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Samuel

Whatever your needs are, I guarantee I will do everything I can to help you reach your goal. Through the way, I promise you we will have fun because let’s face it—who wants a boring tutor.

Personality-wise I am very easygoing and I really like to let my students engage in the learning process. You will probably feel like I am more of a helpful study buddy than a tutor. I love asking a lot of questions and creating a dialogue between us so that we can always be on the same page. I truly believe that teaching should always be two-way interaction between the tutor and the student. If you are more on the shy side, I have no problem doing more of the interaction until you feel comfortable.

I have been tutoring professionally for five years in many subjects ranging from Algebra to college-level Chemistry and Biology. I also love to read and write and have helped students write personal statements and practice SAT essays. Through my experiences, I have developed several different tutoring styles that I tailor to my students' preferred method of learning. If you are a visual learner we will work on the whiteboard. If you are more of a verbal/auditory learner we will discuss the concepts in creative ways so you will be able to master your material instead of just scraping by. If you are a kinetic learner will pull out the 3D molecule kit or counting blocks. Whatever it is that helps you learn best I will adapt to fit your style.

Just to give you a sense of where I am academically, I am a fifth year undergraduate in Molecular Biology, and I will be starting my PhD next year at UCLA. Outside of school and work, I surf, scuba dive, play guitar, and take care of my chickens. I‘d also like to get to know your hobbies and interests as well because I think it is important to take short breaks during each session to unwind and talk before diving back into the material.

My long-term goal is to provide you with the tools so that you can be independently successful on your own in the future. That means that I won’t simply give you the answers, but instead I will really focus on making sure you fully grasp what we are studying. Tutoring is a passion of mine that I thoroughly enjoy and I look forward to working with you!

Undergraduate Degree:

California State University-Long Beach - Bachelors, Molecular Biology

SAT Composite: 2200

SAT Math: 750

SAT Verbal: 700

SAT Writing: 750

SAT Mathematics Level 2: 710

SAT Subject Test in U.S. History: 790

SAT Subject Test in Biology E/M: 740

Surfing, chess, water polo, guitar

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that teaching is a dialogue. By that I mean that teaching occurs when both the student and the teacher participate in the process. Because of that, I always ask my students questions and encourage them to explain what they have learned in their own words. I really think that maintaining an intellectual conversation throughout the learning process creates a more exciting learning experience for both the student and teacher.

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

If it our first session together, I will start by asking you what your favorite hobbies are and what you see yourself doing in the next ten years. Mainly so we can get to know each other, which I think is important, but also so we can integrate your interests into my teaching style.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

When I work with students, I always push them to use their resources (i.e. textbook or the web) before I step in to help them. By doing this, they become prepared to work on their own in the future.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Games! I love playing games with my students. Even if you are in college, I have found that games are very effective at staying focused on the task at hand.

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

First, I always have the student explain how much they know before I try to help. If they are completely lost, I backtrack and present the concept in a totally new light. I like to use metaphors and analogies that have to do with my students' hobbies or interests to explain the concept or skill better.

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

In reading comprehension, every sentence always has a purpose. Whether it is to describe or to embellish, there is always a purpose. I have found that annotating the literary purpose of each sentence really helps struggling students understand texts better.

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

I have found that outlining our whole session on a board before we start is very helpful. As we move forward, we can cross off each task that we've completed and even make bets with each other to complete them in a certain amount of time to stay motivated.

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

First I'll ask you what celebrity you would take out on a date if you could. Say it was Megan Fox. I would then explain that Megan Fox loves point-slope formulas and your date with her is tonight, so you better master this before our session ends!

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

I always will have you explain the concepts back to me. In this way, I can see whether you were pretending to understand the concept to get through the session or if you truly mastered the concept.

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

Once you master a concept with me, I will always have you teach it back to me. Teaching is empowering and should always be a two-way street between the tutor and his student.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Asking questions. Not only will the questions I ask you help me know where you are, but they will also help you realize what you have mastered thus far.

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

I have dealt with many different types of learners and have different styles for each type. If you are visual, we will go to the drawing board. If you are a kinetic learning, we will get the Legos out. It all just depends on you.

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

The materials always depend on the subject, but I have found a whiteboard and a tablet to be very effective for most subjects.