I currently work as an administrative assistant while I attend Portland Community College full time. My current studies are Calculus III, Advanced C++, and Discrete Data Structures.
I'm on my third year towards a BA in Computer Science at Portland State University. I may refine my program, likely to network administration, or software architecture.
A portion of my schooling was at College of Southern Idaho in 2009-2010, where I tutored for the school in the math lab (calculus mostly). I moved to Portland because I love the area; tons of things to do, great weather, great people. I tutor a range of subjects, but am currently focused in mathematics.
Undergraduate Degree: Portland Community College - Current Undergrad, Computer Science
Computer games, programming, and playing with gadgets.
What is your teaching philosophy?
A brick house is only as strong as the bricks it is made of. Fundamental building blocks should be perfected before building castles.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Let's get to know each other for a moment. Then I want to join and understand where you are at in your academics. Let's get the basics down!
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By teaching ways to teach yourself. A teacher provides the tool belt, but the student builds with it. By learning new ways to use your tools, you can see problems in a new light, and tackle them from a different angle.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Show them ways it applies to life. Yes, we all hear "I'll never use this math in real life." Maybe you won't at a career, but when you can explain natural phenomena to your friends with concrete mathematical knowledge, that's exciting.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Knowledge checks, and small jumps. Learn the material and do examples, but let's try something new. After fully comprehending an area, let's see if you can draw conclusions about the next topic based on what you now know.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Have them teach me. By teaching, you expose your knowledge in a subject. This will provide a base for which I can begin to ask questions, and find the boundary of the topic.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Let's find out what works best for you. How did you learn what you already know? The most important part is enjoying it. Not necessarily the material itself, but the self-satisfaction of 'getting it'.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Building rapport is the place to start. Let's figure out where you're at, and build a plan. An outline of what's to come is essential to not getting overwhelmed.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Reinforce key ideas that they already understand. Have them show themselves that they are doing things correctly, and arriving at their own conclusions.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
The basics: pure blank paper is a must for math. Plus, any helpful objects/video demonstrations, depending on the topic. Let's find real life examples.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Keeping a goal in sight, achieving the goal, and setting a new one. Feeling success motivates us, but how can we feel that if our goal is to become Albert Einstein? Setting realistic goals gives that great motivation and sense of accomplishment once complete.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Take a break, then have them teach me what they know. Sometimes they may even discover the solution for themselves. I then analyze where hang-ups might be happening, and try to target understanding of those areas.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
First, find where the problem is happening, and then identify and connect to something already known. Make analogies and inferences to help solidify understanding.