A photo of Shejla, a tutor from Sarah Lawrence College

Shejla

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I am a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and hold a Bachelor's degree with a concentration in Inorganic Chemistry. I am currently a Visiting Scholar and serve as the head Teacher's Assistant of General Chemistry teaching laboratories at the University of Pennsylvania. Next year, I will be resuming my graduate studies towards a PhD degree in Chemistry.
As an undergraduate student, I served as a note-taker for student with disabilities in their science classes. I helped them with applying the notes to homework, exam preparation, and braking down concepts in general. As an immigrant to the U.S. many years ago,I am passionate about STEM advancement among minority students. At Sarah Lawrence College, I participated in delivering science demo/experiment projects as well as in tutoring Mathematics to local Yonkers high school students. To reach a broader audience, I have been part of teams organizing science carnivals for pre-K/K children and am still continuing the mission as a current Nano-Biotech demo presenter. In my current position at Penn, I grade students' laboratory report, exams and help them with homework. As a scientist, I am invested in helping them achieve the best possible scientific writing skills.
I currently tutor a vast range of Algebra and Geometry classes, Mathematics, ACT Science, General, Analytical and Inorganic Chemistry, Biochemistry, General Biology, CLEP Pre-Calculus and CLEP Calculus, History of Science, Homework Assistance, Test Prep and many more, totaling the current number to 45 subject.
So far, teaching general Chemistry, Biology and Algebra has been the most fun and most rewarding experience. As a hands-on experimentalist, I'm always incorporating real world examples to break down concepts and areas which students struggle with, to make them more appealing to the audience, as well arise and maintain the interest of science on the student's side.
Encouraging questions is my to-go method which defines my teaching philosophy. Separating the known from the unknown in a problem, constantly challenging and being challenged by reaching the right answer one step at a time has proven fulfilling for myself and my student.
When I'm not teaching, I like watching British TV shows and middle-ages history documentaries, reading classic literature, listening to R&B and Hip-Hop music, travelling, cooking healthy, doing Yoga and exercising at the gym.

Shejla’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Sarah Lawrence College - Bachelors, Chemistry

Hobbies

Middle-Ages History and Classic Literature, Motivational speaking, Leadership workshops and Team Work Projects. STEM Advancement and Instruction. Inorganic and Bio-Inorganic Chemistry Research. Hip-Hop music, British Documentaries and TV Shows, Travelling, Fashion, Cooking, Healthy Living, Fitness and Gym Workout, Soccer, Tennis.

Tutoring Subjects

10th Grade Math

11th Grade Math

12th Grade Math

1st Grade Math

2nd Grade Math

3rd Grade Math

3rd Grade Science

4th Grade Math

4th Grade Science

5th Grade Math

5th Grade Science

6th Grade Math

6th Grade Science

7th Grade Math

7th Grade Science

8th Grade Math

8th Grade Science

9th Grade Math

ACCUPLACER Arithmetic Prep

ACCUPLACER College-Level Math Prep

ACCUPLACER Elementary Algebra Prep

Algebra

Analytical Chemistry

AP Italian Language and Culture

ASPIRE Science

Biochemistry

Chemistry

CLEP Calculus

CLEP Chemistry

CLEP College Algebra

CLEP Precalculus

College Biology

College Chemistry

Elementary Algebra

Elementary Math

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Science

General Biology

General Chemistry

Geometry

High School Chemistry

History Of Science

Homework Support

Inorganic Chemistry

Laboratory

Math

Middle School Math

Middle School Science

Pre-Algebra

Science

Test Prep

Thermochemistry


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My philosophy is simple: the student comes first. I try to accommodate any needs the student has when it comes to scheduling, employing different teaching methods (practice questions, recommending certain material, different paces of learning), and listening closely so I can figure out the gaps that need to be filled.

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

Getting to know the student is imperative. I would be asking a few questions regarding the student's method of learning and resulting performance while employing that method. I would ask the student about the areas/topics he/she is struggling the most with, while trying to crack them at the student's pace and suggest new ideas about how to approach problems that might increase the student's understanding and performance of that particular issue.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By working hand-in-hand with the student, using practice questions, examples, flashcards and other learning tools to tackle different difficulty areas. From experience, encouraging students to state the known and asking frequent questions about the unknown has proven to be the most efficient path towards independent thinking.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Motivation is cultivated by asking questions and wondering about the issues at hand. That drives a student (and me personally), to stay hooked and figure out what the right answer is. Drawing real-world examples and comparing/contrasting them with the problem at hand seems to help student think deeper and come to a conclusion in an easier manner.

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

I prefer not to give the answer of a problem to a student right away. I always encourage asking very particular questions about the skill/concept. I also like incorporating real-life examples and break down the concept in easier to understand chunks.

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

Breaking down concepts and drawing easy-to-understand examples. Learning how the student learns is half of the job done.

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

Make the student understand the importance of that subject's concepts as applied to science and life. Developing methods to break down some of the concepts and getting the answers one step at a time usually accounts for excitement and a feeling of completion on the students' side.

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

An instruction book that I have myself found helpful in the past to understand problems. At least for the science subjects that I tutor for, flashcards, practice problems, and online learning websites have proven to be very helpful.

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

Nothing is impossible. Nobody lacks the intelligence to learn or wanting to learn. Investing time into practicing is the key to being confident. You have to be fully committed to that subject, devoting your energies to it, leads to questions and a general interest to want to do better, which in time develops into a positive attitude.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I work closely with a student by actually asking to verbalize what the needs to learn are, and how a student wants to learn. I never enforce my own methods into a student's learning progress, as different students have different needs and learn at different paces.

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

I am fully committed to tutoring as a process and to the person I tutor. I make sure I commit to my schedule, meet during the scheduled session, have extra learning methods ready, extending sessions when the need arises and combine online/ in-person tutoring if necessary.

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

Science instruction books, personal notes from my own classes, flashcards, YouTube, and other interactive learning websites.

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

As applied to science subjects, breaking down a practice problem, a question or a paragraph is the first steps. Building two columns, what's given (what I know), and what I need to find (calculate, extrapolate) is what usually follows. If further questions rise regarding what the student should be able to deduce, then taking a step back and reviewing those concepts is my go-to method.