Learning occurs where effective communication and problem solving meet. This is especially true when learning physics and math. We use communication to build a foundation of knowledge and problem solving to turn that knowledge into useable information. As a tutor, my role is to use my aptitude and experience as a problem solver and communicator to help my students to acquire new skills and reach their learning goals. My teaching philosophy is based on experiential learning, which simply put means that my students learn by doing. Whenever possible instead of solving a single problem, I will give my student skills or frameworks to solve many problems. My experience comes from tutoring and teaching for over 10 years while I completed my undergraduate and masters degrees in physics. As much as I enjoyed physics research I enjoyed the challenge of teaching physics more which is why I’ve chosen a career in teaching science and math.
University of Windsor - Bachelors, Physics and High Technology Co-op
University of Windsor - Masters, Physics
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I would observe the student work through the task, asking them questions to determine what about the concept is difficult, and then create a scaffold to help them. For example, if their difficulty is due to missing background knowledge, I would build a lesson to fill in the gaps in their knowledge. If instead they are having difficulty solving a complex problem, I'd create an algorithm they can use to break it down into a series of simpler tasks.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that learning happens when there is clear communication and effective problem solving between learners and teachers. This can best happen when students learn skills by completing learning tasks that are relevant. My role as a tutor is to help my students reach their learning goals by using my experience as a problem solver and communicator while they work through these tasks.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, together my student and I would outline what they hope to achieve, what challenges they need to overcome and how they'd like me to help them. We'd also spend some time getting to know each other, reviewing materials, working on current tasks and setting a plan for moving forward.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I'd help a student become an independent learner by showing them how they can leverage their strengths and skills to overcome challenging tasks regardless of the individual topic or problem.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I help my students stay motivated by reminding them of their progress towards their goals, and their purpose in working through their challenges.