A photo of Preston, a tutor from Hope College

Preston

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I first started tutoring when I was a junior in college. For me, I find a lot of joy in being able to help other understand the subjects that are most familiar to me. Science is hard for a lot of people, but the brain can understand many difficult concepts. However, each person's brain is a little different and learns a little differently. I can help my students to realize the best way they learn, making it easier for them to complete complicated problems. My job is not just to show them and make sure they understand how to do a problem they bring to me, it is also to ensure that they can think through problems that come up later such as on a test.

My goal is not to show them how to memorize a bunch of words that don't make sense, but to guid them in understanding the concept. Each concept can be broken down into easy to understand concepts and then put together to form the whole concept. Also, understanding of one concept can be applied to the understanding of another.

Preston’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Hope College - Bachelors, Biology, General

Graduate Degree: Chatham University - Masters, Biology, General

Hobbies

Biology, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Violin, Medicine

Tutoring Subjects

Anatomy

Anatomy & Physiology

AP Biology

Biology

College Biology

Elementary School Science

High School Biology

Microbiology

Neuroscience

Physiology

Science


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Lots of concepts can seem hard and complicated, but all concepts can be broken down into simple parts that make the concept easy to understand.

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

I will discuss what parts of the subject they feel comfortable with and what parts that don't feel so comfortable about. I will work to find a good schedule for both of us to meet and become familiar with the student.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I can help a student to find studying habits that work for him or her based on the way he or she thinks and learns.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I will work to keep reminding them of how much they know and how much they have improved.

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

Break down the concept into smaller simpler concepts that can be re-formed into the complete concept.

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

I would try to relate the subject to real world applications and to topics that the student does have interest in.

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

Getting to know the student and how he or she learns and thinks.

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

I would ask the student to explain the answer or concept back to me. I would also ask various questions that relate to the concept.

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

Let them know how well they are doing. Explain the parts they do understand and then clarify the parts that they don't, instead of just saying that they're completely wrong.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Get to know what the student thinks he/she has trouble with, since that is probably an area that need help in. Also, ask the student to explain concepts he/she thinks he/she knows. This make sure they don't need help in that area. Look at test questions to see what he/she got wrong.

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

If the student is a visual learner, then I would show them pictures and explain from there. If the student is an oral learner, more words and writing would be used to explain concepts. I will learn the way the student thinks and explain concepts based on the way he/she learns.

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

I typically use pen and paper, or in the case of online, there are tools on the web interface to type and draw out explanations.

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

Science reading comprehension is a little different. I would encourage a student to read slowly, making sure they understand everything. If they don't understand, then they can ask me about it at the session. Also, I would encourage the student to look up words they don't know.