A photo of Toni, a tutor from University of Maryland-Baltimore County

Toni

Certified Tutor

Call us today to connect with a top tutor
(888) 888-0446

I am currently an undergraduate student pursuing two degrees in Chemical Engineering and Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (expected May 2018). I received my Associate of Arts from Howard County Community College in May 2015. Throughout my life, I have always been passionate about helping everyone around me succeed. Whether I had pre-established a relationship with someone or not, helping them to understand a new topic always came second nature.

My two favorite subjects are Algebra and Chemistry but, as indicated by my major choices, I do love many topics across the STEM spectrum including; Calculus, Biology, Anatomy, and many more! Algebra has been my favorite subject since my first encounter with it in middle school because of its numerous real-world applications like recipes, games, and (most recently) budgeting. Chemistry, on the other hand, has always fascinated me because it is real-life magic! Learning about the building blocks of life, how they interact, and how they can be altered still amazes me; even after years of studying them.

Outside of academics, I love to volunteer with my family, play PlayStation with friends, and have game nights. These activities help to keep me balanced and provide easy outlets during the semester. I truly believe that teaching students is more about understanding and analysis instead of memorizing formulas. This is reflected in my ‘partner-teaching’ style in the sense that I re-learn with the student in order to isolate areas of improvement, make the student more comfortable, and be relate-able in a way traditional teachers cannot. Having the student ‘teach’ me how to solve a problem is also crucial to my teaching style and evaluation techniques; while they ‘teach’ I can witness how far they have come and boost their confidence.

Toni’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Maryland-Baltimore County - Current Undergrad, Chemical Engineering and Biological Sciences

Test Scores

AP Chemistry: 4

AP Calculus AB: 5

AP Calculus BC: 5

Hobbies

Yoga, Video Games, Board Games

Tutoring Subjects

Algebra

Algebra 3/4

Biology

College Biology

High School Biology

Homework Support

Math

Middle School Math

Other

Pre-Algebra

Science

Summer


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

The first step in learning is understanding; a solid knowledge base must be established before adding the next topic.

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

During the first session, I will assess the student's overall understanding. This includes explaining how to solve the problems posed. With the added explanation, I will be able to evaluate the student's true level of understanding.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

In order to encourage a student's independent learning, it is important to hold them at a certain level of accountability. Helping a student to accept responsibility for practice problems and/or outside reading is the first step towards true independent learning.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

In order to keep motivation levels high, a student needs positive encouragement. Every step of improvement, no matter how small, is something to be celebrated, appropriately of course. This helps a student want to learn more to keep earning all-around praise.

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

Most times when a student is having difficulty learning a concept, he/she requires a new approach. As a tutor, I pride myself in knowing multiple "plans of attack" for the same problem. Once the point of difficulty is isolated, it can always be ironed over.

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

In order to truly comprehend a question, I will ask students to follow four 'fool-proof' steps when reading a wordy question. 1.) Underline important information the first time you read through. Given values, hints, 'horizontal', etc. 2.) Re-read and write down what you are solving for. 'Final number of apples', 'Car velocity in ft/s', etc. 3.) Re-read and write down everything highlighted in step 1. Pulling the important bits out AND rewriting what is already printed keeps the brain working. 4.) UNITS, UNITS, UNITS! Whether its length, time, apples, or oranges, student have to be clear on what the given values mean and how they relate to what is being asked for.

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

Developing a productive environment for the student is a major key to success. Making an effort to show him/her that I am here to work with him as opposed to criticizing his work. Building this relationship base will be crucial when the time later comes to challenge the student and celebrate accomplishment(s).

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

Asking a student to 'narrate' each step in their problem solving process will give me a clear view into their true understanding of the material.

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

Positive encouragement is the key to building confidence when learning a new subject. Every topic mastered is a step in the right direction and should be celebrated as such. When new frustrations arise, however, it is important to remind the student of how far they have come (and will go) to keep confidence levels high.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Giving small quizzes and keeping track of the mistakes will give me a good idea of the student's needs. Asking students personally what they are having the most difficulty with can aid in isolating the problem: Is he/she truly not understanding, does he just lack the confidence, or is he over-confident and rushing through steps?