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Suzy

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I have always enjoyed mathematics and science since I can remember and have taken advantage of opportunities to expand my knowledge of the subjects. I took all of the mathematics courses offered at my high school, up to AP Calculus BC and AP Statistics. I have tutored mathematics for five years now, involving subjects from 7th grade math to AP Calculus BC and everything in-between. I have experience with 7th-12th grade students of varying abilities. I also have experience with elementary-aged children from teaching Sunday school for two years during high school.

Originally from Indiana, I am now a student at the University of Arizona studying Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Mechanical Engineering. I am involved on campus in Engineers Without Borders, Society of Women Engineers, and in the Chi Omega sorority. My availability is listed, but if the times do not work for you, feel free to contact me to see if we can work something out!

Suzy’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Arizona - Current Undergrad, Biomedical Engineering

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 33

ACT English: 34

ACT Math: 34

ACT Reading: 31

ACT Science: 31

SAT Math: 770

SAT Writing: 730

Hobbies

volunteering through community service, movies, hiking, singing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I try to figure out how confident the student feels about the question/problem at hand and give them a minute to look over the question. After looking at it, I ask if they know what to do first. If they know the first step, I ask them to go ahead and go as far as they can. If they make a mistake that will impact the rest of the problem, I will pause them and ask if they can recognize the mistake. After correcting it, I'll let them continue. If they do not know the first step, I will try reason out the first step with them, explaining why this must be the first step and giving them the scope of the pathway to the answer. I will ask if they understand and ask them to re-explain it back to me before they start the problem. Even if they get the problem wrong, I try to tell them all of the things they did right, making them not lose hope on the question. Then, after trying to reassure them, I will point out the first mistake and rework the problem with them, step by step.

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

I will introduce myself and ask how the student's day was, to break the ice and try to make the student comfortable. I'll ask how they think they are doing in the class, and then ask what their goal is for the class. I also ask if there is anything that they have already covered in class or on a test that they did not understand and feel like they are lost on; I will ask if they want to start with that topic or start with their current homework assignment. I will try to make sure that the student feels comfortable with both their current homework assignment and the topic that they struggled with before, by the end of the session. While we work through the homework, I will also assess what I feel the student's weaknesses are so that I can make sure to emphasize those particular points or concepts.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

As we work through the questions, I try to lay out a methodology of how we go about answering the question so that they can form a way of approach for future questions.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I try to encourage the students on things they are doing correctly, even if it's just small things and the overall solution is incorrect. Showing the students that they are doing at least some things right gives them hope that they are not completely lost.

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

I try to find a new, unique way to explain the concept. Usually, I try to relate the concept to something applicable to the student's life, making it more tangible. If a real-world application is not suitable or does not quite click with the student, I will also try to help the student visualize the concept by drawing it out in a diagram or pictures of some sort.

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

I ask them questions along the way and teach them how to quiz themselves as they go. I would read a page aloud, pausing intermittently to say what I am thinking and certain details that I think are important. That why I demonstrate what I am actively doing to recall the information.

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

I have found a repeated process the most successful: to break down each problem into recognizable parts so that the students can reason out the steps to the solution. I also find constant encouragement very successful, as there is not much success once the student has given up. Lastly, I ask the student after each problem to rate how confident they were with it so that I can explain any issues in further detail.

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

I try to find a real world application for the concept, showing that it really can matter. I like to do this by asking what sports or hobbies they enjoy and then trying to relate the concept to something that they already have interest in, hoping that some of that excitement will be translated into the subject.

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

After working through an example or two, I would ask again if the student felt comfortable with the problem and ask if they understand. If they say yes, I would make up or find another question and ask the student to explain a question to me; if they are able to "teach" me the problem, then they really do understand. If the student still struggles a little bit, I will make up or find another similar problem to keep working on the concept.

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

I like to do one example problem on their homework, and then make up other examples that are similar, making them increasingly difficult. This allows the student to feel more and more comfortable with the content, and then when the homework asks them to do more problems like the harder ones we practiced, they already know how to do it. It makes the student feel good to be ahead of the homework and confident that they know what they're doing.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I work through the homework problems with them, seeing where they struggle: can they start the problem, is it a technique, is it the concept behind a work problem, etc. In addition, I'll ask a few supplemental questions like "What if this part looked like this instead?" to see if they can apply the concept to multiple scenarios.