I discovered that I am for tutoring immediately after I graduated from university; my friends who had not yet graduated asked me to tutor them! That experience gave me the passion for teaching and the teaching process.
I hold a bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering, an MBA, and I'm currently weighting my choices for my PhD.
I have been teaching as a tutor and as a college instructor for the past 7 years, not counting the years I worked as a tutor after graduation, I consider myself successful in teaching math courses and Accounting. I believe that every student should ask "why" a lot, as this is my teaching philosophy. I believe that if we knew why are we going in certain steps, or following a certain rule, that will make us absorp and understand in a better manner.
Outside of teaching, I am a huge soccer fan, Manchester United in specific, i play soccer as well, enjoy swimming, and i'm a big "video games" geek; I actually have my own blog :)
I believe that over the years I made a strong bond between my students and I, and that is because I taught them something, I taught them to ask why.
Undergraduate Degree: Kuwait University - Bachelors, Electrical Engineering
Graduate Degree: Kuwait University - Masters, Business Administration and Management
Soccer, Video games, swimming
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that I should encourage students to ask "why" a lot. The reason is that I do believe that if we follow rules and steps without understanding the logic behind them, then education will terminate. I tend to explain the reason why a fact, rule, or problem is significant. I link it to a real life example, focus on the way the solution should be, and how it is actually applied in real life, and then I come back and ask the students "why" do you believe this is how it's done? This way I ensure understanding, strengthen knowledge, and most important of all, eliminate any ambiguity or fear from the topic taught.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get to know the areas of weakness, what areas are most needed to improve, and what the student expects from these sessions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By offering many problems, and letting the student solve by his/her own; I also would listen to his/her opinion, ideas, and way of thinking, and cope with it, as they should decide how they think.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By practicing and by encouraging them day after day; they will feel the difference in their performance after some time.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would break down the concept into smaller ones, walk them through it slowly, and show the student the big picture once he/she mastered the smaller segments of information.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would encourage them to be reading more similar paragraphs, articles, or books in their spare time, and would read with them once practicing to enhance their level.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Get to know the weak areas, and work on them; give them faith in themselves by offering easy problems at the beginning. This builds the trust in themselves.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
By making it fun, and linking it to real life examples; this gives them a reason to pay attention, and to know the application of the knowledge.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Offering problems and monitoring performance without interference.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By breaking the subject into smaller segments, making the student master them, then putting the concepts all together, along with linking it to real life application, and then offering a problem the student will be able to solve. This builds confidence in the approach and themselves.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By asking, probing their level through different sets of questions, and monitoring their performance.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
A student who needs many problems to solve would be different of a student who needs help in understanding the theory. That shows after one session or two, as usually students tell you what they need and what their weak points are.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Textbooks, notes, slides if necessary, problem-solving (plenty), and real life examples.