A photo of Shinwoo, a tutor from Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

Shinwoo

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I am currently an undergraduate student attending Georgia Institute of Technology and studying Biomedical Engineering. I hope to transfer to the University of Washington to study Chemical Engineering in the near future. My strongest suits as a student have been in Mathematics and Science. My favorite subjects in those areas are Calculus and Physics. As a I continue on with my education I hope to discover more subjects that interest me. For my teaching experience, I have been humbly involved in professionally assisting students excel in Mathematics as a tutor in Seattle Central College since 2015. During my time as tutor I have mostly worked with students that want to excel in pre-college level Math classes, but I enjoyed working with college level math students as well. I have worked with students whose ages range from 18 to 50, and working with such a wide range of age groups greatly shaped my teaching philosophy. I value listening to my students the most in the process of tutoring. From my experience as a tutor, I have learned that every student has a different way to tackle the same problem, and as a tutor, it is my job not to teach my way to get to an answer, but guide my students on their own way. Outside of tutoring I enjoy playing soccer, basketball, and almost any sport. I also greatly appreciate literature, whatever form they might be in, including rap, poem, or novels.

Shinwoo’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus - Current Undergrad, Biomedical Engineering

Graduate Degree: Seattle Central College - Current Grad Student, Chemical Engineering

Hobbies

Soccer, Guitar, Swimming, Rap, Poems, Anthropology, History, Psychology


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Listen to students. By listening to how students learn and what they want to achieve, tutors can give students better academic support and emotional support to guide them to success.

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

In the first session, I would have to evaluate where the student is at on the subject which they are aspiring to excel in. I would have them explain to me briefly what their strengths and weakness are on the topic. Then, we will proceed with some problems that they have on hand for me to evaluate how the students work with the problems, which will give me an understanding of how students process the problems.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

As tutors, we might make the mistake of showing how to tackle a problem in our own terms. However, in order to encourage students to be active in their own learning, I have found it best to hint on a missing piece of their knowledge so the students can navigate to find the solution themselves. This boosts their self-confidence in the subject area, which is a very important part in being independent.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

It is easy for students to lose interest in the work that they do in school. It is essential as tutors to find little things to have students obsess about or have fun with within these topics. When students are learning a subject, it helps to forget what is coming up next or what they have to finish at the end and rather focus on the interest at hand.

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

When students have difficulty learning a skill or a concept, it is almost always because they are not approaching it the way that excites them most. For example, a student might not understand a problem with a history analogy, but they might understand it well with a sports analogy. As tutors it is our job to find the right pathways for individuals. If tutors are having difficulties doing so for an elongated time, it doesn't hurt to come back to the problem later.

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

First, I would repeat the phrases over and over to see if the student can find anything that they have missed. Then, break down the phrases to understand them part by part.

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

The best strategy is listening. Identifying your student's needs is the first objective in a tutoring session. Students might answer back with certain topics they are working on, what problems they are stumped on, and how they might approach a problem.

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

After listening, if I can identify what the student's interests outside of the subject on hand might be, then using analogies in those interests help the students understand better and be more eager as well.

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

Practice problems that students have not worked with yet are a great way to see if the students have understood their materials. Also, letting them be independent can be a great way to assess their understanding.

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

If a student is struggling with a material, it is helpful to let them know that it is useless to compare themselves to somebody who is excelling with that material. It's also helpful to let them know that they have to be patient with a process to prevent their morale from dropping.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Communication is the best way to understand a student's needs. I ask the student directly what they want to be tutored in first, and then critically listen. As a tutor, it is also important to catch onto the implications on what students might need more that they are not aware of.

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

First, I want to be equipped with as many tools as possible. Those tools might include resources like books, drawings, visualization items, and maybe even a different tutor that students might absorb better.

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

In most cases, the most valuable materials are the ones that the students have. Textbooks and notes from classes are the fundamentals since their success depends on what they have learned from the classes. If they need a different way to learn, I have used online resources and practice problems that I have produced.