I have been very fortunate when it comes to learning because I have always found it enjoyable. Not just academic learning but new experiences in general. Growing up I loved school, but it was not until I got to college that I realized how truly lucky I had been in my previous years to have had my dad as my personal tutor. Any time I had a question he was able to help me. I had taken his presence for granted and it was not until I was in college that I realized how good I had it back home. When I got to college I was of the mindset that I knew how to study and that school was the one thing that I did well. It was a severe wake-up call after my first organic chemistry midterm to realize that I needed help studying. My study techniques were not working for me anymore. I sought out my school's tutoring service and it was the single best decision I made during my academic career. Learning from my peers was very eye opening. I realized that we do not all learn the same way and I found that the way in which my professor would explain a concept was not always how it made sense to me. This did not mean I was not going to understand it just meant I needed to find a new perspective. All it would take was a different analogy or a different example problem for said concept to click with me. It was then that I realized that I wanted to be the person that helped someone else understand. I wanted to be someone's resource so that they could continue to pursue their academic goals with the best outcome possible because learning does not follow a strict formula, it is not linear, and I think that schools do not always do a good job of translating that to students.
I think I will be a great tutor because I have been on both sides of the coin. I know what it takes to be a good tutor and have had success with my students in the past. I have learned that teaching effectively only happens when the instructor takes the time to learn how the tutee learns, whether it be visually or by hearing it said to them or even by writing it down. All of which are valid forms of understanding and processing information, but are not always the way that the material is taught in class. Tutoring gives me the opportunity to personalize the teaching so that it fits the individual's needs leading to more efficient and effective learning. I plan to develop my student's entire approach to problem solving. This way what they learn has multiple applications and is not subject specific. I will construct a personalized algorithm that they can apply to studying as well as daily homework problems. I believe that effective learning can be taught and developed and with hard work and discipline it can become second nature.
Undergraduate Degree: Duke University - Bachelors, Biomedical Engineering
Graduate Degree: Duke University - Masters, Bioethics and Science Policy
Reading Science Fiction
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would want to know what their homework looks like, and what their class notes look like. I would then ask them if they know how they learn best, i.e. visually, auditory, tactile, etc., and then move forward from there.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Giving them an approach for problems at large. I want my students to have an algorithm that they can follow that will be not be subject dependent. This way studying will be structured and less daunting.