A photo of Cathy, a tutor from West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Cathy

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I enjoyed working as a computer science teacher and English teacher for years before I decided to be a math teacher a few years ago. To me, teaching is an ideal career for me and it provides me the opportunity to work with young people and help them learn and help them get ready for college life. I had some great experiences with classes of students and individual students as well. It was my moment when my students told me that they felt more confident in math and they did better than before in class. Math is fun and you will enjoy learning it as long as you work hard and never give up!

Cathy’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: West Chester University of Pennsylvania - Bachelors, Education in Mathematics

Graduate Degree: West Chester University of Pennsylvania - Current Grad Student, M.S. in Applied and Computational Mathematics

Hobbies

Gardening, Knitting, sewing and cooking

Tutoring Subjects

Algebra

Algebra 2

Calculus

College Algebra

Conversational Mandarin

Geometry

Languages

Mandarin Chinese

Mandarin Chinese 1

Mandarin Chinese 2

Mandarin Chinese 3

Mandarin Chinese 4

Math

Middle School Math

Pre-Algebra


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe every student can learn and every teacher has different ways of teaching. Before I teach my students, I would like to know their previous knowledge, learning habits, test scores, etc. When I teach or tutor, I usually ask a lot of questions to encourage my students to think critically instead of telling them everything. I teach math for understanding not memorizing the formulas and steps.

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

I would talk to my student to find out his/her education history, prior knowledge of the subject, learning habits, scores, strengths, and the difficulties he/she has. Then my student and I will come up with a plan for tutoring and make clear what the goals of the tutoring are. If we still have time, I would help my student review his/her prior knowledge and make some connection to what he/she is learning now.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

1. I will help my students make a study plan and monitor how my students follow the plan and make adjustments to the plan if needed; 2. I will ask questions to encourage critical thinking; 3. I will provide some guidance so that the student can review for a test independently.

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

First, I will let them know that everybody has difficulty learning something. Next, I will ask my student questions to find out why the concept does not make sense to him/her. Then, I will use a different method to get the meaning across. I may use a video or a real life example to help my student understand.

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

I will ask my student to explain the material to me. I will know that my student has a thorough understanding if he/she provides a good response. I can also have my student try some problems and see how well he/she does.

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

It depends on the situation. If my student were in a public school or an independent charter school, I would use his/her textbook as the main source of content material and augment that with other sources such as online videos or materials that I have developed to teach a specific concept.