As a tutor, I am a well of diversity; academically, as an experienced educator from two distinct educational systems first with the British system back in Ghana and presently American system, I come with innovative and fresh approach to learning which will be of a great value to share with my tutees. Besides, I come from humble beginnings, which helped mold me into a steadfast, goal oriented and highly adaptive without losing my identity. These qualities fostered a driving force that saw me through GED, college, Post baccalaureate and currently medical school. My life purpose is that of labor of love, to give back to communities that are in dire need for affordable healthcare and health education. It was this passion that made me become an ambassador for Mentoring in Medicines Community health program where I was able to partner up with equally passionate health care providers to educate impoverished communities about safer healthier lifestyle. I strongly believe when it comes to health; Preventive measures are always a better alternative health care we can offer ourselves.
As an AmeriCorps National Service alumni, I had the unique opportunity to provide health education on a broader scale to varying communities. I was able to combine my love for teaching and medicine to engineer emergency relief campaigns to provide immediate aid to victims of hurricanes. I also had the single honor to work with Project Reach Youths high school students who were mostly from battered homes. Once again, my past experience with abuse and openness to share made me a trusting companion for my students to open up to and so I was able to break barriers and was able to help them academically as well as emotionally.
Nothing happens by accident as far as I am concerned.
I am woman with a life purpose driven by love, compassion, optimism, patience and determination. I learnt from my experiences that it takes more than smarts and desire to venture into any academic path. I have endured countless rejections, setbacks, disappointments but I have also met great pioneers and motivators who have urged me to push forward. I am also honored to report that I am trendsetter in my family; The first to earn a Bachelors degree and also the very first of my entire family to receive any graduate level education let alone a medical profession. Now, we have two college graduates in my immediate family; my younger brother and me.
In summary, my vision in life is very simple; to inspire hope in hopeless situations and I ultimately want to be that positive change I want to see in this world. Hopefully, do it with some class, humor and dignity.
Undergraduate Degree: SUNY at Binghamton - Bachelors, Biological Science
Graduate Degree: University at Buffalo - Current Grad Student, Medicine
Tennis, volleyball, dancing, cooking and recreating new dishes in my kitchen, youth advocate, mentoring
1st Grade Math
3rd Grade Science
4th Grade Science
5th Grade Science
6th Grade Science
7th Grade Math
8th Grade Math
Anatomy & Physiology
MCAT Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Science
High School Biology
High School Chemistry
Study Skills and Organization
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
My goal for our first encounter is to get to understand my student's learning style and to see how I can assimilate my style into their way of thinking. My goal is simple; to help build solid foundations with the tools available and keep modifying at the student's pace if necessary.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By having the student teach me their ways and then help them enhance their learning styles. Interactive teaching sessions are the best approach to helping students become active learners and independent learners.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation can be derived from all walks of life, but what matters is that the motivational piece must be student centered. I tailor my motivational goals around student interests and aspirations. For example, although videos are quick motivations, they may only appeal to visual learners so it is not always the best approach then. The phrase "one size does not fit all" is certainly true when it comes to keeping students motivated; it takes getting to harness each student interest and motivating accordingly.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Shift the learning approach to simple examples that communicate the concepts at hand without using the original jargons. Try to level the learning field to match the student's understanding. This method allows effective, intellectual conversation to flow, and interest to be developed.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Every tutoring session is an opportunity to engage in some awesome intellectual conversation outside the classroom. It provides an atmosphere to be creative and have fun with our study materials while developing some mental retentive and comprehensive muscles. I love learning, and I hope that we can learn together and enhance learning skills to be autonomous and active productive students.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension can be very taxing, especially when the subject matter is so uninteresting, boring or abstract. In such cases, we have to employ our creative and imaginative skills to help us to stay focused. My goal is to help students to find ways to stay engaged and attentive to the task at hand. It definitely helps overcome the boredom, and with fine focusing, we have better retention and understanding of the challenge at hand.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I find it most rewarding and productive to evaluate what learning tools and skills we have at hand. I like to know my students’ approach to facing challenges both outside and inside academia. This knowledge helps me create a student-focused roadmap of how best to approach our sessions. This strategy has proven to be most invaluable.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
By refocusing their viewpoint to a place that is familiar. I have noticed that in most cases, boredom comes from looking at a subject area as a chore rather than a challenge. I feel like when we take the seriousness and stress out of the equation, we actually have a better chance of being more engaged. I look at every subject as a clear canvas waiting to be painted on; however, our subjects that we need to draw are always changing, so the best way to address these changes is to approach each subject with a fresh and creative energy. I hope my painting analogy worked. Simply put, let's put some fun back into our studies; returning back to our kindergarten stages where our imagination roams wild. You are never too old to be creative.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Again, every student has their unique dominant learning styles; visual, hearing, seeing, touching, etc. Therefore, once we have established what the student learning skills, I will incorporate these outside learning tools into our sessions to better help my student with fundamentals, and eventually to fully comprehend their study materials.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I always like to stress the importance of why school subjects are arranged the way they are. All information builds on each other, and every level of the academic ladder prepares you for the next stage. Therefore, I remind my students that they know more than they think they do, and I will help them rediscover those learning skills and foundations I know they have. This is how you build self- confidence, and we test out our theories and knowledge base through quizzes and games.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Based on their performances in terms of grades and their honest feedback. Test scores tell us more than just grades; they help us identify weak learning areas and evaluate our comprehension of the materials. Therefore, I find it useful to start with that, as well as oral exams to check understanding.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Tutoring is one area where everybody engaged in our intellectual conversation must be willing to adapt. I always try to create a level playing field so we can really talk to each other. I find it to be overwhelming when we use too much technical jargon in a conversation, so adapting to their working knowledge really helps to have that effective conversation that eventually benefits the tutee.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Official study resources (textbook), YouTube (I find it sooooo useful), analogies, practice questions and Google Scholar (always helps with understanding jargon). These resources again vary from student to student.