I believe that tutoring is one of the most useful ways that students can understand how to optimize their own learning methods is through tutoring. I have been tutored throughout my life not because I did not have faith in my abilities to succeed, but because I needed help figuring out what is my best study methods as I progressed as I grew older, classroom styles changed, and I took standardized exams. I realized that it is completely normal to need help, and am very grateful for the people who have helped me throughout my journey. My great experiences from being tutored have helped me realize that I want to do the same by passing on knowledge to those who need it the most.
I began tutoring when I was a senior in high school. I tutored the ACT Science section to other high school students. One of the major concepts that I was able to help my students understand is the difference between a knowledge base and raw test taking skills. For standardized tests, I was able to help my students improve by honing in on their test taking skills and by showing them that at a certain point, memorizing terms and studying is not going to get you any far. But that is totally okay. At that point, students have to focus on raw test taking skills such as practicing speed reading while still attempting to understand the tone, focus, and gist of the passages.
During my undergraduate career at Northwestern University, I was lucky enough to be able to be a Senior Mentor for the Gateway Science Workshop. I taught undergraduate students important inorganic chemistry topics on a weekly basis by going over problems and concepts. From this experience, I realized the importance of learning from others as well as the fact that there is normally more than one way to get to an answer. I saw how students have very different learning styles, and that different problem-solving techniques work better for different types of students. I hope to continue applying what I learned as I pursue my passion of tutoring others.
At Northwestern, I also was able to work with an organization called MiniChefz where I led small group sessions that taught children ages 6 through 13 in low-income neighborhoods the importance of cooking and eating healthily. I taught them different types of cooking methods, cheap healthy ingredients to buy at the grocery store, and the importance of many vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in a daily diet. I really enjoyed working with younger children and saw the importance of taking needed breaks and presenting more complicated information in a manner that is easier for them to understand and remember.
So far in my career teaching and tutoring, I have loved working with my students and believe that I have been able to help them succeed. I hope to continue doing so as I work as a Tutor for Varsity Tutors. My background in Economics, Mathematics, the pre-medical curriculum, and standardized tests allows me to become an effective teacher with many different teaching methods and valuable information that I will be able to pass on to my students.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Northwestern University - Bachelors, Economics
ACT Composite: 32
ACT English: 32
ACT Math: 34
ACT Reading: 30
ACT Science: 33
Playing tennis, Volunteering at Hospitals/Clinics, Exercising, Spending time with friends, and Playing the drums
College Application Essays
MCAT Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to find a way to relate the subject matter to what motivates the student. Teaching is always optimized when the student is driven and interested in the subject. Finding connections between the student's interests and the subject at hand is a great way to start.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
1. Get to know the student outside of the classroom to understand what motivates the student. 2. Tell the student about myself. 3. Discuss what the student's goals are for the tutoring sessions. 4. Start going over pertinent materials and problems to further understand where the student needs to improve.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The first thing I would do is help the student believe in him or herself by proving that he or she can successfully learn the material. I would then describe the process of how I plan on helping the student understand his or her weaknesses, and how I plan on creating an agenda to help him or her attack them. By showing the student how to analyze him or herself and how to attack the issues, the student will be able to do so by him or herself in the future. I would also show the student how to find useful online resources, and even resources at local libraries, that can help the student in future areas of study.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would try to connect the subject that the student is being tutored in to something that motivated the student. In my past experiences tutoring, this has helped the student create inner motivation to study and do the necessary work, even if they are having trouble with the subject. I would also introduce the student to mobile and computer applications that help the student stay motivated by limiting access to distractions. Lastly, I would try to create a long-term goal with the student for them to aim toward achieving. Once they are motivated to achieve their long -term goal, they will be more likely to do all they can to do their best and study hard.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try to show them different methods of approaching problems and various ways at looking at concepts. I would also try to help the student connect the concept to something that they are motivated by, such as sports. Using analogies to daily life events is a great way to explain complicated topics to students that help them understand the topics better.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
As a person who has struggled with reading comprehension before in the past, I have some experience with what test-taking methods and practice techniques worked for me. One piece of advice I have for students is to try reading something challenging just a little bit every day. When I was studying for my MCAT, I read an article from the Economist or the New York Times every day in order to try to hone in on my ability to synthesize the most important points from difficult writing. By working on raw skills like reading difficult material and even utilizing mobile applications to improve speed reading, students can increase reading comprehension. I would also advise students on ways to increase their reading speed, giving them more time to focus on understanding the passage and doing well on questions.