I earned my Bachelor of Science in Biology degree at Loyola University Chicago and graduated with laudatory honors in 2015. My goal is to earn a Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant degree in order to become a Physician Assistant. I will be matriculating to a P.A. program in May 2017. I am passionate about helping others and it is fulfilling to see my efforts have a positive effect on another person, whether it be in a medical or educational setting. My favorite part about being a tutor is helping students gain confidence and become excited about subjects they have struggled with in the past. I enjoy tutoring Mathematics and Science because there is typically more than one approach to understanding concepts. In Mathematics, there are multiple methods to solving problems and relating their applications to the real world. With Science, there are many ways to explain processes, including through the use of analogies and metaphors. However, standardized exam preparation is my favorite subject to tutor because it requires the development of strategies as well as knowledge. It allows students to improve critical thinking skills that will not only be useful for exams, but in their future academic, professional, and personal ventures. As a tutor, my aim is to provide students with the assistance they need in the present and the motivation to continue to succeed in the future.
Loyola University Chicago - Bachelors, Biology
ACT Reading: 31
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Finding a way to relate the subject to something the student is interested in outside of academics can help spark interest in the subject. Describing how that subject relates to the student's life and sharing real world applications/examples shows the student the relevance of the subject outside of the classroom. Acknowledging how much the student has already learned and the progress they have made, while encouraging them to excel, also builds confidence and contributes to a student's desire to engage in the subject.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I believe to truly understand a concept, one should be able to explain it. Asking the student to explain a concept or how to solve a problem is an excellent tool for determining whether they have a grasp on the material. Additionally, asking the student why an answer is correct, or how they know another answer is wrong, is beneficial to reinforcing their understanding.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would use multiple approaches in teaching and multiple sources to help build understanding. In learning concepts, textbooks are not always sufficient. The wording may not be clear, and I would explain the concept to the student in my own words, and incorporate analogies or metaphors when possible. It is also beneficial to utilize other sources, such as credible websites, that explain the same concept but contain different phrasing. This brings the student more clarity and solidifies their understanding. I would help the student develop their own summary of the concept in their notes to eliminate any further confusion and to help serve as an individualized study guide. Viewing and creating graphs, charts, and diagrams is also beneficial, especially to visual learners. In teaching skills, it is essential to provide a step-by-step explanation of how to properly execute the skill, as well as, why each step is important. In developing and reinforcing skills, I stand by the motto "do not practice until you get it right, practice until you cannot get it wrong".
What is your teaching philosophy?
Getting to know your student is of the utmost importance. I understand each student is unique and learning styles vary greatly from student to student. It is crucial to determine what studying methods work best for the student and what their ideal studying environment is. Being able to study comfortably, free of distractions, and with preferred resources/aides is key to efficiently mastering the material. Once a student is aware of what works best for them, as a tutor, I am able to adapt to their needs and preferences and provide instruction tailored to them. Not every student will require the same amount of practice to master a skill, and not each student will understand a concept in the exact same way. It is important to understand a student's way of thinking and to present the material in a way they will be able to clearly grasp it.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Textbooks, workbooks, and materials provided by the student's school. It is important to stay focused on the curriculum and the teacher's requirements. Access to computers or tablets and internet is beneficial. The web is an incredible resource when used properly, and it can provide clarity on many subjects. Pencils and notebooks to take neat, easy to understand notes in, and scrap paper to practice on. Clear and concise notes are always a valuable resource for studying. Colored pens or markers can also be helpful when outlining processes or steps of a problem. In regards to standardized exam preparation, guide books, practice exams, and diagnostics reports are helpful in developing a study plan and customizing lessons.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During a first session with a student, I would like to get to know them. I would like to hear about their academic goals and studying preferences, their opinions on school and particular subjects, their extracurricular activities and hobbies, and anything else that would help me learn about their personalities. We would also go through the subject materials that the student has provided and work towards determining a course of study based on which areas the student needs assistance with. After assessing the student's knowledge, we will begin discussing specific concepts.