# Melvin

Certified Tutor

Undergraduate Degree: University of Central Florida - Bachelors, Aerospace Engineering

I like to swim, bike and run. I also enjoy math just for the sake of math, doing problems and learning new abstract concepts. I also enjoy reading about space and space exploration. I play the guitar so anything music related is also great.

Algebra 3/4

Conversational Spanish

Spanish 1

What is your teaching philosophy?

I think that any student is capable of understanding any problem in math and physics, it does not matter how complex the problem might seem at first. I think that if the material is presented in the right way, tailored towards the specific learning style of the student, then the student can achieve full understanding of any concept.

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

Present as many examples or problems as the student needs to understand the problem at hand. Ask the student leading questions so that they can fully understand that idea.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Becoming an independent learner is a key component in academic success. Asking the student leading questions, and teaching the student how to produce those leading questions for themselves, will help the student when they are put to the test and need to perform, understand, and execute.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Always remind the student of their end goal. Whether they are looking to graduate high school, get a good test score, or earn a college degree, it is always good to remind them that they are working towards a greater goal. Those apparent "problems" are nothing but hurdles we must overcome to achieve our dreams and ambitions.

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

Try to find real life examples, and make sure to present as many similar problems as possible so that they become more and more familiar with the type of problems or concepts.

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

A very good technique to improve reading comprehension is to take notes parallel to each paragraph that is read. The idea is to write down the main idea in each paragraph. At first, students will find that they are writing a lot, but the amount of writing will be reduced once they start to pick up the main idea quickly. This is an essential test-taking technique, students need to quickly and efficiently read material and be able to answer questions.

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

Always make the student feel comfortable. A lot of times students feel down or incompetent because they are forced to look for help. This is normal, but everyone needs help at some point, and they need to be reassured that they are in the right place to receive the help they need. End the tutoring session with more confidence than they started.

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

A lot of times students lose interest in a subject because they are unable to relate the material to interests that they might have. So, it is always a good idea to try to tie the subject or idea they are learning to some real life example that the student might relate to.

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

Always asks the student leading questions, and always make sure to ask questions that truly test their understanding. It is not the goal to understand one problem, but rather the idea as a whole. I always try to ask students several questions to test their understanding in the subject, and make sure the student answers with confidence.

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

Confidence is built through repetition and mastery of a subject. Once the student truly understands what they are doing, they will be able to answer many questions with several twists, and they will boost their confidence knowing that they have truly mastered the subject.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Simply asking the student questions, getting a feel for what exactly they need help with. Some students are confused on one specific aspect of a problem; you help them understand that piece and they are well on their way. Other students struggle with the entirety of a subject, so it is key to understand the student's needs to better help them.

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

I have a decent size library of math and physics books in my possession. I always refer to these to find new examples, each book presents the material slightly different. I also use calculators for physics problems to facilitate basic arithmetic during long problems.

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

Every student is different, and every student learns a different way. Some students are visual learners; others are very hands-on. I don't mind adapting to each of these styles. If the student wants to take control of the problem and have little involvement from the tutor, that is okay with me. Other students might need a step by step guide to solving a certain problem, which is totally valid as well.