A photo of Alexander, a tutor from Florida Atlantic University

Alexander

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My passion for teaching and tutoring sparked when I was an undergraduate student at Florida Atlantic University. I was hired as an undergraduate teaching assistant by the biology department to teach a discussion course for both biology 1 & 2. In my discussion courses I had gained experience in effectively communicating scientific concepts to students who were learning the content for the very first time. I had found that teaching students the big picture and conceptual knowledge first helped them digest more difficult information. I would also help students by using analogies and mnemonics to help them remember certain topics more easily! In my experiences as a teaching assistant I learned how to be patient with students when they do not understand right away; and I am able to tell when a student is not comprehending the topic which allows me to switch the way I portray the information. I also like to give visual queues to students to help them see what they are learning about whether by drawing pictures or by showing the student short animations. Also, I have the student teach me back to the best of their ability so I can pin point exactly where they are having trouble. I hope that with my guidance I can help students feel more confident approaching problems that they have not been able to answer before. The main topics that I tutor are biology, algebra 1&2, and pre-calculus. My favorite to tutor is biology because I think it is fascinating to learn how living organisms, especially humans, operate and respond to the environment around them.

I earned my bachelors of science in biology at Florida Atlantic University and currently I am working on achieving my masters degree in biomedical science with the prospect of going to medical school. My goal is to continue teaching people throughout my professional career as a physician. When I am not studying in the library or taking classes, I like to be adventurous and spend my time outside. Some of my hobbies include spearfishing, snorkeling, mountain biking, and archery. I also enjoy spending time with close friends and meeting new people.

Alexander’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Florida Atlantic University - Bachelors, Biology, General

Hobbies

oncology research and medicine; hobbies include exercise, spearfishing, mountain biking

Tutoring Subjects


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I will teach the concept first to understand the big picture, then break it down into details. Learn why first, then the what.

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

I would ask them what they already know, and then proceed to find out what they need to improve on by having them teach me as much as they can.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I can help guide students in creating a study habit that suits their schedule, and push students to get used to looking for answers on their own.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I would relate topics students learn in class to real life applications and why it is important to first learn the basics.

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

I would try different approaches of describing the information. I will use analogies that students can relate to and compare them to what they are having difficulty with.

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

I will have them read out-loud and put emphasis on the important aspects of the sentence.

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

Students do better when they understand the conceptual knowledge of the topic, the big picture of what is happening, and then once they understand the big picture then we go into details. Also, having students teach me their subject so I can see where they struggle is helpful.

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

I think helping a student learn how to answer questions they never have been able to before will get them excited to succeed; also, showing students how they can potentially use this information for their future careers will accomplish the same task.

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

Having the students rephrase the answer in their own words, or have them explain to me mechanistically what is happening.

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

You help them understand the conceptual knowledge to the point where they feel comfortable with questions that may throw a curve ball.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

You have the student work the problem with you and have them explain to you what they did and why. Not being able to answer those two questions is a good indicator of what they need to improve on.

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

I can change my approach depending on the students. For students who have no idea what’s going on, I start with the big picture and work my way in to details; for other students that may be more adept, I focus my tutoring on the small details they are missing.

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

I like visual learning so I tend to draw on pen and paper or on whiteboard. I also like to find animations or videos that help students visualize the information.