I have always had a passion for teaching, and to me there's nothing better than the smile on a student's face when he or she finally masters a difficult concept. My specialty subject is mathematics. In high school, I finished AP Calculus BC by the end of my junior year, and during my senior year I went on to take college-level math in a dual-enrollment program with Carnegie Mellon University. I just finished my freshman year at Yale, during which I took an accelerated course on Vector Calculus and Linear Algebra. In addition to mathematics, I am also studying music at Yale, where I have taken rigorous courses in music theory, musicianship, and piano performance. I would be able to tutor in those subjects as well. I currently have a 4.0 GPA at Yale.
As a high school student, I regularly tutored elementary school students, and I was at the helm of a Homework Helper organization that sent about 260 high school students to provide free tutoring services at local elementary and middle schools. Students find me helpful as a tutor not only because I have abundant expertise in the areas I teach, but also because I am patient and friendly. I am able to put students at ease so that they gain the confidence necessary to tackle difficult subjects.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Yale University - Current Undergrad, Mathematics & Music
SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1590
SAT Math: 790
SAT Verbal: 800
SAT Writing: 780
AP Chemistry: 5
AP Chemistry: 5
AP Calculus AB: 5
AP Calculus BC: 5
AP Statistics: 5
AP English Literature: 5
AP US History: 5
AP World History: 5
SAT Mathematics Level 2: 800
SAT Subject Test in U.S. History: 790
SAT Subject Test in Chemistry: 760
AP Music Theory: 5
AP Computer Science A: 5
Playing piano, running, reading, watching Bollywood movies
What is your teaching philosophy?
Research has shown time and time again that when students explain a concept to another person, they understand it better themselves. My teaching philosophy, therefore, is based on the idea that learning should be a conversation, not a lecture. I give students the guidance and background knowledge to attempt a problem, but then I expect them to explain their thought process to me as they're attempting the problem. Of course, I'm always there to redirect the student if he or she is veering astray of the goal, but I don't "spoonfeed" students. Rather, I help the students garner a deep understanding of the material so that when they attempt tests or exams on their own, they feel amazingly confident and perform spectacularly well.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Since I'm a believer in the "learning by conversation" approach, I tend to avoid textbooks as a teaching tool, except perhaps as a source of practice problems. Instead, I prefer to take advantage of the dynamic capabilities of the Online Learning Platform. I use the virtual whiteboard to introduce concepts visually as I discuss them orally via the video chat system. The student can, in turn, use the same tools to demonstrate his or her own understanding of the material to me. In addition, I am happy to accommodate requests to use other tools the student has found useful in the past.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
To maximize the amount of learning that occurs during the first tutoring session, I prefer to conduct diagnostics on the student's learning needs before we start working. If the student has previous exams or homework assignments that they are comfortable showing to me, I inspect them to observe patterns in the student's strengths and areas for improvement. If the student is unable to share such items, then I administer a diagnostic evaluation of my own that the student attempts on his or her own before we go over it together during our first session. That way, we can hone in on problem areas as soon as the tutoring sessions begin.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Past students of mine have found my tutoring effective and empowering, because I try to be as patient as possible with them. As I see it, patience is the key to building students' confidence. It does not matter to me how many attempts a student has to make to understand a concept - I'm there with them the whole time, persisting until the student reaches a deep level of understanding. I'm never willing to give up on anyone, and I make sure my students know that. My students know that I trust they will succeed - and that makes them believe they'll succeed too.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I write lesson plans specifically designed for each session I conduct, rather than relying on stock lesson plans. Thus, my tutoring sessions are tailored as closely as possible to the student's needs. Before each session, I assemble a list of learning goals and determine roughly how much time we'll spend on each learning goal. The learning goals are based on the diagnostics I have already conducted with the student, in addition to any other area of concern the student has brought to my attention. I don't waste time on concepts the student already understands well - I strive to ensure maximum productivity for each tutoring session.