Aviva is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz, and is currently a master’s student attending Northern Arizona University remotely while in Tacoma, WA. In both undergrad and grad school, her geology degree emphases have been in planetary science. One of her favorite aspects of those experiences has been exploring planetary science as a multi-disciplinary field which requires classes in advanced math and various lab sciences, in addition to writing and communication. These experiences lend easily to tutoring multiple subjects, allowing her to draw examples from the many perspectives and teaching styles she has seen.
After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, Aviva started tutoring math and science as an independent tutor. Since then she has been tutoring on and off for about six years, with a total of about two years of tutoring. She strives to create a fun and supportive environment, where any question is welcome. She structures her lessons in a way that works best for the student, since everyone learns differently. What she has found is that sometimes the only thing a student needs is a different perspective and encouragement to form study habits that work for them, building their self-confidence.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of California-Santa Cruz - Bachelors, Earth and Planetary Science
Graduate Degree: Northern Arizona University - Masters, Geology
Sci-Fi/Fantasy, hiking, swing dancing, musical theater, and art.
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
High School Chemistry
High School English
Middle School Science
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I strive to create a fun and supportive environment, where any question is welcome. I structure my lessons in a way that works best for the student, since everyone learns differently. What I have found is that, sometimes, the only thing a student needs is a different perspective and encouragement to form study habits that work for them, building their self-confidence.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
My first lessons are where I get to form a connection with the student and the student gets to get to know me. We talk about interests and motivations in order to help the learning process. We also talk about what he or she wants to learn, and we make a plan for future sessions. If there is time, we can start on the first subject.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Being an independent learner is one of my most important goals for my students. As the saying goes, "give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he'll eat for life." I focus on the logic of what we are working on, increasing critical thinking, bettering study habits, and building up a student's confidence in themselves.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
If it turns out that the initial motivations we discussed aren't working anymore, I would talk to the student to find out what is missing or if another motivation has become a priority. I might also change my approach to how silly or fun the lessons are.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
The first step to addressing the difficulty is finding where the student got lost. Once we get back to that, I would try and explain it in a completely different way, such as from a different perspective, using different examples, or even just rewording it helps sometimes.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I like to engage the student right off the bat by having them participate in every immediate step of the problem.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would change the presentation or address their motivations.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Having them explain to me how to do the problems is the best way to see their level of comprehension.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
With more practice and a range of difficulties. Often, a student sees that they can indeed answer the questions on their own, and whenever a student does well I say so right away.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I ask them first what they feel their need is, and then I compare that to previous work to see where the problems are. I also look at every subsequent lesson with them to see what was successful and what was not, and then adjust the plan accordingly.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I like to use lots of paper, colorful pens, and index cards.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
If one of my students is struggling with reading comprehension, I would break example passages down, writing notes and highlighting on the page. I would then teach them to do the same when they work on their own.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I evaluate the success of each lesson and either keep the same style, or change accordingly. I also like to ask if they are visual, auditory, or kinetic learners. Although I have a plan for each lesson, I won't move on to the next subject until I'm sure the student understands what I've already covered.