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Fernando

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I fell in love with tutoring as early as high school, working with peers, and have continued that passion once I left to college. I am Sophomore Computer Science Major at Washington University in St. Louis, currently working as a teaching assistant for the Computer Science Department. I tutor for ACT/SAT Science and Math test-prep, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Algebra-Calculus 3, and Spanish, as an AP, College-intro, or General level tutor. I particularly enjoy tutoring for Computer Science and Math, in these subjects I immediately see the bigger picture, with the knowledge learned from them being able to apply to other subjects across the board.

My teaching style is a 'Learn with the student' approach, breaking down problems to basic parts and building them up piece by piece, really understanding what and why we are doing each step of the process. I enjoy being able to connect the questions to a more every-day scenarios in order to really get an intuitive understanding instead of simply memorization.

In my free time I enjoy playing guitar, competitive diving, and coding competitions.

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Fernando’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Washington University in St Louis - Bachelors, Computer Science

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 36

ACT English: 35

ACT Math: 36

ACT Reading: 36

ACT Science: 36

SAT Composite: 2120

SAT Math: 800

AP Biology: 5

AP Chemistry: 5

AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism: 5

AP Physics C: Mechanics: 5

AP Computer Science A: 5

AP Macroeconomics: 5

AP Human Geography: 5

AP Spanish Language: 5

Hobbies

Playing Music, Swimming and Diving, Running, and Coding Competitions

Tutoring Subjects

ACT Math

ACT Science

Algebra

Algebra 2

Algorithms

AP Biology

AP Chemistry

AP Computer Science

AP Computer Science A

AP Physics 1

AP Spanish Language & Culture

C++

Calculus

Calculus 2

Calculus 3

Chemistry

College Algebra

College Chemistry

College Computer Science

College Physics

Computer Science

Conversational Spanish

Data Structure

Discrete Math

Geometry

High School Chemistry

High School Computer Science

High School Physics

HTML

IB Biology

IB Biology HL

IB Computer Science

IB Computer Science SL

IB Mathematics

IB Mathematics SL

Java

JavaScript

Languages

Math

Middle School Math

Physics

Pre-Algebra

Pre-Calculus

Python

SAT Math

SAT Mathematics

SAT Subject Test in Chemistry

SAT Subject Tests Prep

Science

Spanish

Spanish 1

Spanish 2

Statistics

Technology and Computer Science

Test Prep

Trigonometry


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching style is a 'Learn with the student' approach, breaking down problems to basic parts and building them up piece by piece, really understanding what and why we are doing each step of the process. I enjoy being able to connect the questions to a more every-day scenarios in order to really get an intuitive understanding instead of simply memorization.

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

Get an understanding of how the student processes information on their own and what they look for in order to actually learn the subject material. Learn their strengths and weaknesses so that we can find a way to use the strengths to help with the weaknesses.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Help them understand their own learning style and what types of resources work for them. It could be textbooks, problem sets, online lectures or presentations, or really anything else that the student feels is the easiest way for them to access the material.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Making each step a little reward on its own. Getting bored by the material or questions? Make a game out of it and see if you can best yourself or give yourself a reward for doing something. Frustrated about not being able to solve a problem? Make a picture or try to rephrase the problem in a way you think is simpler. Use your imagination!

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

Really break it down to the basic pieces, get an intuitive understanding of each of those pieces, and then slowly start to build them up again, making sure we understand what is happening at every level.

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

Having them solve a few problems they already know how to solve and having them describe what and why they are doing those steps. That way I can start to see how their thoughts develop, and what they see in questions, so that I can come back to it in future questions when they don't have the same understanding.

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

Help them see just how much of a role that subject plays in the world as a whole. Or helping them find a way to visualize that the subject is actually teaching them something else entirely: how to learn something you struggle with.

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

Start with some more open ended questions, and randomly asking them from time to time why they chose to do what they did. At the higher level ask them why they think the problem is there. What are they looking for? What is a common mistake some students might make solving this problem? What's easy to forget with these types of problems?

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

Have them occasionally go back and look at the questions and subjects they struggled with before, and see how they have learned so much since then. Also making it a fun thing to learn will help them understand why they are learning it and how they'll be able to use it further down the road.

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

I learn how the student learns new material. What it is that triggered them to say: "Oh! that makes sense." That way I can tailor the tutoring sessions to trying to get them to come to that same conclusion with other things they don't yet grasp.

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

I am a very visual learner, so I personally love to use white boards and paper/pencils. With white boards especially you can have the student become the teacher and walk me through a problem so they convince themselves that they know the material.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

In order to see what it is the student is struggling with, I may start with questions they can already answer, have them describe it, and then go to more difficult ones and have them describe what it is that stops them. That way they know what it is they're missing and will learn how to overcome that obstacle should they face it again. If other things like time constraints or test-anxiety are an issue, trying to work with them to find what ways they already know have worked in the past, or trying to come up with a new way the student might be able to overcome it with. I let the student lead the discussion so they can paint the picture without me making any assumptions.

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

Depending on the severity, I would recommend a few things that I found useful: reading every paragraph twice in a row, writing down important words or what they think might come up as a question as they read, trying to rephrase or reword a complicated sentence to one which is maybe a little easier to understand, or maybe even come up with a new strategy entirely that the student thinks would help them.


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