Hello, my name is Donald Virginia, but you can just call me Don. I've been aspiring to be a teacher as of recently, and I find joy in teaching and helping others learn. I can help with memorization, effective test-taking, and any other issues you may have in your academic endeavours. I hope we can work together in the future!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Onondaga Community College - Current Undergrad, Computer Science
Programming, Math, Reading, Video Games, Card Games
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
To learn, not memorize! I'm a big believer in the "teach a man to fish" philosophy, and will teach how to learn, not just memorize a specific lesson.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I want to know what's fun for you in the classroom, and what you know so far; if you learned anything abnormally as well, or if certain mnemonics or other learning tools help more than others.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Effective reading! Especially in math, going back and learning what the equation actually does can encourage future independent growth.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Let's take a break! Extended study sometimes may be more harmful than good. Otherwise, we'll talk about goals.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
There are multiple ways to learn anything, and at least one has to work. If not, we'll revisit basics, as there may be a slight hiccup farther back.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Encourage re-reading, use of context, or read more slowly. I also have a library of books, and can hopefully convert some students into devout readers, and make reading more fun.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Teaching is a long, two-way path. If the teacher and student don't get along, there won't be much learning. But first and foremost, I like to see how the student is organizing their learning, and help them with that.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Real-life scenarios are usually helpful, whether it be the derivative of a line, or definitions of words. It's hard to get motivated with black and white paper, and I'm empathetic with that, and will always try to prevent this through submersion and intuitiveness.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Question rephrasing. I've seen students completely grasp a concept, then stumble by simply changing a few letters/numbers. Creation of a few new questions they haven't seen will guarantee proficiency.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
"Perfect practice makes perfect" was the phrase of an old coach of mine. Repeated yet engaging problems of a subject until they don't even notice/need me is a sure-fire way of building confidence.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
A student knows their own faults, or at least a recent test does. Their required needs can be found through trial and error over a single session, and previous experience has made it easy for me to find these strengths, weaknesses, and habits.