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Natalie

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My experiences at the Universities and private tutoring encourages me to continue to reach out to students in need and help them discover their true potential. My tasks would include providing educational guidance for high school and middle school students in math, science, and english. I directly interacted with students to help improve their academic performances and build their confidence to achieve academic success. Through my interactions with each student, I help pinpoint their struggles and address them by preparing individualized lessons for each student and develop their own independent study strategy.

Natalie’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Univeristy of California Santa Cruz - Bachelors, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Graduate Degree: University of Southern California - Masters, Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Hobbies

Reading, surfing, swimming, running, painting, just about anything outdoors! :)

Tutoring Subjects

Algebra

Algebra 2

AP Biology

College Algebra

College English

College Essays

Conversational Spanish

Elementary Math

Elementary School Math

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

General Chemistry

Geometry

High School Chemistry

High School English

Languages

Life Sciences

Math

Middle School Math

Other

Pre-Algebra

Science

Spanish

Spanish 1

Spanish 2

Summer

Writing


Q & A

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

I believe communication is extremely important with each student. Typically, I like to get to know each student and how he or she feels about the subject we're about to learn and what they're favorite subject is. I also like to ask them what are some of the best ways they like to learn, whether it's practice problems, games, demos, etc. Then, I like to ask if there is anything specific about the subject they have trouble with such as concepts, applying the knowledge, wording on tests, etc. And finally, I like to do an assessment with that subject to see firsthand how the student approaches the problem and find the specific areas to focus on improving. This way, for the next session, I can customize the lesson to focus on the areas that will help the student improve and build confidence.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

According to each student's learning style, I help them develop strategies on how to approach and solve problems. Typically, especially for test prep, I will ask the student to draft a study guide of the concepts that will be tested and ask what they can write on the guide that helps sum-up the concept. I also ask them to pretend I am a fellow student having trouble grasping a concept or how to solve a problem and have the student explain it to me. During the student's explanation, I can follow along and assess if the student has covered everything accurately and if not, then we have found a specific area we need to revisit. I believe that you truly know a subject if you can teach it in a simple way.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I believe positive reinforcement can go a long way if a student has trouble staying motivated. I like to acknowledge their effort, patience, and each attempt they make in solving a problem. I believe maintaining an encouraging and supportive environment for each student can help them realize their true potential.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

Depending on the student's way of learning, I like to accommodate our session to that particular style. For instance, if a student is a visual learner and having trouble with a math or science concept, I like to demonstrate each detailed step and explain the logic of each step either by writing out each step or props/video depending on the concept. I always encourage the student to stop me in at a step that needs more clarification. This way, we can really focus on the part of the concept that seemed challenging at first. If possible, I also like to use analogies and real-world examples to help make the concept less difficult.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

When I first work with any student, I typically like to ask their opinion about the subject and what learning styles they feel most comfortable with. I also typically ask what do they already know about the subject and where they feel they need improvement. These pieces of information become crucial on where we need to start, and what we need to focus on. Also, having a good sense of humor can help lighten the load of what at first may seem overwhelming for some students.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I like to introduce real-world examples to students about the things they are learning about in the subject. If possible, I also like to share video demos for them to truly see the concept at world. Especially in the science world, you can search many videos and stories that are changing the world we live in while applying the same basic concepts you learn in a classroom. Showing the benefits of knowing how the subject affects the world around them can have a powerful impact on one's appreciation for a subject.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

I believe that if you know a subject, you can teach it. Especially in test prep, I like to have a list of concepts the student will be tested on and pretend I am a fellow student in their class that does not know anything. As the student attempts each concept, I can follow along and see if they accurately explain them. If a student hesitates at a particular point, or if I found they did not explain a certain concept completely accurate, then we know the specific points that need more attention.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

I know not every subject is appealing to every student. Which is why I always make an effort to acknowledge and celebrate each attempt a student makes in solving a problem. Maintaining a supportive and enthusiastic environment can help a student feel more confidence in accomplishing their academic goals. I strongly believe positive reinforcement can go a much longer way than the lack of it.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

When I ask a student what he or she feels needs improvement, I do my best to design each session to target those needs. For example, if it's the concepts they feel need attention, I will give a detailed demonstration of the concept and give examples of the concept at work. If the student has trouble solving a type of problem, I like to help them through the problem, step-by-step, and explain the logic of each step several times before I ask the student to attempt a problem on their own. I also like to incorporate other learning tools such as props, video, and self-mapped study guides to target a student's learning style.

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is that each student has the potential to achieve his or her academic goals. It's also not just knowing the answer, but having the proper tools to solve a problem. If a student has the tools and resources, and knows how to apply them, I believe that's when they start to realize their true potential.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I understand reading comprehension can be challenging for some students. Typically, I like to ask a student, from reading a passage, what his or her opinion is about that passage. I like to bring an open discussion about the readings and present to the student possible themes and messages the author is trying to say. I also typically read along with the student and dissect the sentence structure and determine the message of that sentence. By breaking the reading into smaller parts and understanding each part it allows the student to digest the reading that may seemed intimidating at first.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

During my assessment with each student and having them explain their logic in solving each problem, I can observe and understand a student's way of thinking. By explaining their thinking process while solving a problem it helps communicate the possible areas that the student needs help with. Sometimes, if the student does not fully know a concept, I will find it as he applies the principle inaccurately or at a wrong step. Then, I know we need to revisit the concept and when to apply it. Also, if the student does grasp a concept but still produces an incorrect answer, their written and spoken step-wise-solution can help pinpoint that perhaps certain steps need revision that lead to the correct answer.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Depending on the student's preferred way to learn, I typically like to use whiteboard, practice problems, videos and if possible, props to help explain concepts and problem-solving strategies. If also possible, I like to include real-life examples that apply their subject to real-world situations to illustrate the importance of learning the subject.