As a current dual STEM student at UNLV, enrolled in both Mechanical Engineering (junior) and Computer Science (sophomore), we are taught to develop very solid foundations in the areas of mathematics and physics. I have been tutoring students since the fall 2014 semester and have continued tutoring at UNLV (university of Nevada, Las Vegas), CSN (college of Southern Nevada), and privately for various firms.
I specialize in tutoring mathematics by personally rebuilding my foundation starting from algebra up towards calculus I/II/III, differential equations (ODEs), linear algebra, and more. I'm also pretty proficient at tutoring physics for mechanical engineers (kinematics, fluid dynamics, thermodynamics) as well as introductory computer programming up to OOD (object-oriented design) in C++ .
My tutoring style is generated specifically for each student as I'm fully aware that each individual is different and may understand concepts in various ways. My strengths include my ability to analyze a student's strong/weak points, generate unique and original analogies to help students understand the material better, and lastly, develop a personal interest in witnessing a student's progress and success over time.
In my spare time I enjoy working out, training MMA, enjoying a semi-healthy diet, multiple student ran organizations, social awareness/engagement, and sleeping (usually only when away from school).
Undergraduate Degree: University of Nevada-Las Vegas - Current Undergrad, Mechanical Engineering/ Computer Science
hiking, training MMA, running, vegetarian, sustainability, renewable energy
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that each student is unique and should be catered to as such. My ability to reach diverse mindsets is shown through my creative analogies and personal connections with my students. I enjoy learning about what a student enjoys doing in their free time and try my best to incorporate the material into their particular interests. My goal is to thoroughly understand the student in a manner that allows me to teach and help the student thoroughly understand the material .
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During the first session I would like to gauge where a student's strengths and weaknesses may be to determine where I should go from there. This also allows me to identify any concepts that the student must review in their free time before moving too far with the new material.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
To encourage students to become independent thinkers I like to employ tutoring from a more conceptual based approach rather than repetitive, direct problem solving. I choose to explain concepts (if needed), include graphs, as well as various drawings (such as free body diagrams) to get the concept down prior to solving the first problem. This will help students identify the information that is already given, what information is needed, and the relations between knowns and unknowns to correctly solve the problem with ease.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
To ensure students stay motivated I like to remind them of all the progress they have made thus far and how much closer they are to achieving their goals as future professionals. As a current student, I'm able to relate to them by expressing my triumphs over various obstacles throughout my educational career and share with them my journey from student to tutor and mentor.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
By identifying the interests and hobbies of the student early on, I'm able to attempt relating the material to a field of interest they may have and express the concept in a way that may be more straightforward to their lifestyle. This approach not only benefits the student by learning the new concept but it also makes retention of the concept much more trivial.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Regarding STEM questions: When students struggle with reading comprehension, I assist them by identifying useful keywords that may be utilized for the problem and then analyze how each keyword relates to the question at hand. Once an understanding is reached, we'll reread the question and be able to approach obtaining the answer in a more confident manner.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
My most successful strategies when first dealing with new students is going over the first problem in a very thorough step-by-step manner and having the student follow my every step accordingly. During each step, I allow the student to predict my next move and explain why a certain step was chosen over another. This assists students with developing great algorithms that will help them solve similar problems throughout the session. Following the first problem, the student and I reverse roles and they explain each step to me in a very similar manner while giving them the opportunity to become the tutor and explain the material confidently to someone else.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
To encourage a student to get more excited about a particular area of study that he/she may be struggling in, I would suggest various ways that the material may have real world application. By doing this, I can see if their interest in a specific application would grow in a way that allows them to implement the material during their normal lives and thus become more familiar with the subject.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
To ensure that a student is understanding the material as we progress throughout the semester, I would ask the student various questions at the beginning of each session and gauge how well they understand the previous sessions’ material. These questions would consist of reciting important equations, names of various solving techniques, important keywords for word problems, and other review material from the previous session.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
To build a student's confidence I like to employ role reversal and have the student explain what they have learned back to me as if I was the tutee and they were the tutor. By correctly reciting the material, students will develop a sense of confidence that they understand the material well enough to explain to others and even question when someone, such as a professor, tutor, or classmate, makes a mistake.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I choose to evaluate a student's needs during the first tutoring session and gauge what they know from previous courses before moving too far with the new material. If a student develops additional needs during the time of our tutoring sessions, I will recommend various online educational platforms that may assist them in their free time. This will allow them to receive additional practice with the material on their own and I can gauge their progression during the next tutoring session.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
To adapt to a student’s specific needs, I choose to inquire some background information about the student during the initial sessions. My inquiries include asking about their hobbies, interests, educational goals, professional goals, and future endeavors. By doing this, I'm able to adapt the material towards an area that the student is already familiar with. In theory, this will help the student understand the concept at hand more thoroughly by being able to implement its use during their everyday lives.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
When completing an in-person session, I choose to use markers of various colors (usually 3 or 4) and handheld dry erase boards to allow for mobility. By having the smaller whiteboard, I'm able to give a more personable session by being immediately next to the tutee, and assist them with any problems that may occur as they are happening in real time. Also, this allows me to monitor a student's thought process for each step and mark where an error was made before it progresses too far.