I firmly believe that any student can accomplish and understand the material of a subject, provided they have a targeted and tailored approach to their unique learning style and needs. I make it my goal to try to find what a student needs and aim to adjust my teaching to help each student individually.
Undergraduate Degree: Rhode Island College - Bachelors, Physics - Secondary Education
Graduate Degree: Fitchburg State University - Masters, Physics - Secondary Education
GRE Quantitative: 157
GRE Verbal: 155
I am an avid gamer of both video games and tabletop board games and role playing games. In addition, I am also a dedicated reader who loves fantasy and science fiction. Outside of that, I also play mandolin and mandocello on my own and with a local ensemble.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that any student can learn any subject provided that they get the correct support and targeted instruction. In my classroom, I employ a wide variety of teaching strategies that aim to hit many learning styles and inspire curiosity.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I'll spend some time getting to know the student, finding out what they like and dislike about the subject, and trying to find out from them what they'd like out of the tutoring.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I like to give students as much positive feedback as I can. When helping with work, I like to guide and show the path rather than give the final destination. I think that students are more motivated by wins that they fought for versus victories given by the teacher.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I aim to see where the troubles lie. I like to have the students guide me through solving the problem or working on the concept, listening to what they say and do, trying to see where the difficulty lies. Once the trouble spot is located, I would aim to approach it in a different way to try to eliminate the confusion.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
When a reading comprehension problem would be discovered, I would have the student break the reading section into smaller and smaller chunks until they have an area where they can comprehend without issue. Then help them plan out how to use this technique in the future.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I've found that showing the students the methods first is helpful because they have examples to fall back on. I also like to watch the student closely when they first try on their own to help correct any mistakes or misconceptions.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I like to try to show how the subject is used in the real world and the fun ways it can be experienced. YouTube videos, image searches, etc. are great ways of showing the subject in action and helping the students to see the fun or the interest in the subject.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I like to employ a variety of summative and formative assessments before, during, and after working with the students. These may include small quizzes and tests, lab techniques, and online simulations. When tutoring, if a point of confusion is found, I would go back and review with the student, focusing on the areas of weakness.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I like to use a pre-test to show a baseline of where the student started, then when we finish a section or unit looking back at the baseline and showing how far the student has come. I also try to compliment not only correct work, but also work that is on the right path. That way the student sees that anything can be accomplished.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I partly evaluate a student's needs based on what the student/parents say are the student needs; after all, they probably know themselves the best. I also see what steps in problem solving are skipped, as this usually indicates an area of weakness or confusion. I also look to see how the student follows along with the material for areas of weakness.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I aim to tailor my tutoring to the student. If they need more help with conceptual work, then we look at the concepts in more detail, look at more examples, and focus on a solid understanding. If they struggle with math, then I'll help them to strategize methods of problem solving that they can employ when not in the tutoring session to help them perform well.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I like to use a variety of materials: 1. YouTube is a great way of observing science in action. 2. Simulations are fantastic in getting nearly-hands-on experience with the subjects. 3. Google Drive will be employed to give then students copies of example problems, note pages, and practice.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
As students focus on their work, they can try to do more and more on their own. My goal is to scaffold the material for students so that they get lots of support early on, and then gradually get less and less guidance until they can stand on their own. In terms of going forward, I try to incorporate strategies that guide students into critical thinking to get them to work independently.