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Kevin

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Non-traditional Premed applicant. B.S. in Biology at Ramapo College of New Jersey. Pursing higher education with a passion for teaching.

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Kevin’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Ramapo College of New Jersey - Bachelors, Biology (Pre med course concentration)

Hobbies

Biology, Chemistry, Astrophysics, Astronomy, Finance, Technology, Singing/Piano, Personal Training, Weight lifting, Track and Field

Tutoring Subjects

Anatomy

Anatomy & Physiology

Biology

CLEP Prep

CLEP Introductory Psychology

College Biology

College English

Creative Writing

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Science

Elementary School Writing

English

High School Biology

High School English

High School Writing

Math

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Science

Middle School Writing

Nutrition

Physiology

Science

Test Prep


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe a fundamental goal of teaching is to inspire curiosity and genuine interest in subject matter. There are many ways to teach and to learn, and an effective teacher is familiar with more than one.

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

Make the student feel at ease, especially if this is their first time being tutored. After that, figure out what their strengths and weaknesses are. Write up a quick plan of attack on subject matter. And if the session goes well, schedule another session and make longer term plan.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Teach effective study skills. Reinforce good habits and find ways to reduce bad ones. And often I try to find a way to connect what they're learning to real life, to teach its applications and foster interest in subject matter.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Depends on what is "unmotivating" them. The most common factor is difficulty of material, and thinking "I'm never going to understand this in time" or "Maybe I'm just stupid." These are feelings I've had myself, and I would address those issues depending on the situation.

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

There's always several ways to teach the same concept, I just keep using a different one until the student gets it. But if it's an issue of the student being upset or frustrated, I have us take a step back from the material and address that first.

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

Depends on what exactly is causing the issues. Is English a second language? Is there a reading disorder? Dyslexia? Is the vocabulary too hard? I teach the sciences mainly so there's ways around it sometimes by using charts or graphs.

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

My strategy to be flexible, creative, and to tailor the tutoring to each individual student and their situation has been most successful. The only thing that stays the same is my original assessment of each student, which aims to get to know the student and their strengths and weaknesses.

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

I mentioned in earlier questions that I think getting a student interested in subject matter or getting them to look at it "in a new light" is fundamental. Connecting material to real world examples makes students think about the material in their day to day life, which in turn improves memory recall.

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

They say that if you can't teach the material, you don't understand it. After a period of time has passed, I would have the student explain concepts back to me in their own words and/or test them.

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

I had a problem with "confidence in a subject" in the higher maths. Even after completing a problem, I was rarely confident it was right. Doing a high volume of problems and getting a high % of them right fix this. Low confidence is usually the result of the opposite of that.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

First I let the student tell me where they think they are strong/weak. Then I test them to see if their assessment of themselves is correct. It happens often enough that a student isn't as strong in a subject as they think they are.

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

A fundamental of my tutoring style is to develop new, creative ways to teach a concept on the spot. This can only be done effectively by having a good grasp of the subject matter, and by having an accurate analysis of the student’s abilities. Each situation would be unique.

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

I have textbooks on hand if needed, but the internet is a near limitless resource of information. It's great to be able to send a student links of websites that they can study on their own after the session is up.


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