Presenting a concept slightly differently can make all the difference. I have learned this through tutoring many of my friends, the majority of which just needed a slight change of phrasing. As a senior in college, I have acquired many techniques over my near 16 years of schooling. I have honed in on the skills that work well in studying, and I have utilized those to help not just myself, but many others as well. I hope to share some of these techniques with you because with them, any subject, even the scariest of them, become possible to master.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Temple University - Bachelors, Psychology
ACT Composite: 30
SAT Math: 800
SAT Writing: 700
Foreign languages, traveling, sports, and hanging out with my two dogs.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Wording something slightly differently can make all the difference.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
It's important to get to know the student, learn what the issue is, and find out how his/her teacher presents that information so I do not make the mistake of teaching it in the same manner.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
A student needs to find out how he/she truly masters a concept. This may be through flashcards, reading about it, or even through small association tricks.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
It's important to start with small successes and work up from there. If the issue is speaking Spanish in complex sentences, I would have the student work with smaller sentences, and then slowly increase the size of them so the student experiences tiny successes along the way.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would analyze how the concept is being taught, and then teach it in a different way. For example, if the primary method of learning is reading the textbook, I might have the student make flashcards instead.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
The key is to break down the text. Reading a full paragraph of a complex and arcane text is almost never a good idea. It's important to break it down sentence-by-sentence and work from there.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I need to gauge how motivated the student is. Motivation is key in success, and I have to figure out whether I need to help boost that motivation before beginning.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Succeeding in anything gives someone a boost of confident and excitement. I would provide problems that I know the student can solve, creating some excitement, and then I would slowly work up from there.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would construct, or find, practice questions that, if answered correctly, are a good indicator of how well the student has grasped the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Success, success, success. I would have the student answer problems I know they can answer correctly in order to bring out their confidence, and then I would work from there.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I begin broadly, having the student answer basic questions from the key topics in the subject. I then gauge each topic individually.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I figure out how that student learns best, and then I make myself teach in a way that caters to that.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
For Spanish, I typically use the document editor, which allows me to both type out sentences and draw. For mathematics, I utilize the math board, which has a variety of tools, including a graphing calculator.