I just graduated from Rutgers University with a major in Industrial Engineering and a minor in Music. I taught SAT classes though the university, and I have seen significant improvement in just a few months of work. I also worked at Kumon, teaching students (~3 to 7 years old) in Math and Reading. Additionally, my teaching experience includes coaching Little League softball to the 10-and-under age group, and I was told that I was able to relate and interact well with the players. I have mostly tutored math (including a focus in SAT Math), but I am always happy to help someone in any subject than I can. I enjoy working with students of all ages, and I want to see every one of them succeed!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Rutgers University-New Brunswick - Current Undergrad, Industrial Engineering
SAT Math: 770
SAT Writing: 730
Softball, music, broadway, food
5th Grade Math
6th Grade Math
7th Grade Math
8th Grade Math
AP Music Theory
CLEP College Algebra
CLEP College Mathematics
Elementary School Math
GRE Subject Test in Mathematics
HSPT Math Prep
HSPT Quantitative Prep
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Q & A
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In the first session with a student, I would spend a little bit of time getting to know him or her, and also introduce myself; it is important for the student to feel comfortable with the instructor. I do not want him or her to feel scared or intimidated. In terms of the lesson itself, I would ask the student to show me the topics or types of questions that are causing difficulty, and then we’ll solve a few problems either individually or together. I can then gauge the level of the student and decide the best and most effective way to go about tutoring sessions moving forward.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I first like to introduce a topic by solving an example problem or two. Then, I would engage the student and ask questions along the way, so as to guide them into new material. When the student feels as though he or she has a strong understanding of the material, I would suggest that he or she do practice problems. This method can be easily applied to students looking to become independent learners, as there are many resources at their disposal; watching videos and looking at example problems can help assist them in new subject areas until they are fully confident and can do problems on their own.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
When a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I always make sure to take things slowly. Students (myself included) tend to get frustrated and overwhelmed by complex problems, but rushing and pressuring them does not help them learn any more efficiently. I make sure to give students time to process and digest new information before moving on; I work little by little with them, ensuring that they understand every step of the way. Particularly in math, there is usually more than one way to solve a problem; if one method does not work for a student, we can use a different approach.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I personally struggled with reading comprehension in school. Many times, I have noticed, the questions that students get incorrect tend to be about passages in which they are not interested. I found it most important to be focused; it can be difficult, but applying full attention to a reading passage will generate an overall understanding. Everyone has a different method that works for them, but I will always encourage students to read the questions carefully and refer back to the sections in the passage that will help them answer the questions.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
When I start working with a student, I found that the environment is actually an important factor; I try to make the student feel relaxed and comfortable, because then he or she will feel calm without any lingering fear or anxiety. I also noticed that engaging students by asking them questions intermittently helps keep them focused. Additionally, I found it does not hurt to have students attempt some problems without constant guidance, so that they have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
One main way to be sure that a student understands the material is to ask him or her to take a quiz at the beginning of each session, reviewing the information taught previously. What I also like to do is give students a few problems throughout the session that they have to explain and "teach" me how to do. This strategy usually helps them retain information, and it allows me to check in every once in a while to make sure that they are truly still following.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Building confidence and understanding usually go hand in hand. My goal is to improve students' understanding in the subjects difficult for them, so that they can go to class or take an exam aware that they know more than they did before; this way, I can look back with students and show them how much progress they have made and how much they have been able to overcome.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Depending on the student, I like to provide them with plenty of practice problems in the area that we covered during that lesson. If I am preparing someone for the SAT or another standardized test, I prefer to use a textbook, since they are tailored to the specific exam. I also check for good online resources that I think may also help the student if I find that a textbook does not sufficiently explain the topic.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that every student has the potential to succeed if they put in the work. Often times progress is slow and steady, but I always remind students how much they have improved since the start. I will never give up on a student if they are willing to learn; I will give them my best effort as long as they give me theirs. I approach my students with kindness and enthusiasm, and do everything that I can to ensure that they understand what I am teaching. I do not think that learning should be a drag; I want my students to feel confident in the subject and have an enjoyable time getting there.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
To evaluate a student's needs, it often helps to look at old tests or assignments, or to give him or her an initial assessment if there is nothing to show me from school. I look at the types of problems he or she struggles with, the difficulty of the problems, and see if there is any recurring mistake being made. I also like to gain an understanding of his or her work habits and test strategies, because I have witnessed some cases in which these have affected students' scores. I also like to hear from the student what he or she believes the issue is, because I think it is a good starting point if the student is aware of what he or she needs to improve.