Hey there! My name is Divya Sunny. I graduated from the University of South Florida in May of 2018. I majored in Cell and Molecular Biology. Currently, I am applying to medical school and hope to become a doctor one day. However, I have a passion for teaching and love helping out others. What makes a great tutor is the desire to help those around you who might not understand a subject and also a mindset that enjoys education and appreciates it. I began tutoring in Middle school in the subjects of Math, Reading, and Writing. I started tutoring my friends first and then moved on to tutoring other students in my classes and other grade levels. I love sharing my knowledge and helping those who do not understand a subject. When I see them pass the test and do well in the class after my tutoring, I feel glad that I was able to help in a little way. My hobbies include singing, dancing mainly to Bollywood and Indian Classical dance, riding my bike, and making new friends. I love meeting new people and getting to know them. I have been working with Varsity Tutors for over 4 years now and have loved it!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of South Florida-Main Campus - Bachelors, Cell and Molecular Biology
Singing, Dancing (Bollywood and Indian Classical), Riding my bike, going to the beach
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Each individual has the ability to learn, but to learn in various unique ways. The amount of knowledge we acquire is based on how much we want to learn and the desire we have to learn new things.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would first interact with them and try to be a good friend by asking how their day was and what they did. Once we are both comfortable and ready to go, we will start the tutoring session.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
First, I would motivate them and boost up their courage to be more independent. Then, I will work out problems and ask them to do it without my help and see if they can explain it to me. If they are able to explain it to me, I will suggest using that strategy to learn.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would encourage them to think about the good grades they can earn if they stay motivated and the satisfaction they will get from that. I will also remind them about their future goals and how motivation is key to achieving them.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try explaining it through different methods and see if they are able to understand it. If not, I will try using hands on activities or real life examples to make them understand. My main goal is to make sure the student understands the concept so no matter how long it might take, I will try different methods to make sure they understand it before moving on.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Getting to know the tutor a little more and the ways of learning that are most comfortable to them make tutoring them very successful and easy. I believe a tutor should be more of a friend than just a tutor.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would try to relate what they are learning to things they like. Also, to make it less overwhelming, I would start out with easy problems and work my way up to challenging ones so they would feel comfortable in the beginning.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Techniques such as working out problems or giving questions to do, or asking them to explain the material to me would be some techniques I would use to ensure that they understand the material. Also, I would ask the student to explain how they came up with the answer so that I know they completely understood the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I would build a student's confidence in a subject by starting off with easy problems or questions so that they can learn the basic steps in solving the material. Then, I would build on to those questions and add challenging ones that incorporate the same methods of solving.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I would first try to understand what the student wants and what they are most comfortable in doing. Communication and comfortability is important in tutoring, because if one doesn't have that then the tutor will never be confident enough to share their problems or what they are struggling with.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use problems from the textbook or questions I have made up on my own. Also I would use my notes and the student's notes so I can see how they were taught in school, and so I can use similar techniques to help them learn.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
To help students who are struggling reading comprehension, I would first diagnose the problem and see what exactly they are having trouble with. Then, I would start slowly using different methods, such as understanding word parts to come up with definitions, breaking apart sentences to understand the whole theme of the reading.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate the student's needs by first understanding where they are weak or what they struggle with the most. Then, I would ask them how they would prefer everything to be done and what all they don't like and would like to avoid. Making sure the needs of the student is fulfilled is the most important in tutoring.