I try to have students build upon what they already know and try to relate the subject matter to their lives as much as possible. I have two years in-class teaching experience for Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics.
Undergraduate Degree: Brandeis University - Bachelors, Chemistry
playing drums, guitar, piano
What is your teaching philosophy?
I try to build students’ understanding of course material by expanding upon any foundation he or she may have. I also try to make science relevant to students' daily lives by including real-world applications of the material in my lessons. That way the subject isn't an abstract set of rules having no relationship to students' experiences.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I like to get to know my students. I try to learn their goals as far as the course work and in the broader sense of life time goals. I use practice problems to get a feel for a student’s knowledge of the course material. Using this information, I develop a plan with my student that fits her/his goals based on the subject matter.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
One technique I use in approaching problems is that I like to have the student vocalize his/her thought process. That way I can clarify certain points that may be missed. I also like students to look at questions which were not answered correctly in order for students to identify specific errors made. This way, students develop techniques to review their own course work and identify their own errors.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I bring as many real-world examples of the coursework into my lessons as possible, especially if it relates to a long-term goal the student has.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
We'll try to approach the concept again. I can explain it in different ways, use different examples, or try to build a different analogy. I also have students try to understand where their understanding breaks down in order that the concept can be better explained.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I try to identify what the student's challenges are. After diagnosing the problem, I can make a plan to improve upon the skill in that area.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I try to get the student excited about the coursework through my excitement. I'm truly passionate about the sciences, and I try to make that passion contagious.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I seek to make the coursework relevant to their lives. I look for real-world examples and try to include demonstrations as often as I can (at least in classroom settings).
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I like to have the student vocalize their thought process in approaching certain problems. Another technique I use is to have the student teach me how to do the problem.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Start small. Figure out what the student knows, and use that as a springboard into learning new material.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I have to listen. My students will give me one perspective of their needs. Their parents will give me another. After, I need to use my judgement in developing a plan that caters as best as it can to both.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I need to get to know my students. I like to build a rapport with those with whom I work, and that rapport will influence the way I teach and the student's desire to learn.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
In a tutoring session, the most basic materials include a pencil and scrap paper; lots and lots of scrap paper. Textbooks and old tests are great sources for practice problems, and a calculator will help streamline meticulous arithmetic. After that, all we need is a productive work space.