Hello! My name is Patrick and for the summer, I am living in my hometown of Seattle, Washington. I am 24 years old and am one semester away from finishing my Bachelor's Degree in Biology which will be completed on December 17th of this year. I attend a school near Grand Rapids, Michigan called Grand Valley State University. I moved to Grand Rapids a year and a half ago to be with my fiancee and to finish school. My fiancee, Gabriella, and I are getting married this August and look forward to starting our new lives together. My academic expertise includes a wide variety of subject matter. I have tutored all ages including middle school, high school and undergraduate college students in science, math, essay writing, English, Psychology and Writing. I am majoring in Biology and hope to go to graduate school for Marine Biology after I complete my Bachelor's Degree. At the end of my education, I would like to end up teaching as a college professor and/or doing research in the marine sciences field. I have always had a fierce love for animals of all kinds and growing up by the ocean sparked my love for Marine Biology from a young age.
I have a very long history of tutoring both as a volunteer and for pay. I tutored as a volunteer all four years of high school as a volunteer for my former elementary/middle school and for an organization in the Seattle area. In college, I was a paid tutor for a high school student for a long term period and continued my volunteer tutoring. I love to learn new things and to teach people the things I am passionate about. Chemistry, biology and math are my strongest subject areas and I have experience teaching in those areas since many people seem to struggle with science and/or math. I have worked for multiple years at a materials chemistry laboratory, so my expertise in the sciences goes far beyond the classroom. I am so excited to be a varsity tutor and would love to get to know and help you ASAP!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Grand Valley State University - Bachelors, Biology, General
I love sports and always have loved to play and watch baseball, basketball, football and hockey. I love learning new languages and am semi-fluent in Spanish and German and currently learning French. I love to travel and hope to continue traveling all over the world over the next few years. I will soon have my bachelor's degree in biology and look forward to going to graduate school for Marine Biology in the near future.
ACCUPLACER College-Level Math Prep
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Science
Elementary School Writing
High School Biology
High School Chemistry
High School English
High School Level American History
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy has always been to help the student work through the problem and give them suggestions to help make the solution more clear to them. It is much more effective to teach someone something that they do not understand by breaking a problem into small steps so that it is less overwhelming. I have had tutors in the past who give me answers or take shortcuts, but I believe that this is completely ineffective. I want my students to be able to stand alone on subjects we have covered and trust in themselves after our sessions are complete.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session with a student, I want to get an idea of what they are caught up on or why they are struggling with a certain subject. For at least the first half hour, I would just have a conversation with the student to get to know them and what they are struggling with. I would want them to do a problem or two to see how they are approaching what they are struggling with. At the end of the first session, I would have a clear understanding of how to effectively tutor that student.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
It is very important to not give students answers or take shortcuts when teaching. The only way to produce effective learners and have your students be good, independent learners is to give your due diligence to them. Subjects should be broken down into easy to understand steps. This allows the task to seem less daunting and overwhelming.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I make my tutoring sessions fun. I think it is important to develop a good personal relationship with your student so that they feel comfortable with you both academically and personally. If your sessions are fun and helpful, students will feel less intimidated and discouraged by the subject they are struggling with and stay motivated.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
This is a problem that tutors are going to run into with their students and it can be difficult to figure out, but I approach it on a case-by-case basis. If a student is struggling with a skill or concept the way it is traditionally taught, I try to teach it to them in a different way. I try to think like they are and work around what is confusing them.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
First, you need to get to know the student and the subject they are struggling with. It is important to develop a good relationship with your student so they feel comfortable with you. People might be embarrassed that they need a tutor or because they are struggling and I always let people know that we all struggle. When I was going through college, I needed tutors and now I have become one. A good one-on-one relationship is paramount to effective learning.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would try to make my sessions enjoyable and fun for the student so that the learning does not feel too much like work. It is important to get down to business, but you want to have a good balance so that the student sees your passion and hopefully, it rubs off.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
As I said earlier, I break the problem or subject down into less daunting parts and have the student solve each part individually. This is a good method for someone who is struggling because it shows them that the problem is simply a step-wise process that needs repetition to master. This especially helps those who try to do something that needs to be step by step all at once.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I am open to teaching any way that helps the student. I am only there as a tool to help the student understand what they are studying better and to offer new ways of approaching challenging subjects. I am not there to further my teaching agenda and will always only make suggestions or guidelines, never demands.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I will always have something to write on that is visible to the student. This is usually a dry erase board or an easel with a large notebook propped up on it. I always write large so the student can see if the tutoring is online. If I come to a session in person, I will have a notebook and usually a calculator for math and science. Depending on the subject, I will usually bring a textbook as a reference for what we are learning and as something to take problems out of. As the tutoring goes on, I like to create my own problem sets as mini-homework assignments to see how well the student is picking up on the subject and to monitor their progress.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I like to help students who struggle with reading comprehension by zooming them out and showing them the bigger picture. Usually, people tend to get caught up on individual words or phrases they do not know the meaning of or have not seen before. This makes them fixate on what they do not understand instead of what they do understand. I tell the student to take a step back and look at the context of what they are reading to get a bigger picture. Once this is complete, they usually can deduce a meaning for the word or phrase they were hung up on.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I like to make my own problem sets for students that act as progress reports to see how well they are picking up what is being taught to them. If they complete the problem sets in a satisfactory manner, I continue teaching the way I had been. If they struggle, I reevaluate what they are having problems with and change up my teaching style to better suit the student's needs.