I like to think about tutoring as a mutual learning experience. I learn a lot when I'm teaching, and I think this state of humility helps me be even more empathetic with my students. However, their learning will always remain our primary goal, when mine is just a consequence along the process.
Teaching is a huge responsibility, it is the art of transmission. Transmitting a knowledge, a culture, a philosophy, a skill... I decided to tutor French because I want people to know more about my country. Not just about the language but the country with everything that is included, like history, culture, world view. This is what a language carries, it's not just a mean of communication. Learning a language forces us to be more empathetic, it's a fantastic way to see the world through another lens.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Universite Paris Ouest Nanterre La Defense - Bachelors, Law and Economics
Graduate Degree: Boston University - Masters, Banking & Financial Law
Reading, hiking, cooking, soccer, tennis, running, travelling
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Empathy is very important to me when it comes to teaching. I want to make sure I understand my students in order for me to come up with the most effective approach so they can fully understand what I am trying to convey.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would typically assess the student's level and explain to them my methods and our goals. I would also try to know more about them as a person, which should make them more comfortable and help me better understand their perspective.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I love this proverb that goes "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." This is what I apply with my students. I want to provide them with the tools that will allow them to know how to research and solve problems in the future.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation is crucial in the learning process, but it can be very different from one person to another. This is why I like to know more about my student's personality, so I can determine the angle or incentive that will motivate them the most.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
First of all I would let them know there is nothing wrong with them. Then I would try to understand their perspective and adapt my approach by using familiar concepts or examples.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
First I would try to understand why they are struggling in that subject. Then I would find out the right angle of motivation, along with familiar examples. Using concepts they are excited about as a comparison could be of great help as well.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I like to discuss with the students about the material. Not necessarily by quizzing them, because it might feel overwhelming sometimes, but more as a discussion so I can see what is their understanding of the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I believe confidence builds up with familiarity, achievement and acknowledgment. Therefore I like to use familiar concepts at times to introduce a subject. Simple exercises can also be very useful in building a student's confidence as they feel self-satisfied about their results. Finally verbalizing that they did well and are on the right path can definitely contribute to building their confidence in the subject.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's needs by determining his level in comparison with our goals. I also give them simple exercises in order to determine if they have needs in specific areas as in writing, oral expression, reading, etc.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Evaluating my student's needs is just the first step. Then I need to know more about their personality, make them comfortable with my tutoring and make sure I come up with the right approach.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I can typically use any type of reading material (books, articles, interviews, etc.), movies or shows and podcasts.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
In such case I tell them there is nothing wrong with them. It is important for them to keep some self-confidence. I would try to associate reading and listening in order to make them more comfortable and have another way to understand the material.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I really like to adapt my tutoring to my students, so my strategy can vary from one student to another. But the common denominators remain empathy and communication.