I am a medical student just finishing my third year of medical school. I graduated from IUPUI with my B.S. in Neuroscience, and a minor in Mathematics, in 2016, and was accepted to medical school the same year. I have spent several semesters in my undergraduate career teaching in a variety of subjects. I have tutored computer programming, been a TA for the same class, and been a TA for organic chemistry. I have also taken the SAT and the MCAT and scored well, so I have an understanding of teaching those tests. I have also taken and passed Step 1, and am currently studying for Step 2, so I'm well versed in those areas. Finally, I love writing, and write short science fiction and spy stories in my spare time.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis - Bachelors, Neuroscience
Graduate Degree: IU School of Medicine - Current Grad Student, Medicine
SAT Writing: 740
MCAT Verbal Reasoning: 11
Music, Travel, Neuroscience, My cat, Computer programming
High School Chemistry
High School English
Technology and Computer Science
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to approach each subject based on the student's level of understanding. Once they explain what they understand, I am able to step into their shoes and see material from their viewpoint. This allows me to explain material in a peer-to-peer way, instead of teaching "down" to them.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
A typical first session with me would include having students explain their current level of understanding of the material. They would then list topics or areas that they are specifically having trouble with. If there are many problem areas, we can rank them in order of importance and then tackle them one by one.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Being an independent learner requires self-discipline. I would have the students complete assignments on their own to bolster this. I would also have them spend some portion of our time together teaching the material back to me, so that they can prove to themselves they understand it. This will further motivate them to learn independently.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would help a student stay motivated by assigning them tasks at various levels of difficulty--some easy ones to boost confidence, and some hard ones to challenge them. I would also highlight their progress to show them how much they have learned, and encourage them to keep putting forth effort.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If students have difficulty with a concept, the first thing I would do is ask them what parts they do not understand. I would have them explain what they do understand, and then fill in any gaps. If after my explanation they are still having difficulty, I would direct them to alternate resources so they can hear it from a different perspective. Finally, I would ask them questions to test their understanding.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension is a matter of taking the time to slow down. I would encourage students to read slowly, not skipping any words. Underline words that you do not understand and try and infer their definitions from context. Also, summarize each paragraph after you have finished reading it, instead of trying to remember the individual points after you've read the whole passage.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Starting work with a new student involves getting to understand them, their learning style, and what works best for them. It also involves understanding what their strong and weak points are in their grasp of the material. I would have them talk to me at first, and explain what they understand and do not understand. I would also try a variety of teaching strategies, and ask them for feedback so I can see what works for them specifically. There is no one-size-fits-all approach.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would ask them what their interests, hobbies, and future career goals are. I would then relate whatever subject they are struggling in to these areas.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
The best way to evaluate understanding is to have the students teach the material back to me. If they can explain it well and answer questions about it, they understand it. For standardized test prep, I would also have them take regular practice tests to monitor their progress and understanding.