While I'm still building up my tutoring experience, I've come to love the tutoring that I've done so far. I love helping students who are willing to learn but just need a little extra help getting there. Regardless, in high school, I took numerous AP math and science classes, including AP Statistitcs, AP Calculus BC, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, and AP Physics. In college, I received all A's and B's in my college engineering math classes (calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, etc.). So, I am very knowledgeable across the board in math subjects!
Outside of tutoring, I'm a chemical engineering PhD student at Georgia Tech. I'm doing research with microfluidics and C. elegans (tiny worms that look really cool under a microscope!). I graduated from Caltech in 2015 with my bachelor's in Chemical Engineering. In my free time, I enjoy running, yoga, hiking, and playing with my roommate's dog, Joey!
California Institute of Technology - Bachelors, Chemical Engineering (Materials Science)
Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus - Current Grad Student, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
What is your teaching philosophy?
I like to focus on concepts rather than the problem at hand. While examples can be useful, I don't like to think about the exact numbers involved. Rather, I like to draw connections to other problems whenever possible!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I don't think there is a "typical" first session with a student. I think it depends on the student and their needs. If they're preparing for a test, I would go through a review of a lot of general topics and try to gauge where the student is having problems. If the tutoring will be ongoing, I would try to gauge the student's current knowledge and ability, and then use that to fuel future lessons.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
In addition to textbooks, the Internet can be a valuable resource. If a student is struggling, and they know what the concept is called, they can usually learn a lot through doing a google search (watching YouTube videos, looking up examples, etc.). In addition, as I mentioned in one of my other responses, focusing on concepts is usually a good way to extend what you already know to other, similar concepts and keep building up!
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I think it's good to positively reinforce students whenever they do something correctly. If they don't get it right away, you can provide quick hints, but I think it's important to make the student feel like they did a lot of the thinking involved in solving the problem. That way they KNOW they can solve the problem, and that should help them stay motivated in the future.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or a concept, I would try to start with what they already know and work from there. I think it's important to build on fundamentals, rather than just taking a leap into something that seems big and scary.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I like asking LOTS of questions. It helps me gauge where a student is and what they already know. It also helps me evaluate if the student is lost.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would allow them to feel like they did most of the work to solve a problem and give positive feedback whenever possible. That way they feel like they can do it again on a similar problem (all by themselves!).
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Asking questions is my favorite technique to gauge learning. Additionally, if I can set up a similar situation and the student can solve that problem on their own, then I feel confident that they understand the material.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Most of the time, students already know how they learn best. Asking a student what they need from you (example problems, overview of concepts, etc.) is a good way to get started. Beyond that, being responsive to the student's progress is a good way to monitor what strategies work well.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
For many math subjects, the internet is actually a great resource. If you know the name of the concept, then you can usually find lots of step-by-step example problems. If a student would prefer a more structured resource, I would then turn to textbooks, workbooks, or other book formats.