I have a BBA and an MSBA in Management Information Systems from the University of Memphis, and I am a former Instructor at Southwest TN Community College. I started working at Southwest as a Math Tutor, and I've tutored elementary and high school students. I have also assisted several colleagues with standardized placement and proficiency tests and with their undergraduate and graduate courses.
Undergraduate Degree: University of Memphis - Bachelors, Management Information Systems
Graduate Degree: University of Memphis - Masters, Business Administration and Management
My son, drawing/art, music, and movies
What is your teaching philosophy?
I first try to figure out where each student is academically. They may not know themselves, but I make the best determination that I can with my understanding of the subject area. Next, I begin working with them to bring them up to speed with where they need to be. I explain, demonstrate, and let them practice in their coursework. I try to keep them aware of their own progress, and work with them to bring them to the point where they can master material at a sufficient pace on their own.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Introduce ourselves and gain an impression on each other’s background. On my part, that would include expressing my credibility and approach; and I would try to understand the student's attitude toward the subject and where the student has problems. When we have a starting point and a roughly outlined path, we can begin to work toward getting the student to mastery in the subject.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Try to help the student resolve negative attitudes towards learning and/or the subject. Try to keep the student encouraged and motivated as we work. Make sure that the student is actively participating in study, learning the material, and growing as a learner. Help the student to be aware and comfortable as they reach a point where they can manage on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Make sure that students are aware of their progress, and keep challenging them to get better. Encourage students in their abilities, and show them how the material, lessons, and skills they are developing will help them as they advance and progress. Make the material more interesting, relatable, and understandable.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Be understanding, compassionate, and patient. Decompose skills and concepts, so that we can work on smaller pieces. Find new approaches, but stay focused on the goal. Put all the pieces together and celebrate all victories.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Practice reading and reflecting on what we've just read. Review material and discuss ideas. Relate material to the student's own life experiences.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Develop a rapport with each student, and treat them as an individual. Try to understand their attitudes and academic struggles, so that we can find an approach and a path toward mastery.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Come up with a different approach to make the subject relatable to the student's background and interests, and try to make it understandable. Sometimes, you can find approaches that make a subject more fun and/or challenging, but it really has to connect with something from the student's life in order to develop excitement and/or engaging.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
After explaining and/or demonstrating material, students need to practice the material. Generally, repetition is only a minor demonstration of concepts: but discussion, explaining, and completing a task on their own is much more meaningful.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Try to connect the subject to a student's experience so they can begin to absorb the material. Help the students as we work on the material; and as they start to learn a subject, help them to be aware of their progress. Encourage students to work on the material themselves until they achieve mastery.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Talk to the student to learn about them as a person and their relationship to the subject to determine where they are. I use my own experience and understanding of the subject and the required course of study to determine where they need to be.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Pay attention to the student to determine when an adjustment or detour needs to be made. Use my understanding of the student's personality and life experiences to find a way to connect the student with the material that they need to master.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I start with textbooks and assignment documents, and I introduce other materials as appropriate to the subject and the student's needs. Paper and writing utensils or computers with applications are the most common tools. I might also use a blackboard/whiteboard or physical objects to demonstrate concepts. I use calculators where necessary, but tend to avoid them where I feel they become a handicap or crutch to students.