As a graduate of the University of Colorado-Boulder with a major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, I love all types of science and mathematics, as well as writing, philosophy and music. I believe in an individualized approach to learning, one that is based on student's strengths and goaled towards developing solid study habits and critical thinking skills. Teaching a student how to think and study independently fosters confidence, increases motivation, and yields consistently high marks over time. By combining the use of visual aids, analogies, mnemonic devices, classic conditioning, and making material relatable to personal interests and everyday life, learning can become a fun and rewarding process.
University of Colorado Boulder - Bachelors, biology
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in a multi-variable approach that utilizes different strengths of each individual student to maximize their specific learning goals. Tools include graphs, diagrams, schematics, word association, mnemonics, classic conditioning (repetition), and real world examples.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
It is important to establish a baseline of performance in each subject of interest. From that point the student's natural strengths and weaknesses can be identified and a specialized teaching plan can be made.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Learning how to study is just as important as knowing what to study, thus developing useful study tools is integral for becoming a successful independent learner. Motivation and interest are just as important so it is beneficial to make learning fun.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Many subjects/topics can be explained with real world examples and have practical applications in both careers and everyday life. Finding out what students are passionate about will help make more abstract subjects more relatable and interesting.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
There are often many different ways to explain skills and concepts, and finding a way that makes sense to the student decreases frustration when learning new or difficult concepts.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Before reading a passage, it can be useful to establish some key concepts to look for while reading. If there are study questions/short answer/essay questions to be completed after an assignment, it is beneficial to review those questions beforehand to help formulate and structure ideas.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Keep learning fun! It is always better to keep things fresh by mixing up learning methods and techniques to help keep students interested, engaged and motivated.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I think getting to know the student is very important to understand their interests and what they are passionate about. This can help by establishing trust and friendship, and students are more likely to be honest about struggling with topics if they feel comfortable with their teachers/tutors.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Visual aids like graphs, schematics and diagrams can be helpful when combined with more traditional methods like memorization. Using analogies helps relate knowledge to personal interests and everyday life which can make more abstract concepts more tangible.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Starting a student off with simple concepts and eventually expanding on them is less intimidating than introducing everything all at once. Students should feel comfortable with the level of difficulty they are currently working with before moving to more challenging material. By gradually increasing the degree of difficulty, students experience a sense of accomplishment which leads to confidence.