# Joseph

Certified Tutor

Undergraduate Degree: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Bachelors, Biomedical Engineering

SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1450

SAT Math: 800

GRE Quantitative: 166

Swimming, watching college basketball, rock climbing

9th Grade Math

Algebra 3/4

Biomedical Engineering

Elementary School Math

Quantitative Reasoning

What is your teaching philosophy?

Being an engineer, I personally know the difference between what a good/bad teacher can provide to a student's learning experience. I aim to understand the student's learning style, altering my methods for each student's needs. I do my very best to not only help students reach the right answer but to make sure they completely understand the subject at hand. It is important to me that students enjoy the learning process, so I aim to make tutoring sessions both intriguing and challenging.

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

I will usually give an assessment test to figure out what a student really struggles with. I will design future lessons based on the results of this test. I will also make sure to answer any questions about the subject a student wants to learn about.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Instead of only teaching students the solution to a problem, I make sure that they understand how to approach the problem and that students genuinely understand the subject.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

If you are having trouble staying motivated, it would be a good time to reassess your goals. Maybe you are trying to achieve something too hard or too big. For example, if you are trying to get a perfect score on the GRE, maybe you should focus on learning about the different strategies for writing essays instead.

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

I would ask what the student understood about the specific concept, and then see where the student is lacking. Then, I would help him understand the concept from his ideology!! Giving an example or a real-world scenario makes things clearer and easier to understand.

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

Students who are good at monitoring their comprehension know when they understand what they read and when they do not. They have strategies to "fix" problems in their understanding as the problems arise. Research shows that instruction, even in the early grades, can help students become better at monitoring their comprehension.

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

Be patient, compassionate, and understanding. I know this is easier said than done. There are days when we can just pull our hair out! Take a deep breath, count to ten, remove yourself from the situation-- whatever it takes to calm down and then move forward.

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

We’re most motivated to learn when the task before us is matched to our level of skill: not so easy as to be boring, and not so hard as to be frustrating. Deliberately fashion the learning exercise so that students are working at the very edge of your abilities, and keep upping the difficulty as they improve.

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

Whenever I teach a material, I make sure the student not only understands the solution, but how we approached the solution. Then, I would use a role reversal and ask my student to explain the solution and the approaches to me.

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

I would use the student's strength and pick several activities around it.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Rather than simply requiring a student to do a number of problems, I will ask students to solve a problem and also to write down step-by-step what they were thinking at each stage of the problem-solving process. Reading through these solutions gives me a sense of how well the students are developing their problem-solving skills, and can help me determine how much time should focus on improving this academic skill.

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

For example, if my student had trouble expressing themselves verbally, I would assign more written reports, charts, graphs, or tables. If my student had trouble reading written material, then I would find an easier text, provide highlighted material, and tape the student's text.

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

I typically use textbooks, online resources, and prior experience in my tutoring session. As an engineer, I have had to learn numerous mathematical equations, and have found helpful shortcuts that could help students understand a difficult concept.