A photo of Pooja, a tutor from American University

Pooja

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I am currently an undergraduate student at American University working towards getting a Bachelor's Degree in criminal justice with a focus on criminology. I plan on getting my Master's Degree in Psychology to pursue a career in criminal psychology sometime in the future. I was born and raised in Queens, New York and have grown up as the oldest child in my family. I've always loved spending time with and teaching my younger sister and cousins. In the past, I have volunteered at my local library and have worked with the preschool and elementary student's summer program. In this summer program, I assisted with helping the children with crafting, reading and other activities. I have also been teaching karate to children for the past 5 years. I love teaching English and Math. I also particularly enjoy teaching Standardized Test materials because the problem sets can be rather interesting to solve; it is more fun than just regular math and english. I genuinely believe that education is a privilege and a vital part of life. Without education, we would not be able to get anywhere in the world. This belief is something that I tend to base all of my teaching methods on and is also something that I very strongly believe in. In my spare time I love photography and dance. I also enjoy playing golf and watching football.

Pooja’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: American University - Current Undergrad, Justice and Law

Hobbies

Dance, Photography, Golf, New York Giants fan


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is a quote from Nikos Kazantzakis, a famous Greek writer: "True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their own.”

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

I would first try to make sure that the student is comfortable with me. Starting a simple conversation and trying to get to know one another a little can have a huge impact on how willing the student is to learn from you. I want to make sure that all my students are comfortable and are open to talk to me if they are struggling in any way.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

The best way to ensure that a student will become an independent learner is by using practice questions of the material being studied. Testing yourself if the key to learning.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Staying motivated is always difficult. However, the best way to do it is by making the lessons interesting. Using visual aids and making the lessons fun is more encouraging and helps students to stay on track.

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

In this situation I would put it on myself to find a different method to explain the concept. There are always multiple ways to solve a problem. I will try to use as many of those methods to ensure that my student understands the skill or concept that he/she is struggling with.

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

Reading passages out loud is the best way to understand them. If a student is having difficulty understanding reading passages reading them a few times over, underlining important facts and taking notes in the margins. All of these techniques are very helpful when it comes to reading comprehension.

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

First off trying to understand what the student already knows and what they are struggling with has always been effective for me. With this information I can get a better idea of what I need to focus on in my sessions with them.

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

I would try to find ways to make the subject more interesting. For example, if a student is struggling with math I would use fun visual aids to help them better understand the concepts.

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

I would ensure that the student is able to answer practice problems. Testing yourself while trying to study a subject is the best way to understand the material.

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

By starting off with rather basic material and progressively getting more difficult. This method is effective because it boosts the student's confidence early on and shows them that they are fully capable of understanding the material.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

By talking to them and seeing what they feel they need to work on. I would also continuously give practice questions while teaching a concept to make sure that the student is understanding the material.

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

If I see that a student is not grasping a concept then I will change my teaching technique. I will keep trying different methods until I find one that works for my student.

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

I like to use the material that the student is using in school. That way they can directly apply what I am teaching them to their classroom. I also like to use worksheets to assess how well the student is doing in a particular concept.