When I first experienced the joyful moment when a previous student of mine learned how to pronounce a difficult word, it was so wonderful that I forgot how much effort we put in.
My previous teaching experience taught me an important lesson. Teaching is not only in the classroom reading a textbook, life itself has already provided us a perfect learning environment. When I was a teaching assistant in high school, teaching Chinese to middle school students from UK was really a stressful work. I remember the first few days, sitting in classroom was so boring that every one was trying to escape. When the teacher decided we all drop the textbooks and went to the playground, students were cheering, we talked and laughed. I realized the words we taught them in the hour we spent on the playground were way more than we taught them in the classroom.
The other thing I learn through teaching students was the connection between the student and me was so important that it could change both of us. Having a good connection with the student will not only help me know the student more so I could provide a better teaching method, but it will also change the way how the student deal with other subject.
I believe the confidence of sharing my knowledge and the patience in every situation can make me a better tutor and meet every student's need.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts - Bachelors, Fine Art Study
Graduate Degree: George Washington University - Current Grad Student, Museum Studies
Watching crime drama TV shows/ Korean Comedian and TalkShows // Hobbies: Cooking
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that every student is an individual who should be taught in a suitable way, and that discovering the curiosity and interest in the subject will motivate the student to learn better and happier. I also believe learning is not exclusively in the textbook; life itself provides us a dynamic and resourceful environment.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In the first class, I will ask the student a couple of questions about: 1.What his/her interests are, to find our mutual interest. 2. Why he/she wants to learn this subject, to learn what the motivation is. 3. What obstacle or setback that he/she having in this subject, to know what is the first thing to conquer. These questions will give basic learning to me and the student.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I will help the student develop an interest and curiosity in the subject. Especially in learning a language, reading textbooks would be stressful and boring. In fact, life is the best for teaching languages. The song we sing, or TV show and movie we watch are the ways to learn language.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
In the middle of the session, students may found themselves already struggling with a lot in the subject, and they lose interest. Sharpening the competitive edge is the perfect way to help stay motivated. On the other hand, some students could find themselves not having any improvement in the subject. In this case, talking to the student to find out if anything in the learning process went wrong could help. If the teaching method is not good or maybe too hard for the student, it should be change to a more adaptable way.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Most of the time, especially with Chinese, writing and pronunciation will be very difficult. Using graphic learning to tackle writing problems may be more fun and acceptable. Watching TV shows will be the perfect way to adapt the pronunciation and listening skills.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Most of the time students having reading comprehension because they are not familiar with the grammar, or the basic vocabulary is not strong. This relates to the fundamental problem of learning a language. I would recommend go back to the basics, do some basic vocabulary and grammar related tests, and find out the core problem.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I found sharing mutual interests with the student is the most successful way to start. This gives me a way to provide better teaching methods to the student that suits him/her the best. This could motivate the student to learn the subject better, so that the student will not rely on the tutorial system and become more independent.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Most of the time students struggle in the subject because they do not progress. I change the level of what they are currently studying and let them receiving a positive score and affirmation from their teacher and parents.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Giving affirmation to the student when he/she finishes the test with a good score or shows progress, and finding out what he/she could do better the next time.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Starting in the first session, student products and processes during the tutoring will be documented, so every three to five sessions I will be able to see progress. And every 5 sessions, a small talk regarding what the student's expectation in the subject has evolved is needed.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Every student has their own expectations. In language learning, some students want to have the basic language learning so they can travel without an interpreter's help; in this case, I will focus my tutoring method on a more entertaining way. If a student want to learn this language as the second language, I will focus on building a comprehensive process, and the first stage will be complete the foundation of vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Books as the main material, and video learning will be auxiliary when needed.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
A small test regarding the content in the material will be taken after the student finished reading or watching the material.