I have a genuine passion for helping people learn through an easy and effective techinque: Questioning! I have personal experiences of the struggles that come along with learning new concepts in Math and Reading. Unfortunately, I used to be very hesitant in asking for help, or for tutoring. I felt ashamed and embarrassed that I could not keep up. As a result, I did not perform well in the subject areas I was neglecting. It wasn't until I learned that ANY question, is a SIGNIFICANT question. After I began asking questions, I felt as if dots were connecting and comprehension wasn't as difficult as I thought it to be. This is what I intend for others to feel. The key to getting through obstacles, is for the learner to ask questions and seek help! Ask me anything!
I previously served as a middle school math tutor with Good Samaritan community services. On the contrary, I am currently working with the Boys and Girls club of Austin, and also serve as an on-hand tutor for high-school and middle-school aged students. I worked as a Youth specialist with Good Sam (assigned to 8th grade students), however I used the opportunity to tutor students in math and reading for free! I found the experience to be highly beneficial to the students' comprehension, and for my own personal experience. For Example, working with middle-school aged students helped me grasp the needs and accommodations that would best benefit for that group of students. On the other hand, I've gained the necessities for tutoring students on the high school level through my current job, at the Boys and Girls club.
Like many other Austinites, I spend a large amount of time doing outdoor activities in and around the city. One of my favorite and oldest things to do is to run the Hike and Bike trail every Sunday morning. I also delve out into other areas of the city looking for new parks and trails. I also spend a fair amount of time drawing portraits and working on pencil illustration. I found there to be a large amount of math in certain categories of drawing. Since then, just as math needs high-attention to detail, I've found dedicating the same amount of detail in my drawing always produces an impressive product (at least to myself).
My goal is to reveal to students that the first step to learning something new is to first understand the basics. A misunderstanding at the basic level will hinder the student from learning new material correctly, and will inevitably cause confusion and create further obstacles.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Show a student it is ok to fail. Reward failures and successes. A legitimate failure shows an admirable amount of effort. Therefore, there is evidence that a student is trying. Failure is better than refusing to try.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I take a patient and fundamental approach. For example, I encourage the student to voice his/her concern with the problem. Secondly, I thoroughly explain 'why' and 'how' things are the way they are. Finally, I guarantee that the student understands the basics of a concept. As a result, the student will be able to evolve from a basic understanding, to a complex one.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Initially, I'd make aware that we are a team. The tutor and the learner have to work together to be successful in their endeavor. Therefore, a high level of respect, communication, and patience must be made clear on the first session. I am not here to judge, or be seen as an authoritarian figure. I am on YOUR team. My goal is for YOU to succeed. Therefore, I will work with the person you are, and I want the leaner to be as comfortable as possible.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The first step is to provide the student with an example of how to learn on their own. For example, with today's technology, it may be unnecessary for a student to refer back to their own notes or textbooks. Instead, the student may find material through online research that may be more impact than his/her own. I personally found resources online to be more effective for my learning than some material provided by my own college professors. Online research allows you read and observe at your own pace. It is a very independent approach, and it can be highly beneficial for learners who may feel rushed when working in a classroom or tutoring session.