I credit my course of studies to my high school physics teacher. He taught with the goal that each student not pass through rote memorization, but rather through truly understanding the material. It was such an enjoyable class that I decided to major in physics (with a double in economics on the side) at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
I intend to teach with the same philosophy. I believe that everyone has the ability to learn, given the resources and motivation. I've found that helping students view math from a practical standpoint can help overcome their dislike of the subject because of its abstract nature; using physics is a great way to show the practical applications of math.
When I get a chance, I like to read (currently reading The Alchemists by Neil Irwin), rock climb, and practice yoga!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Current Undergrad, Physics / Economics
SAT Math: 800
Rock Climbing, Yoga, Finance
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I ask students questions in order to guide them towards finding the answer themselves. This will instill the habit of asking themselves questions during a particularly hard exam for example, thinking calmly and clearly to solve the problem. "What am I solving for?," "What do I already know?," etc.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get to know them some while introducing myself as well. I'd learn how they best learn (visually, auditory, through practice, etc.). I would also try to get a baseline understanding as to their current knowledge in the subject.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By asking them questions step-by-step in the problem. I find that many difficult questions on exams could have been answered simply if you just took a second to breathe and think about it calmly, instead of panicking at the paragraph length and multitude of variables. I would also be sure to teach them how to Google well. There are a plethora of online resources that can be of amazing help. You just have to know how to find them!
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Identify a goal that they would be working towards (a certain letter grade, aptitude in this certain section of a subject, career goals, etc.). Setting checkpoints during our tutoring time so it doesn't seem like just one very long study session.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would identify what exactly it is about that skill or concept that is giving them trouble. I'd try to explain it in as many different ways that I could to help them learn.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Start by identifying the purpose of the passage. What kind of audience is it being written for? Are they having vocabulary issues? A dictionary is an obvious short-term solution, but we'd need to work on their vocabulary in the long term through frequent practice quizzes, daily integration, and simply through reading more.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
First, find a way to relate it to something they're already interested in. Show them the practical applications of the subject they are learning.