Hey! My name is Connor, I go by Ken, and I am currently a student at MTSU trying to become a high school teacher within the next two years. I've always been pulled towards helping others when they are struggling with things in their lives be it personal matters or academic problems, and I've put together that teaching is right up my alley. Ever since I took step one with MTeach (which let me teach in a real classroom three different lesson plans that I made) I knew that teaching is a passion and I've been working towards that goal ever since.
Outside of School I enjoy hiking, rock climbing, golf, Frisbee, tennis, a few video games, reading, writing, playing the ukulele, and simply exploring the world around me. When I'm not working in the lumber department or heading the Kids Workshop at Home Depot I am normally at home watching my roommates two Blue Heeler dogs or am outside in a hammock enjoying life.
If you are looking for a positive attitude, an environment where mistakes are a stepping stone, and are ready for a few laughs you found the right tutor!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Middle Tennessee State University - Current Undergrad, General science with focus in Physics and Chemistry
Golfing, Rock Climbing, Music, Writing
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The best way to learn a difficult subject is to find the best tricks, steps, and places to learn from. Most importantly though, it's a head game, and if I can help a student gain confidence they will be able to become an independent learner.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I try to be a positive and upbeat friend to everyone around me, so through being their biggest supporter, I believe together we can keep things moving in the right direction.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Work through the skill slowly, make sure that they understand all the different steps and concepts, and work through different problems together and slowly back out of the solving process so they are solving the problems all on their own.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would try and turn a reading problem into a physical interpretation, or try to draw out the harder to understand concepts, or simply help walk them through the sentences while showing them the information hiding in the lines of words.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I've found that the best method involves asking what they know so far, having them walk me through their process, making a joke or two, and then asking probing questions as to where they might have fallen off the rails.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I think a great way to build interest in a tough subject is showing what that subject leads to in the real life, or finding a way to make that subject about something that the student is interested in.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would use flashcards, concept questions, and ask them to attempt to teach me as if I didn't know anything. "If you can explain to a stranger on the street a concept they've heard little to nothing about and they understand and learn something from it, you're ready."
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Praise! Praise! High Fives! Praise! And showing them how awesome they are!
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
The moment a student begins a problem with me, I have them talk everything through from the beginning-- every little thought and path they can go down. While they talk through their thoughts and write out their problems, I begin mentally taking notes on mistakes and misconceptions. Once we get through the problem, we will focus in on the misconceptions to gain a better understanding.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I'm pretty simple when tutoring; mainly pencils, pens, and paper; but if the student is more hands on, I'll begin to bring more objects for tactile learning.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Every student can learn any subject if they have the right tools, the confidence, and a positive attitude.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I'll begin by getting to know the student, their hobbies, their interests, what they want to do in life, what they want out of this tutoring sessions, and who they are basically, and then we will get down to business!
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
If the student is more hands on with their learning, then I'll try to move our lessons to include activities and problems that get their strengths to work for them.