I have been a tutor for 3 years now. I have a 4.0 GPA in college and am working towards a degree in Biology with the eventual goal of becoming a College Professor. I tutored for Golden West College in Huntington Beach, California last semester for Anatomy, Physiology, Chemistry, and Biology. I have tutored privately for these as well. I have taken two tutor mastering courses at Golden West and I absolutely feel I have a knack for it. I also have taught in other capacities previously to tutoring. I have been a teaching assistant for Microbiology, Anatomy, Russian Sports Massage, and Professional Development. I am currently an instructor for my men's organization at church as well as a Cub Scout den leader. This is my dead semester so I will be much more available to tutor than I was able to last semester. This semester/year I will be also tutoring for Human Physiology, Paper Writing, and Basic Math.
So what can you expect from taking me on as a tutor? I will help you or your prospective tutoring student become an active learner. I will come up with creative and fun ways to make the learning experience enjoyable as well as comfortable. I will work hard to help, listen, and give the learning and studying skills that can and will be carried on to other subjects in you or your prospective tutoring student's life. I will basically try to tutor myself out of a job. That is the goal. I hope you will consider me as your tutor in the near future and look forward to meeting you and/or your prospective tutoring student.
Golden West College - Associates, Nursing
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that the teacher should learn more from the student than the student does from the teacher. In essence, I believe every student, after having a great time actively learning, should be able to teach the material and concepts back to the teacher, all while having fun and feeling more confident with what they have learned.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In the first session, I typically find out what learning style the student feels comfortable with. I then get some background and ask find-out questions about how they are doing in their class or classes. I then will assess their strength and weaknesses during the session so I can better prepare for subsequent sessions. This makes the next sessions flow much better than the first.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The best way to help a student become an independent learner is to teach them the skills to do so. If the student can actively find their own successful way of gathering information, that skill set will carry with them to any subject that comes after the one they are currently involved in. For example, if I give them test-taking strategies for anatomy, they can use those same test taking strategies for physiology.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would lecture less and have the student participate more. I would make it fun, vivid, entertaining, and confidence boosting. When the student sees that he or she can figure out material on his or her own, it tends to keep them motivated when they see the light turn on and have that "A-ha" moment.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try to change the current learning perspective to a different one until we have exhausted as many different conceptual styles as possible. If a student can't get a mental picture of what is being discussed, why not draw pictures, or use a real-life example they can relate to.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
If the words on the page are not being well-interpreted, I try to help them find a way to relate in terms that are understandable to them.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I try to find out their interests, hobbies, learning style, how they are doing on tests, and definitely try to build an instant report with them so they can feel comfortable opening up to me. Having a little fun first can lighten the mood. Joking around in good taste can help with that.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
We may do tiny experiments if there is time and resources available. If they can see the thing they are learning in action and it looks cool to them, this tends to make a student more motivated than just talking about the subject.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I ask questions to make sure they are getting the material. I also will use fill in the blank or start a sentence that they have to finish. I may have them draw me a picture of what they have learned. I may have them teach me step-by-step of what they just learned and give them tiny clues if they get stuck. I also will pause for a while so they can try to work it out on their own and give tiny hints if I feel like they are stuck.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I use words of encouragement when they are finding the right answers and tell them they are doing a great job. I find that when they are teaching me after they have learned material and I am giving them feel-good affirmations, they tend to feel more confident in the end.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I ask find-out questions. A lot of them if necessary. I like to get as much background information on the student in the beginning if I can. I also will just listen to them to see what they know and how they think. I will see if they lack understanding or just need to feel more confident about what they already know.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I try to teach the student not how I want them to learn or what I think they need, but by the way they learn and what they actually need. So if they learn best by listening, then I will teach that way. If they need me to speak slowly and in terms they can understand, that is what I will do. I will adjust to how their mind operates, if it is within my means.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Colored pencils and paper, highlighters, my tablet for videos, AND my phone for quick look up of terms and concepts if the material they have is not adequate for the session. I will even have them act out the material if need be.