Zachary S Hazlett is a 23 yr old native New Mexican who has recently graduated from UNM with a B.S. in Biochemistry. He is currently pursing his goal to complete medical school and go on to be a doctor of ophthalmology (diseases and disorders of the eye). In the mean time, he wants to use his passion for teaching science to help students succeed in their own education!
Zack has 3+ years experience as a STEM tutor for the University of New Mexico. He has held a variety of tutoring positions from working as a supplemental instructor for general undergrad physics and chemistry, to being a peer learning facilitator for upper division biochemistry courses. With his experience, Zack's focus in tutoring is not purely content mastery, but to equip students with the tools needed to critically think and problem solve on their own in order to create an effective and sustainable mode of learning.
When Zack isn't helping inspire students to love learning, he can be found reading books in local coffee shops, cycling the streets of the 505, or lead climbing one of the many beautiful NM rock climbing routes con amigos.
So drop a line! Zack is available for tutoring in-person or online.
University of New Mexico-Main Campus - Bachelors, Biochemistry
What is your teaching philosophy?
I strive to equip students with critical thinking and problem solving skills to succeed while encouraging curiosity of the subject matter. I encourage them to continue to ask the questions: "Why" and "Who cares?"
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session with a student, I would first seek to learn about the student, including their educational pursuits, which areas they feel more and less confident in, and then learn how they learn best. We would discuss what their goal is with our time together and make a plan on how to accomplish this.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I would do my best to teach the student study skills, the importance of organization, how to effectively and systematically problem solve, as well as what to do and how to move forward when they fail.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would encourage students to stay curious, and to take the time to appreciate scientific content for how it fits into the broader context. I would also encourage teamwork, as one's education is a wonderful opportunity to grow and learn in a community.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would start at the fundamentals of the concept and work forward. As we find the disconnect, I would ask the student questions and work through problems with them to help them better grasp the concept and bridge the gap in their learning.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Depending on the material, I would help the student come up with ways to best approach and retain content. This might look like skimming textbook content and the pertinent pictures, grasping the main message, before diving into the details.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found that wait time is successful. Students need time to process information without being rushed.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would work to make the subject relevant to them. If the subject matter seems abstract and unnecessary I would get them to ask "Who cares?" This usually takes some prying, as the students learn how, even the most seemingly irrelevant, problems can allow them to practice critical thinking skills and become a better student.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Sometimes I might present a concept with an intentional wrong answer. If the student understands, they will catch my mistake and correct me, keeping them engaged and checking for understanding.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Positive reinforcement through praise of a student's hard work.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I would ask about where the student feels more and less confident in a subject matter. I would ask how they take and organize their notes, how they feel about quiz and test taking, and how they go about studying. This would provide a good understanding of how the student learns and how to evaluate their needs.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I meet the students where they are at. If they are taking baby steps with content, I will pace a lesson slowly in order to best establish a foundation of the fundamentals. If the student is excelling through a concept, I will play off their strengths and get them to take the lead in their learning. Adaptation is most necessary in an effective tutoring interaction.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I like to use a small whiteboard with markers and eraser to draw pictures and work through problems with students with plenty of space. I also utilize the student's own class notes and material in order to instill in them the ability to find their own answers.