I am a student at George Mason University currently studying Systems Engineering. I have practice in both mechanical and electrical physics, as well as 3 years of calculus experience. I've worked with high school students tutoring for about 2 years and I very much enjoy tutoring and interacting with students. In addition to math and physics I have experience with Arduino, MATLAB, and Python. I am also the Tournament Organizer for GMU Smash Brothers' Smash 4 tournaments during the fall and spring.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: George Mason University - Current Undergrad, Systems Engineering
AP Calculus BC: 4
AP Physics C: Mechanics: 5
AP US History: 4
AP Comparative Government and Politics: 4
Arduino, 2D Fighters, Cycling
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
People who are having trouble with a subject should be assisted, since it's way more time efficient. There's been many days where I stared at math problems with no clue how to do them, and it usually made homework take ages. I aim to prevent that by boosting the student up when they slump on a problem, and letting them move forward at their own pace if they are comfortable with the subject. This allows a student to practice a subject more than be taught a subject, which is imperative to getting better at math, physics and language.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would introduce myself and invite them to sit next to me. I would then find their name, hobbies, and academic issues that I would need to solve that day. I would then move into the tutoring and go through homework with them, look over tests if they brought those, all while trying to connect them to the student's interests. If the student is stuck, I would give them a moment to see if they can get past it; if not, I would provide a helpful hint or two, and if they still don't understand, complete the problem myself, and then have them do another of the same type. After all is complete, see them off and encourage them to come back again.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I would actively try to have them practice the problems when I teach them. The point of a tutor is to keep the practice going smooth. If it is not, then you assist them little by little until they can do it themselves. If they are having trouble on a problem, ask them why and get past as many roadblocks as possible for them to keep going. This way, they are practicing as much as possible, and will be able to do all of the problems on their own by the end of the session.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Keep them focused on the idea that nobody understands everything, and that all they need to do is focus on the tasks a bit more, as well as prepare. If they're feeling hopeless, show them how much they've learned, and assure them that they can learn anything if they put their mind to it.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Go through very simple problems until they understand the core concept, then move on to trickier situations that they might encounter. Move to harder and harder problems until they understand the concept fully, then do a few short problems to make sure, and then move on to the next thing.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Isolating the core problems that they're having. Usually students have issues with specific aspects of a subject, and it can make it very hard to learn when they don't have a good foundation. Once the foundation is there, move up slowly through the subjects, guiding them along until they can start to figure it out by themselves.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would work through problems while interacting with the student in order to keep them interested. I would try to encourage them if they're slowing down, and maybe take over a bit if they're really stuck. I'd actively try to help them understand problems, getting past roadblocks they find in homework and such.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Have them work on problems individually, with my oversight. If they pause for more than 5 seconds thinking, I'll try to talk them through their issues. If they totally understand the problems, have them go through those problems, as it feels empowering to go through problems really quickly.