My background is as an exercise science major at The University of Texas at Austin, and I will be starting physical therapy school this summer. I thoroughly enjoy tutoring. In my mind, what makes a good tutor is someone who can listen to and interact well with the student. A good tutor is also interested in the subject material, as well as making the subject material meaningful to the student. It shows when a tutor is motivated to help a student learn—if the tutor isn't motivated, the student won't be motivated. In a tutoring session, a student should feel open to ask questions and express concerns. I feel that I have succeeded as a tutor when a student asks questions not just about the course material, but beyond the course material. That means I have sparked a curiosity for learning.
Outside of academics, I enjoy sports, specifically triathlon. I competed on UT's club triathlon team for four years, and I absolutely enjoyed it. I believe the hard work, dedication, teamwork, and drive necessary to succeed in sport carries over to academics. In addition to triathlon, I enjoy pretty much any outdoor activity—hiking, rock climbing, camping, etc.
The University of Texas at Austin - Bachelors, Exercise Science
ACT English: 32
ACT Math: 32
ACT Science: 31
SAT Math: 750
GRE Quantitative: 164
Anatomy & Physiology
What is your teaching philosophy?
The best teacher is one who understands how the student learns best, so being able to pick up and understand how a student learns is critical.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Go over their goals and concerns. What is the student having trouble with and why? How is material presented in class? What do they hope to accomplish from tutoring sessions?
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Give them time to think. A tutor shouldn't rush a student or jump to the solution without allowing the student adequate time to think. A tutor should also stimulate a student's curiosity and make them internally motivated to learn.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Make small, achievable goals. Make goals for the student to understand things in small chunks. Also, in tutoring sessions, the tutor should encourage the student to play the role of teacher; that way the student can see how much they've learned.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Break it down. How is the material presented in class? What is it about the material that the student has trouble with? How does the student envision learning the material?
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Slow down. I have trouble with comprehension if I read too fast. Then, encourage students to make little summaries of content, in their own words, as they go.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Show them that you are a good listener and that it is an open environment for asking questions, disagreeing, and expressing concerns.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Show them that just because something is difficult to them doesn't mean they can't enjoy it. Have the student realize how the material can be interesting to them.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
For full understanding, see if the student can teach the tutor the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Have them realize how much they know and how far they've come. Sometimes when we are struggling, we don't see the learning or progress that is occurring until we reach a certain benchmark, such as a certain letter grade on a test. Learning and progress happens far before that, and tutors should make students realize this.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Have them talk to you. Make it an open environment for discussing concerns. If a student is frustrated, the tutor should make the student feel open to discuss frustrations.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I figure out how the student learns best. That is so key. Also, ask the student along the way, "Do you feel this is working for you/you are understanding this, or would you like to try and learn it from a different angle?"
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Paper, markers, objects, drawings, anything visual that the student can relate to. And if necessary, Google or Wikipedia!