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Burthia

Greetings! Thank you for your interest. I have just completed my doctorate in Biochemistry and Cancer Biology. While I love research and development, I also have a true interest in education. I love working with students and helping them to realize their full potential.
Prior to returning to graduate school, I had the pleasure of teaching SAT, MCAT, GRE, and DAT test preparation for Kaplan. I have had students go on to attend and finish medical and graduate school all over the country! This experience afforded me the opportunity to teach Cellular and Molecular Biology to students in an undergraduate medical school preparatory course as well as teach DAT Mathematics to Masters level students hoping to matriculate to dentistry school.
While in graduate school I worked as a community college tutor in Biology, General Chemistry, Mathematics (up to Pre-Calculus), Microbiology, Nutrition, and Anatomy and Physiology. I also worked with middle school students, serving as a Scientist-In-the-Classroom teaching partner for two years. Most recently I have served as a grader for AP Biology and as a content specialist for the Texas STAAR examination.

I am more than happy to partner with you to help you navigate physical sciences and the application thereof, for your success!

Undergraduate Degree:

Norfolk State University - Bachelors, Biology-Environmental Toxicology

Graduate Degree:

Meharry Medical College - PHD, Biochemistry and Cancer Biology

Cooking, half marathons, music

Cell Biology

College Biology

Graduate Level Biology

High School Biology

College Math

Life Sciences

Molecular Biology

Molecular Genetics

What is your teaching philosophy?

When you teach, it is important to gauge what a student needs and hopes to accomplish in the process. Does a student need someone to reiterate concepts, or give an alternative explanation? Once a student's needs are understood, an educational plan can be tailored to get them to their goals!

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

In a first session, I want to find out what a student understands, what they don't understand, where the gaps are in between their education and their success. I want to know what they want from me: clarification, further explanation, studying tips, etc.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Empower the student. Let them know that everyone does not learn the same way, but you have to put in the effort. I will let them know that there are alternative ways out there to learn the same material that may be the most optimal for them.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I tell all my students "I am a cheerleader. YOUR cheerleader. Let me know about your peaks as well as your valleys. For your valleys, let us figure out a way to get you growing towards another peak. At your peaks, let's figure out what works and stay ahead of the information, so that we can avoid valleys."

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

Try an alternative method of explanation, training, conveyance, than we have already tried. For example, I am a visual learner with many concepts. If we are talking about active and passive transport across a cell membrane, perhaps I need to find a YouTube educational video that distinctly shows this transport, rather than trying explanations or texts.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

As a scientist, I am used to explaining complex ideas in layman's terms. Perhaps I need to make an explanation of something we are reading in terms, ideas, themes that the student understands.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Asking them what they want, need, and hope to accomplish makes me more effective in my approach with them. Personalized learning. If a student tells me they are struggling with slope in Algebra, then we are going to revisit that often in our time together. But not in a constant, overwhelming fashion. Give them the ideas, talk through the concept, explanation of the terms, and show them how to manipulate the components of the equation. Then revisit again after digestion. Build, then revisit. Repeat.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

Make this subject personal for them. Oftentimes if you personalize educational topics, making them relevant to the student, then they can get over the hang-ups, because it was once impersonal and they couldn't see how it related.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Depending on the location, I quiz, or I make them get on a board or piece of paper and explain to ME the material. I ask questions, make sure they understand the terms, and can give an explanation in their own terms. Teach me.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Positive reinforcement, encouragement, and correction when a mistake is made. I do not let a student convey material back to me that is incorrect, nor will I allow them to explain without specifics. This lets them know that they know the material, even the nuances.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I ask, plainly. Then I work with them to see where there are deficiencies, and we discuss them. Sometimes they cannot convey the problem, nor do they realize the problem in a specific area. I try to point these out, reassuring them we can work to finish all of these, known and discovered.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

When I know what a student needs, then I make my efforts directed towards those needs. My approach with tutored and taught students is not global, but rather what captures this particular student or group for this subject.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Multiple textbooks, YouTube, education associated websites, white boards, paper and pens, quizzes, conversation...depends on what the student needs.