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Michael

I attained my degree in Cell and Molecular Biology at Missouri State University, where I graduated in December of 2014. Along with this degree, I acquired minors in Chemistry and Business. I am currently enrolled at the University of Missouri-Kansas City as a dental student. I will be graduating with my Doctor of Dental Surgery in May of 2019. While attending Missouri State, I worked in our tutoring center as a science tutor for several years. The majority of students that came for assistance were working with general chemistry. I frequently helped with other courses, such as Anatomy and Physiology, Organic Chemistry, Biology, and Genetics. I am also qualified to tutor other science courses such as Biochemistry, Cell Biology, and Molecular Biology. I was also in a fraternity at Missouri State, where I would frequently help younger members with their classes. I would do a lot of paper editing, and I have a very keen eye for grammar and sentence structure. I also have experience with math tutoring and am capable of tutoring all math courses up to Algebra. I have assisted a few of my cousins who are in middle and high school, in addition to assisting some of my friends in preparation for the GRE, particularly with Quantitative Reasoning.

My favorite subjects to tutor are Anatomy/Physiology and math. Anatomy and Physiology are fun to tutor because there is a lot of logic involved with them and by ensuring the understanding of the basic concepts with these courses, you can logically work through any complex question presented to you. These classes also get you to think deeper than a surface level or just the memorization of facts, which I believe is what learning actually is. Math is also one of my favorite classes to tutor because I have a very solid understanding of it. Similar to Anatomy and Physiology, math uses a lot of logic, which allows you to understand and learn concepts that will stick with you rather than learning them for a test and then discarding this information.

I would like to describe my teaching philosophy as a means of challenging students. It is essential to initially evaluate what information the student knows and what they are struggling with. This enables me to encourage the student and compliment them on what they know, while still targeting the other areas they are not as comfortable with at the same time. Once I know the concepts a student is comfortable with, I can expand from these so students can understand more complex concepts holistically rather than as different segments. I like to challenge students by questioning them as we work through a problem. By challenging students to work through a problem based on their knowledge, it allows them to see possible flaws with their logic so they will not make the same mistake in the future. This also enhances their understanding of a concept because they are seeing where the mistake was rather than me simply pointing it out to them.

Outside of academia, I am interested in a variety of things. As I briefly mentioned, I was in a fraternity at Missouri State. I enjoy being very social and networking with a lot of people. I was also in an organization called University Ambassadors in college. With this organization, I served as the public relations team for the university by coordinating and giving tours to prospective students and their families. I am also interested in sports. In high school, I played basketball, baseball, and soccer. I have continued to play sports at a recreational level throughout my college career at Missouri State and University of Missouri-Kansas City. I enjoy going to family functions and embracing those who are close to me.

Undergraduate Degree:

Missouri State University-Springfield - Bachelors, Cell and Molecular Biology (Minors in Chemistry and Business)

Graduate Degree:

University of Missouri-Kansas City - Current Grad Student, Dental School

Sports and traveling

6th Grade Math

6th Grade Science

7th Grade Math

7th Grade Science

8th Grade Math

8th Grade Science

Anatomy & Physiology

Cell Biology

College Biology

Elementary Algebra

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Science

General Biology

GRE

High School Biology

High School Chemistry

Middle School Science

Molecular Biology

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe it is essential to understand the basics of information before you can proceed with applying it to other situations. By challenging others to think deeper, it allows them to see errors with their thinking, thus allowing for a better understanding of material that can be applied to many other situations.

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

Everyone will have a different depth of knowledge of the material they are working with. It is essential to establish what the student knows, which will allow me to target both their strengths and weaknesses so they may capitalize on their strengths, which will enhance their learning throughout the session.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I believe there is a difference between understanding information and learning facts. By challenging students to actually understand information and showing them different strategies they may incorporate into their studies, it will allow them to become an independent learner. With my own learning, I find it beneficial to ask myself "why" something is the way it is rather than accepting everything as a fact. In doing this, it allows me to understand the material a lot better so I do not have to depend on the knowledge or information supplied by others to learn new material.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

It is easy to get discouraged whenever you are struggling with something, but by focusing on the positive aspects of the learning experience, students are bound to be more motivated. Complacency can also occur if the student is not challenged. By implementing a variety of different learning strategies, students will stay engaged. Keeping a positive attitude and making sure students are aware of their success and the progress they are making will in turn lead to their motivation.

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

Ensuring the student doesn't feel like a failure is the most important thing to note here. If a student is struggling, take a step back and focus on some more basic principles that will apply to the difficult concept. By reviewing this foundation and making sure the student fully understands, it will make the student feel like they are making progress (and not get as discouraged) and will make it easier to explain or help with the more complex material.

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

In my opinion, reading comprehension is the basis for a lot of learning. There could be a variety of reasons causing students to struggle with this. If a student is struggling with comprehension, I would first advise them to slow down because a lot of people tend to get impatient when they are reading and try to speed through the passage. There are also several key words in each sentence. I would try to get the student to try and identify these key words and possibly underline or highlight them so they may come back to the passage and these words will stand and refresh the student on what they have read and help them comprehend the passage as a whole.

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

It is important to identify how much the student understands before proceeding with other material. I like to see what the student can tell me about the information they are presented with so I know how they go about processing information. I also like to ask the student a lot of questions regarding the material to stimulate their thinking rather than simply explaining it in my own words to start off with. This allows the student to reason through their thought process and will hopefully help both of us identify the flaws with their thinking.

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

It is important to compliment students on the information they are doing well with. Keeping a positive attitude and remaining patient lets the student know you actually care about their success. Relating the challenging information to a real life example or something that may interest the student would also help engage them.

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

Repetition is always important for ensuring understanding. An important technique that can be used is changing the wording of questions to make sure they are actually understanding it as a whole and not just identifying certain variables and neglecting the rest of the information presented to them.

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

There are a few different things that can be done to build confidence. It is important to focus and note the areas where a student shows strength. Additionally, it is important to come down to the student's level and reassure them they are not the only person struggling with certain material. Letting the student know areas you may have struggled with when learning the material will boost their confidence because they will see it is not always as easy to understand the information as it may first seem.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

It is important to see what the student knows and what areas they are not as comfortable with. By identifying these different areas, it will enable me to begin evaluating their needs.

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

Different students will have different needs and it is important you are able to adapt to them. Some students will respond better to challenges than others, so it is important to identify how they are going to learn best.

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

I typically like to let the student start off with their own materials because it will be focused on the areas they are struggling with. After identifying what they need help with, I like to go back to old notes I may have from my classes I have previously taken to see if there is anything helpful. I like to use a lot of repetition as well.