I am a student at Georgia State University Perimeter College, studying under the engineering degree program. I am officially a freshman, but I completed two years of Dual Enrollment during my junior and senior years of high school allowing me to have over 100 credit hours by the end of my freshman year. Topics I have studied include math Calculus (1, 2, multi-variable,, Differential Equations, and Linear Algebra), and science (Chemistry, Biology, Physics, and Electrical Circuit Analysis), as well as Graphics & Design. I will be transferring to Georgia Tech in Fall 2016 where I plan to major in Biomedical Engineering and minor in sociology to supplement my teaching and human development skills.
My hobbies include Ultimate Frisbee, soccer, school (seriously, I'm the weird guy who loves homework), and anything outdoors. In each of these things, I love to lead others to success and have done so by taking on leadership roles in boy scouts, coaching sports teams (even ones I was a player on), and tutoring friends and classmates in subjects ranging from French to Multi-variable Calculus.
Undergraduate Degree: Georgia Perimeter College - Associates, Engineering
SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1480
SAT Verbal: 740
SAT Writing: 720
Ultimate Frisbee, Soccer, Math, Physics, Biology, Teaching, Volunteering
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy consists of being a facilitator of learning. My role as a tutor is not to teach my students their coursework all over again, but rather to dive into areas of struggle and create a thorough understanding of whatever difficult topics are at hand. In general, my goal is to start with my students being as dependent upon me as necessary. I will walk through problems step by step until we both feel they have a decent grasp on the subject. From there I slowly guide them to work problems on their own until they become entirely dependent on themselves, able to solve problems without fear or hesitation. Ultimately I seek to inspire confidence and understanding in all of my students.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
My primary objective in the first session is to help my students get comfortable around me. I believe the best tutoring comes when both parties are comfortable to take leaps of faith in trying new things even when it may result in failure. Secondly, I want to get to know my student, learning about their strengths and weaknesses so that we can use their existing knowledge to bridge the gaps whenever they struggle.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
My goal as a tutor is to help students no longer need a tutor. I want my students to find their own strengths and abilities in learning so that they become self-sufficient. I do this by inspiring confidence in my students. I seek to help my students recognize their potential by guiding them to be able to learn and master topics with ever-increasing independence.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I've found students lose motivation when they lose grasp on the topics that seem detached from their real lives. What I seek to do is to relate basic concepts to reality and show students why the topic we are studying is relevant to their lives. Secondarily, I seek to help my students find success in their struggle. Everybody loves to get the correct answer, so we start with simple problems and slowly work up to things they never thought they could achieve. My hope is that, looking back, they will realize the incredible value of the work they've put in.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
This depends largely on the student. One of my great assets in tutoring is my ability to recognize strengths and weaknesses, allowing me to pull on a student's strengths to minimalize the areas in which they struggle. Generally, I look to utilize foundational theories (where does the quadratic formula come from, what is the zero-product property, etc.), example problems moving from simple, specific cases to general, more difficult problems, or inter-disciplinary examples (using science/history/etc. to concretely relate a topic to real life). These are just a few methods, as the list is endless based on my student’s strengths.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
My first priority is always to get to know my student's strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes, and for them to know mine. Tutoring is a two-way street, and I feel that if we both know how to work with one another, our sessions will be far more productive.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I think the best way to my students get excited about a topic they don't particularly enjoy is to relate that topic to one they do enjoy. Math can be applied to just about any other subject, so this is often quite easy, and surprisingly engaging and beneficial.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
In order to ensure a student understands a concept, I expect them to be able to solve a reasonably complex problem while explaining each step. I believe that if students can understand what they are doing and why they are doing it beyond a memorized procedure, they are far more likely to excel in that topic.