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Mikel

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As a lifetime student and general philomath I enjoy, nay, LOVE sharing my knowledge with anyone who will listen. My philosophy is that knowledge is power and therefore empowering! By expanding our understanding of our physical world we in turn expand knowledge of ourselves. Whether it's literature, physics, cultural languages or the universal language of mathematics all knowledge opens doors to new opportunities and leads us to progress and positively develop. This is what motivates me to teach. Happy learning!

Mikel’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of New Mexico-Main Campus - Bachelors, Economics

Graduate Degree: Université Paris I - La Sorbonne - Masters, Mathematical Modeling in Economics and Finance

Tutoring Subjects

Algebra

Business

College Business

College Economics

Conversational French

Discrete Math

Economics

Finite Mathematics

French

French 1

High School Business

High School Economics

Languages

Math

Middle School Math

Pre-Algebra


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

As a lifetime student and general philomath, I enjoy, nay, LOVE sharing my knowledge with anyone who will listen. My philosophy is that knowledge is power and therefore empowering! By expanding our understanding of our physical world we in turn expand knowledge of ourselves. Whether it's literature, physics, cultural languages or the universal language of mathematics, all knowledge opens doors to new opportunities and leads us to progress and positively develop. This is what motivates me to teach. Happy learning!

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

I would like gain a good understanding of what the student does and does not know yet. Once this is determined, every session will branch from this point.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Through teaching the student to ask questions until they have arrived at a satisfactory ending.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

By finding interesting real world applications to problems I am working on with a student, this tends to motivate students out of a slump.

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

By working with the student in order to get to the root problem, I feel that this misunderstanding can be retaught and thus set the student on a right track. Understandably, time constraints interrupt this process, and so in that event I would teach the student to at least memorize the correct answer if they don't have the time to come to a full understanding of it.

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

I believe that practice makes perfect, and with each renewed effort to practice a student comes closer to perfection. Interesting subject matter is equally important. This is true with reading comprehension as well, and as someone who had a reading comprehension problem when I was younger, I can attest to this solution.

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

To have fun in order for the student to be comfortable with sharing what they do and don't know with me. By staying on track but not necessarily posing difficult questions right away, students seem to feel less closed off. Consequently, the student and I develop a sense of trust and friendship first. This, as opposed to a closed-off authoritative tutor-pupil relationship, gives greater potential for back-and-forth discussion and deeper thinking.

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

Motivation and energy are the key to breaking through learning barriers. Younger students have so much energy! Properly directed, this energy can be used towards becoming excited about subjects, and put the student back in the driver seat and out of the passive role that can freeze learning progress.

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

Through testing for conceptual understanding I can see if a student really gets the material in a lasting way, or if they have simply memorized pieces of the puzzle without seeing the big picture.

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

First showing them the potential of the subject, i.e., math applied to their favorite video game or writing applied to a song they like, etc. Then I show them the "map" of that subject and begin teaching. As we progress along the way to that high level of understanding of the subject, I periodically check in with the student to show them what they've accomplished on the "map."

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Since subjects are a system of thought that have interdependent concepts, I would map out what the student understands. Then, if their knowledge is linear, so-to-speak, we can simply begin from the last concept they understand. If they're knowledge is not linear, i.e., there are holes in their comprehension of the progression of the subject, then I fill in these blank spots, and once complete I continue from that last point (that mentioned in the linear example).

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

I recognize that there are many kinds of learners, even more than the typical visual, tactile, listening type of student. I believe that every student is different, so I make sure I can be adaptable too. If a student is truly introverted, I am sensitive to this and do more of the talking. If a student is very extroverted, I may use discussion to direct their energy towards our goal and guide the conversation towards asking helpful questions.

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

Besides the incredible power of conversation, I use anything I can draw with to give visual representations of ideas. Being creative about what I can draw with becomes interesting in itself and grabs the student's attention.