At a young age, I realized that a classroom setting is not necessarily the best environment for learning. Some students certainly flourish, but many others struggle to develop a passionate desire for acquiring knowledge. As the class size gets bigger, the disparity between students’ performance and interest widens. Pursuing my Masters Degree in philosophy at San Diego State University has afforded me the opportunity to learn first hand the limitations of teaching a subject to a wide audience. It became clear, over the course of four semesters teaching a class on Critical Thinking and Composition, that many absorbed the material right away while others struggled to keep up with the coursework. Indeed, I found that the best way of helping these students keep up was by meeting them during office hours. Without the pressures of keeping up appearances in front of their classmates, students could ask me direct questions, and I could identify the specific areas obstructing clarification. From these considerations, I have come to believe that education is best facilitated when it is designed around the considerations of the individual. This is why I see tutoring to be a tremendous value.
Perhaps because of my propensities for introversion, I devoted a lot of my childhood reading about subjects that were ignored in school. My parents encouraged me to read at a very young age, and I soon became fascinated with Greek Mythology. The epic stories and adventures have left an everlasting impression on me, and my passion has since evolved into a broad appreciation of literature, science fiction in particular. I wasn’t very old when I discovered that my greatest aspiration was to become an author, a goal I pursue to this day. Writing is a dynamic activity, and it is essential to both my creative and academic ambitions. I find tremendous satisfaction in completing a piece, be it a short story or an argumentative essay, and I enjoy cultivating this talent in my students.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: San Diego Sate University - Bachelors, Philsophy
Graduate Degree: San Diego State University - Current Grad Student, Philsophy
ACT Composite: 26
ACT English: 24
ACT Math: 27
ACT Reading: 32
ACT Science: 21
GRE Quantitative: 156
GRE Verbal: 157
Science Fiction, philosophy, politics, economics, ju jitsu, rock climbing
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Individuals have specific strengths and weaknesses, and so I strive to identify and meet the client's specific needs.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I keep a baseline assessment from the beginning of sessions. By comparing this to further assessments, I track the progress my clients make in their respective subjects.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
For first sessions, it is important to identify clients' specific tutoring goals and their respective background familiarity. Furthermore, I spend time getting to know my client and share my background so that we can establish a solid footing for future sessions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Using my experience teaching a college course on critical thinking, I encourage my clients to consider their efficacious behavior, and ground this in the power of the human mind.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Students stay motivated when they see concrete progress. This is why I keep a baseline assessment test and take regular progress reports of my clients to track improvement and obstacles.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I determine the nature of my client's misunderstanding. I practice the concept with the student until they demonstrate understanding. If the problem is mainly conceptual, I present the topic from different perspectives and strategies.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I gently discuss the difficulties my client is experiencing. Since frustration and self-deprecation can exacerbate the problem, I approach this patiently and sympathetically. Once I get a general overview, I apply this knowledge to develop an appropriate curriculum moving forward.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found it important to get to know my client's respective goals and interests from the offset. Since I strive to tailor tutoring session to my client's unique needs, it is critical to proceed with this knowledge.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I keep a baseline assessment administered by the second session. I compare this with regular progress reports to track areas of improvement and obstacles.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I emphasize the unique learning capacities we have as individuals in my teaching philosophy. In practice, this means that I identify my client's specific needs, strengths, and weaknesses to design a customized curriculum.