I really enjoy working with people to overcome personal barriers to understanding math! Once I was shown that numbers were not a tool of oppression but rather a means of expression, I became free to enjoy math as a challenging game. I look forward to helping others share in that same freedom.
Undergraduate Degree: Texas A & M University-College Station - Bachelors, Engineering Technology
ACT Composite: 32
ACT English: 35
ACT Math: 31
ACT Reading: 32
Tennis, Voice-Overs, Chess
What is your teaching philosophy?
Lock in lessons and concepts by connecting them to a student's life experiences or natural gifts.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get to know them a bit. Ask about outside activities and favorite classes, and get a sense of their enthusiasm for the subject at hand. It's good to have inroads for teaching illustrations or memory tricks during the lesson.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Help them to get past the sense of rote learning by communicating a "why" behind a lesson, rather than just a "what" or "how."
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Give them little choice but to suck it up. I'm not aggressive or mean-spirited, but I can likely outlast their stubbornness with my own.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Dig deeper for a way to connect the concept with a strong, personal memory of theirs. The harder we have to work at this step, the more rewarding it becomes when the student has the light bulb moment.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Make a connection that lets them know that I'm competent in the subject at hand, yet empathetic to any attitude or circumstance that may have caused them to need tutoring in the first place. I want to quickly instill the feeling that it won't always be as difficult as it seems now.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Connect success in the subject with something else they want or are passionate about. Hold out for that first breakthrough, however small, and capitalize on it as much as possible.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
At the end, make sure that they could quiz me, or even make a legitimate attempt to stump me.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Aside from what I've mentioned above, a general positive affirmation approach.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Look for patterns in their answers to specific types of problems or assignments, and be observant of overall trends that could reveal a more fundamental deficiency.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Do everything mentioned in the above answers, but also be willing to scrap the plan for a new one if it does not work out.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
It would vary with the subject, but scratch paper is always a must. I'm keen on figures and graphs if they can be useful as well.