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Diana

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I am a recent graduate from Clemson University's Masters of Physics and Astronomy program, now working for the South Carolina State Museum as the Planetarium Educator. I have a strong passion for science, especially astronomy, and I would love to share that passion with you. As a physicist, I have dealt with all types of mathematics and am familiar with many of the pitfalls students encounter. (Having run into many of them myself!)
While working towards my master's degree, I worked as a lab instructor for undergraduate students taking physics and astronomy courses. This involved giving lectures and guiding students through hands on experiments. Now, I would like to extend that experience to you and work with you one-on-one to explain various topics in a real world, hands on manner. I strongly believe that learning should be about discovery and understanding, and not simply to pass a required course. To achieve this, I hope to help my students see the reason behind learning a given topic and to give them the tools needed to excel.

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Diana’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Mississippi State University - Bachelors, Physics and Astronomy

Graduate Degree: Clemson University - Masters, Physics and Astronomy

Hobbies

Knitting, Gardening, Stargazing, Video Games


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe in guiding students through a process in order to promote understanding. Repetition and real world applications are key to comprehension.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

I like to understand a student's background and situation before diving straight into content. By knowing a student's past experiences, goals, and current knowledge, I can better help them succeed.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Instead of simply teaching my students content, I can teach them processes to follow. These processes can be used to learn a variety of topics at the student's own pace.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Setting a variety of goals can help keep students motivated. Short term goals bring small successes to look forward to, while long term goals give a student something to strive for.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

Try a new approach. Not everyone learns the same way, and as your tutor it is my responsibility to present information in a variety of formats.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

It’s OK to take things slow. If you need to read a paragraph over a few times, that is just fine. I can also help them find key words to bring out the main point of a topic. Once the main points are determined, it can be easier to understand what the rest of the content is about.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Although it can sometimes be frustrating for students, it is important for them to work through a problem on their own. After I have gone over a topic, the student needs to attempt problems on their own using me only as a backup. This promotes more thorough understanding.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I'd like to get to know the student’s interests and hobbies. This way I can discover how they might use the subject in reference to their interests.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Having them explain a problem back to me lets me know how fully they understand the material.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Asking them questions about topics they have learned with me helps them to realize how far they have come.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

By asking them about their classes, I can learn if they are struggling with any topic in particular. Assigning my own practice problems will also help me to evaluate the student.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

Each student learns differently. By getting to know the student, I can determine whether to be more lecture based or more example based; to help with all the problems or to let the student work on their own first.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

I find drawing out problems and examples to be very useful. If a textbook is available, they can be great references and sources for further education.


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