The best educators / teachers will say that seeing students have the "light bulb" moment is what keeps them in the profession and what makes the struggle worthwhile. I know it's why I began teaching and why I choose to continue in the profession.
I first encountered this feeling when I was a tutor for math and science students in college. I was able to help students reach that feeling often over the course of the semester, and even over the course of a session.
After I began teaching, I found students certainly benefit from a skilled and committed teacher. But not nearly as much as they can from a skilled tutor. The content knowledge and methods of teaching skills / content can be focused to meet the individual student in a way that it simply can't in a full classroom.
Guiding the student to their own "light bulb" moment is something that I always aim for with each session and is something that I've found happens more often with tutoring. I look forward to helping others turn on that bulb.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Middle Tennessee State University - Bachelors, Physics
ACT Composite: 25
Music, bass, guitar, basketball, football, video games
High School Physics
IB Further Mathematics
IB Mathematical Studies
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Teachers who have patience, perseverance, and know what it feels like to struggle with concepts can help any student achieve their goals and overcome their academic challenges.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would first ask them what they want to achieve by the end of the session. I'd then ask if they had any specific questions about the topic, or if they just needed to start from the beginning. I would then break the subject into small chunks so that the student can build their confidence and understanding until they have mastered what they were initially struggling with.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can break complicated material into essential and nonessential categories so that students know what to focus on. I will also question students about their own thinking through successful and unsuccessful problem solutions so that they understand how to approach new ones.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would let them know that feeling discouraged or frustrated is common, but that I can find a way to make the concept or skill stick.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would ask them to describe the parts of the skill or concept that they do understand, and then identify the specific problem and focus on practicing that skill until the student feels confident.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I always begin by asking the student what it is they are struggling with and what they want to achieve by the end of the session. This quickly lets me know what I need to break down and which strategies I should use.