I'm a native Texan living in the Bay Area and interning with the National Park Service while I prepare for Graduate School in Botany.
Having had enormous triumph with tutors myself, I understand that patience and deconstruction are the most important ingredients towards gaining security and success in any subject.
I am a laid-back but hardworking individual who understands that academia might feel like a necessary evil, but it is actually a tool for everyone and that can inspire confidence and ambition, instead of inhibiting it.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I had a hard time in math and science as a student, but with the help of personal tutors I learned to be patient with myself. Now I have a Bachelor's degree in Biology from a good college and I'm getting ready to apply to graduate school in Botany. Attacking the subjects head on removes anxiety and allows students to flourish.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
With a new student I spend a short amount of time getting to know them and their hobbies and interests-- what they're passionate about. Then I discuss with them exactly what they're having difficulty with and talk about what they've been trying in the past that hasn't worked. Then I jump right in and get to work!
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By helping them recognize any emotions that are getting between them and the subject matter itself. Stress and anxiety build as we continue to be unsuccessful with a subject, until we are no longer able to see the material itself. I help them by breaking a problem down into small, manageable pieces that can be tackled one by one. Those kinds of skills stick with a student beyond our time together, and even as they progress into more advanced stages in a particular subject.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would let them take a break if they need to. I'd share my own experiences with being down-trodden in a subject and remind them how good it feels to actually pull through and learn something.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
First of all, I expect students to have difficulty learning a skill or concept. These subjects are challenging to anyone who hasn't had a ton of practice thinking in this specific way. So when they do have difficulty, I'll continue to help them find ways to break down questions into smaller, digestible pieces that pull on concepts they do feel confident with until the bigger problem is no longer as daunting.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Slow down! Read slowly enough to gain meaning from the words. The only way to get faster is with lots and lots of practice, going as slowly as you need to.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
First, try to establish a relationship. Try to understand what their goals are and establish something to work towards together. Work some problems from their homework or study guide together so that I can see how they're going about it before I start dumping my ideas on them.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Using creative and fun ways to interact with the subject matter that don't involve simply sitting at a computer or desk. Even small things like taking breaks or eating a snack can help energize their brain and allow them to come back to it with more zeal.