able to learn more about you and cater my teaching to your specific style.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
It's all about relating new concepts to things you already understand. If a concept is boring, the names can be changed to something more interesting while the concept stays the same. Giving a different perspective of a subject can also pique a student's interest. I like to teach using multiple disciplines of science so different perspectives are easy for me to give.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Perspective is reality. If you think about all the things you cannot do, you'll understandably feel dejected. However, switching the perspective around to look at the vast amount that you do understand can give you the boost you need to keep going!
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
When discussing topics, I keep watch on how much the student and I are contributing to the conversation. If the student is not comfortable enough to talk about a concept, we'll go back through until they solidify it.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Everyone is a unique learner because everyone has had different experiences. I like to get to know the experiences of my students so I can understand how they learn best. Often that means relating scientific concepts to your interests.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Most of my teaching is done as a verbal conversation, though I like to use a whiteboard and image/video searches to better illustrate concepts. Sometimes verbal conversations aren't enough so it's best to give multiple means of the same information.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I like to converse about scientific concepts and how they apply to everyday life. Students that do not understand the material will struggle more with the conversation. This clues me off to review that concept to improve their confidence.