A photo of Nakhila, a tutor from Elon University

Nakhila

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Hello! I am a current graduate student in an Applied Mathematics program and an experienced tutor. I recently graduated from Elon University, where I earned my Bachelors in both Mathematics and Religious Studies. Throughout high school and college I have tutored math to many different students - these students range from 2nd graders to nontraditional adult students. I have previously tutored elementary and middle school math, algebra, geometry, precalculus, calculus, and even math covered on standardized testing such as the ACT/SAT. Aside from tutoring many students over several years, I have also worked as an English teaching assistant on a Fulbright grant in Sri Lanka. During this experience, I really learned how to interact with different students and hold a class on my own. Currently, I am a calculus teaching assistant and math tutor at UMD where I am able to gain teaching experience every week.
In my free time, I love watching sports and listening to music. Not only are these two things that I love, but I actually completed two research projects in college focused on math and music and math and sports. One of the reasons I love math is because it can be applied to almost anything. Showing students how math can be applied to the real world and how it can be useful in their own lives really helps students stay engaged with the course material.
I personally think that any student can do well in their math class with the right help and I am very committed to delivering the best experience possible to each and every student. I am always very patient with students as I understand that learning math can take time and I am prepared to cater to different learning styles. I will work my hardest to ensure that all students receive the best help possible!

Nakhila’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Elon University - Bachelors, Mathematics

Test Scores

GRE Quantitative: 165

Hobbies

Sports, traveling to new places, music, and grey's anatomy!


Q & A

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

When starting to work with a student, I have found that getting to know the student can really help the tutoring session go smoothly. Being personable and empathetic with a student helps to build the mentoring relationship. Once you have a student's trust, you can give them the confidence to do well in their class.

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

Being able to relate the subject material to the student's life is extremely helpful when trying to motivate students. This is especially true in math because many students are not informed how this subject can help them throughout life. Once you can relate class material to your life, the subject becomes so much more interesting!

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

In the first session, it is important to get to know the student that I am working with. I spend much of the first session gauging what concepts the student is comfortable with and which skills need to be addressed. After the first session, it is easier to see what type of math foundation the student possesses. This helps me to plan subsequent sessions and to pick further materials I could bring to tutoring sessions to help out the student.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I think it is important to not handhold a student through every single homework problem or exercise. I like to teach the concept in full once or twice and then let the student try on their own. This way the student can attempt to use what they have learned and I can see what concepts still need reinforcing. I would not be able to expect a student to firmly remember the material if I did not give the student space to attempt solving these homework problems on their own.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

It can be tricky to keep a student motivated, especially when it comes to math. One thing that helped me stay interested in my courses was learning how what I was learning could be applied to my own life. Math has applications everywhere. I think I can help motivate by relating math to the student's interests.

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe in generating excitement and interest in mathematics. I truly think that every student can understand math when provided with the right help and lesson plan. I want to instill confidence in my students and make them realize that they too can excel at math.

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

There have been many times where my first explanation of a concept did not get through to the student. Instead of trying to force the lesson, I take a step back and think about how to teach the material in another way. I find it very helpful to bring in visual aids and draw out what the problem is saying - this way students can see exactly what this math problem is saying.

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

I would throw in check-up questions along the way to make sure the student is retaining the material being taught. In addition, I would give the student some problems that are in a different format to make sure they can apply the concepts to different types of problems.

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

Positive reinforcement really helps during a tutoring session. You have to let students know the things they are doing correct. Then they can build the confidence to keep pushing themselves in the learning process.

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

I can adapt to student's needs by thinking on my feet about how to switch up a lesson plan. I like the challenge of trying to explain a concept in various ways until a student understands. Sometimes I will adapt my tutoring by switching from teaching using written explanations to visual interpretations to three-dimensional representations.

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

Usually I assist with homework or classwork problems that the student may have. This can also include test prep using the student's textbook and class material. In some instances I will bring supplementary material on the subject we are learning. This can include alternate explanations of concepts and extra practice problems. I've found that the supplemental material can really help a student commit a math concept to memory.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I evaluate a student's needs by always listening to their frustrations and difficulties they face. Being able to relate to the student helps because then they feel comfortable expressing their needs.

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

Reading comprehension can be enhanced by asking a student summary questions after they have finished reading. This way they will try to retain more information that they are reading. It also helps to explain any vocabulary words that a student may not know. Using visual representations to remember those vocabulary words is a helpful tool also.