I am currently enrolled at NYU Tandon School of Engineering and am majoring in Integrated Digital Media with a minor in computer science. While I am a full-time student, I see no better option than tutoring in my spare time. I first started tutoring in my first year of high school and continued through my four years which definitely helped me mature in that time. There is something so unexplainably gratifying in seeing one's frustration in not understanding a concept turn into excitement once he/she has grasped it. In order for a child to succeed, it is key that they are helped through this frustration stage so that they can regain the confidence to tackle any problem put before them. I found it very important to not only help the children I tutored to rebuild their confidence, but to also let them know that success is dependent on how much effort they put into their studies. I often asked students how they felt after the introduction of every concept in order to gage their understanding of the material thus far; this was beneficial because I could usually monitor when a child would get confused thus understanding when I had to focus on certain material. I, too, was a child who was too nervous to stop my teachers/tutors anytime I would get confused which is why I think it is necessary to reach out and ask the child how they are doing.
I tend to gravitate more towards tutoring in math because of the ease I had with it when I was in middle and high school but am still more than willing to tutor humanities based subjects. Outside of academia, I like to draw, paint, creatively write, and volunteer at animal shelters.
New York University - Current Undergrad, Computer Science
ACT English: 31
ACT Math: 31
ACT Science: 32
SAT Math: 700
SAT Writing: 720
6th Grade Math
7th Grade Math
8th Grade Math
Elementary School Math
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy regarding teaching is to never move ahead with the material until I am 100% sure that the child understands everything I have explained thus far, and is confident in being able to tackle problems regarding the material on their own.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, I would introduce myself then ask questions about the child's hobbies, favorite movies, pets, etc., while letting him/her know more about myself in order to create a sense of comfort between us. Before I can begin to tutor someone, I think it is extremely important that both the child and I have an amicable relationship with one another.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner by facilitating good study techniques. I will also go over tips for how to pay attention in class, take good notes, and find additional resources for learning.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would help a student be motivated by (for the younger children) having positive reinforcement with things such as candy or pastries (only after going over allergies and overall dietary restrictions with the parents). For older children who are not interested in sweets, I would more talk about the benefits of doing well in school, which are endless.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I stop right away and focus on this concept. It is extremely important that a child understands all concepts before adding new material to the mix. I would approach the topic with all the techniques up my sleeve until I have ensured that the child is confident about their ability in understanding the topic.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I let them know that it is important to take their time and that there is no rush in reading the excerpt. We would divide the reading into sections together and tackle each section one at a time; this makes the reading less scary. With each section, we would talk about what is happening in terms of plot, symbolism, and language.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
An obvious strategy is to always start with the absolute basics of a concept even if I know the child understands these basics. When I begin with skeleton of a concept, I have noticed that the child feels confident because they may already know the basics, which is great because this confidence will help them get through the more complex branches of a topic.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
The best way, I have found, to help a child get excited/engaged about a certain subject that they are struggling in is to pick apart the subject until they start understanding bits and portions of it. One simple "oh I get it" from the child makes an incredible difference in their motivation; they now see that it is possible to understand the subject, and this is often very exciting for them.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would ask questions that consistently got harder and harder along the way to make sure they truly understand the concept. If need be, I could create little assessments that would be great indicator. If time allows it, I would also create fun games that allow the child to test himself/herself in a non-stressful manner.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
You build a student's confidence in a subject by giving appropriate praise when needed in order to encourage a child to move forward in the learning process, and by letting them know that they are more than capable of understanding the subject
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's need by asking (if they are comfortable) to see some of their graded assessments/homework; from there, I can see what they are not grasping pretty well. Additionally/instead, I sit down with the student and ask them to talk about what they feel they need help in or simply aren't as confident in. Sometimes depending on the student, it is beneficial to give them a little quiz to see where they are currently at with a subject.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
What types of materials I use during a session depends on what type of learner the student is. If the student is a visual learner, they would benefit from material such as videos, visual notes, and going over the steps to a problem on a small portable dry erase board (which I currently own). If they are an auditory learner, I try to explain as much as I can with speech, but still use notes and the board. If they are a hands-on learner, then I try to create activities based on the subject so that the student is learning through these activities. For example, I had a group of students each choose a philosopher and research their ways of thought then have a debate amongst themselves pretending that each of them are the philosopher which they did research on. This activity was done for an upcoming English test on ancient philosophers that the students had.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt my tutoring to my student's needs by changing my methods any time I see that a particular method is not working. Whenever I find something that works, I make sure to use it. I also try to always reach out to the student and ask how they're doing and what they feel is working.