I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from North Dakota State University in 2012. While some subjects came more easily to me, I found myself seeking out the help of a tutor to complete others. Tutoring helped me immensely and I would love to be able to help others through their tough subjects the same as I was helped.
Since graduating, I have been volunteering as the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) NDSU Section Counselor providing a link between college students and the professional world. This has also allowed me to periodically tutor students in need of help. In addition to helping college students, I also volunteer at Expanding Your Horizons, an event to introduce middle school girls to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. This past year we did a ping pong ball zip line for groups of 20 middle-schoolers at a time. I have also helped to teach my sister enough math/statistics to get through her Masters Degree research for Music Education, coached/judged High School Speech, and have had frequent teaching interaction with young children.
I have a well rounded background in many subjects, and I am currently tutoring most maths (algebra, elementary, trigonometry, pre-algebra, and pre-calc), along with public speaking and civil engineering courses. It's hard for me to pick a favorite subject, but Algebra and Public Speaking would probably jump to the top of my list. Algebra seemed to come easily to me and growing up I watched my sister struggle to get through the class. This inspires me to help those who are in a similar situation to her to get the most from their classes. Public speaking is another favorite because it is a crucial skill to becoming successful in the world. While you may not be giving speeches to large groups frequently, you will have to present yourself daily to colleagues and will have to survive an interview to get a job. Tackling this skill isn't too hard if you put your mind to it and I love being able to watch someone who previously stumbled blossom into an orator, even if only to hold a conversation.
My teaching philosophy is simple. Telling a student the answer will not help them in the long run. Rather I prefer to let the student lead the discussion offering helpful hints and guidance along the way. I believe this leads to a student feeling more accomplished and proud of finished work than if he/she had been given a more straightforward answer.
Relating schoolwork to real life scenarios helps students to stop overthinking things and better understand a concept. Each student has a different learning style and I try to approach each scenario with a fresh mind. For example for some I will draw a picture, for others describe a scenario using items with which they are familiar. Finally, I want to make learning a social experience. Often times, homework and learning appear solitary and not fun. By creating an open atmosphere and encouraging students to ask questions and interact, they may find it more enjoyable and easier to remember talking about a subject rather than merely reading about it.
In my free time I do a lot of crafts, home improvement projects, take online courses, volunteer, garden, and recently I learned how to can vegetables. My husband and I are also avid travelers and try to take at least one trip out of the country each year.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: North Dakota State University - Bachelors, Civil Engineering
ACT Composite: 31
ACT Math: 34
ACT Reading: 34
Learning new things/taking online courses, Gardening, Making Soap, Home Improvement Projects, Reading, Traveling, Spending Time with Family, Biking and Hiking
10th Grade Math
11th Grade Math
12th Grade Math
9th Grade Math
Civil and Environmental Engineering
High School English
High School Level American History
What is your teaching philosophy?
Working through problems a student has, such as homework or practice tests, allows me to see what a student needs the most help with. I can then develop practice problems or strategies to best fit the student's learning style, which also can be seen when working through a few practice problems.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
To help students stay motivated, I like to remind them of the progress they have made thus far. Often times students are so zoomed in and focused on daily hindrances, that they forget to look back to where they first started.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
When students encounter difficulties learning a concept, I try to re-approach the subject in a different way. For example, giving visual aids (like graphs for showing midpoints on lines) can help some students understand better than when words are used.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I believe that the best way to know if a student understands the material is to have a student try to teach/explain the subject. If a person can teach it, they really know the subject. For example, I would have a student complete a problem, and then explain to me how they approached the question and why they did it that way.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By working through sample questions with a student, and then having the student complete questions with very little or no help. Once a student sees that he/she is able to complete the questions without help, confidence will follow. More familiarity will also lead to confidence over time.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I begin by asking students what they think they are having issues with. We will then look at a few questions within that subject matter and work through the questions. This should show what concepts they are struggling with and allow us to go more in depth on those topics.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
If a student is not understanding an explanation of a concept, I try to explain it in a different way until the student can understand. This may include using real world examples that are applicable to the student or drawing diagrams/pictures for students.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During a first session I like to discuss with students what they think they need help with. I will then pick an appropriate set of problems/questions to work through with students to see the specifics of what they are struggling with. We can then move forward, addressing issues seen in the first session.