A photo of Sarah, a tutor from University of Pennsylvania

Sarah

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"I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday, and lessen the suffering of others." --Neil deGrasse Tyson

I truly believe in helping others in any way I can, and my goal as a tutor is to help students build their academic interests, personal goals, and most importantly, their self-confidence. My first experience with tutoring was helping my little brother with his homework, and I realized I really enjoyed it. Beginning in high school, I worked with a mentoring organization in Baltimore called Thread, and eventually became the Director of Peer Mentoring. Once I started college in Philadelphia, I moved on to work with Moelis Access Science and just assumed the role of Undergraduate Coordinator for the Physics branch.

A bit about myself: I am a sophomore in majoring in Bioengineering at UPenn and minoring in Engineering Entrepreneurship. Some of my favorite things are traveling and exploring different cultures, trying new foods (and learning new recipes), reading, singing, and spending time with family and friends. I'm also an avid fan of Once Upon a Time, Bones, Game of Thrones, Parks and Rec, and Veep, and my favorite books and movies include To Kill a Mockingbird, Pride and Prejudice, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter, but I admit I do love a good chick lit/romcom from time to time.

Sarah’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Pennsylvania - Current Undergrad, Bioengineering

Test Scores

SAT Composite: 2400

SAT Math: 800

SAT Verbal: 800

SAT Writing: 800

Hobbies

dancing, playing piano, singing, painting & drawing, reading, and traveling

Tutoring Subjects

AP Calculus AB

AP Chemistry

Calculus

Chemistry

College Chemistry

Conversational Mandarin

High School Chemistry

Homework Support

Languages

Mandarin Chinese

Mandarin Chinese 1

Math

Other

Pre-Calculus

SAT Prep

SAT Math

SAT Mathematics

SAT Reading

SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level 2

SAT Subject Tests Prep

SAT Writing and Language

Science

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Summer

Test Prep


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My goal is not just to teach the students, but also to help them understand and have fun with what they are learning.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Teach them methods with which to approach the problems, not just tell them how to do it.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

With positive encouragement!

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

Getting to know them is the first and most important step I think- being able to connect with the students.

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

I would try to find real world applications that connect to the student's interests!

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

I'm pretty old school when it comes to reviewing material, and really believe in the value of a good set of flash cards, review sheets, etc. I also believe that you don't truly understand a concept or idea until you can teach it, so we could switch roles and I would ask the student to teach me the material using a white board or lecture style, and I could make suggestions and give tips on how to improve.

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

Like I mentioned earlier, I think being able to teach something is the best indicator that a student has truly mastered the material. Occasionally I might ask the student if we could switch roles and they could try teaching me a topic.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I might ask them what their goals are for the specific class or area they are being tutored in, and ask them a few questions to gauge what level they are at and where they can improve.

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

Listening is the most important quality in a friend and a tutor, in my opinion- being able to not only communicate to the student what you are teaching, but also understanding and utilizing what the student is communicating to me.

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

Flash cards, dry erase markers and white boards, notepad and pencil, different colored pens, markers, and highlighters, etc.

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

I would spend a couple minutes getting to know them, and then start with asking what their goals are and what they feel they are struggling with the most. I would also emphasize that I am there to help them in whatever way I can, and that they should never hesitate to interrupt and ask questions if I'm being unclear or incomprehensible.

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

I would work on building their vocabulary and work on important comprehension skills such as summarizing, identifying the main ideas and themes, comparing and contrasting, etc.

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

I would slow down and try to pinpoint the specific idea that they are struggling and work to explain it in simpler terms or analogies that might make more sense to the student.