I am so excited at the opportunity to work with you! I am a second-year student at UC Berkeley pursuing a degree in economics.
I have worked as a private tutor since my freshman year of high school. Throughout the years, I have worked with students ranging from ages 9 to 17, in a wide variety of subjects. However, my specialty has largely focused on test preparation for standardized exams.
I understand that each student has a unique set of abilities, motivations, and needs. This set of attributes is important to how I structure and conduct my sessions, as no two students are alike. I am most comfortable creating a highly-personalized learning environment, in which the student feels comfortable asking questions, explaining their thought processes, and slowly working to become an independent learner.
Above all, I am a conscientious hard-worker. Given a chance to work with you, I am certain that you will not be disappointed!
Thank you for taking the time to read my personal statement, and feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of California-Berkeley - Current Undergrad, Economics
ACT Composite: 35
ACT English: 34
ACT Math: 34
ACT Reading: 36
ACT Science: 35
Music, Politics, Hiking, Volleyball, Soccer
Q & A
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first session is all about trust. I want my clients to be comfortable with my tutoring style and me. I want to better understand my client's abilities, motivations, and needs. For me to start understanding these client attributes, the first session is often a good time to assess reasonable starting points in a particular subject. With direction from parents or the clients themselves, I find it easiest to get a general sense of where the areas for improvement are, and from there, we can collectively set goals for the next session and clear lesson plans for the future.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My general teaching and tutoring philosophy is that students come first. Every student has a unique set of abilities, motivations, and needs, and only once a teacher and tutor clearly understands these attributes can real progress and development occur. One style doesn't work for every student. Some excel in a lecture type format. Others prefer the opposite, seeking highly individualized support and instruction. It is the tutor's duty and responsibility to work with a student to understand their preferred style and to work from there. Even if that format is frustrating to the tutor or unfamiliar territory, a tutor must always remember that the student comes first, and flexibility on his part is the best solution in the long run for the student.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
In my experience as a tutor thus far, the best way to reach indolence in learning is to become a teacher oneself. This means that once a student is able to clearly explain or teach the subject back to me, or any other person, they have truly mastered the material. Making sure that the student understands the entire process, and can explain how and why for every step, is the most beneficial to the student in becoming an independent learner. Therefore, my lessons focus less on whether or not each individual question is correct, but more on the measures we can take to help the student become an independent learner in particular subjects and processes.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I've worked with many different students, and I've found that, unsurprisingly, each student possesses a different set of unique motivations. In the first few sessions, these motivations often present themselves through how students attempt to solve problems, why they persist or give up in the face of a challenge, and whether or not a student enjoys what they are doing at all. Part of helping a student be motivated is for them to understand why I am motivated as tutor. As I mentioned in other questions, the tutor-student relationship has to be a two-way street. If I'm not motivated as the teacher, what is the incentive for the student to enjoy the space in which we are learning as well? The same goes for me in that my job becomes much more enjoyable when the student and I are both motivated to create a learning-intensive environment for our limited time together. All in all, if a student can understand my motivations and their own, it will help them stay motivated throughout not only our tutoring sessions, but in their academic lives as well.