I am currently a student at the University of Pittsburgh! I originally hail from the DC area. I have been tutoring for about 2 years and have a lot of experience because my family has a huge teaching background. I am majoring in biochemistry and psychology but I love to write and read books! I love to tutor not only because I love to teach but also because I love to meet new people and help people lead happier lives.
Undergraduate Degree: University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus - Current Undergrad, biochemistry and psychology
ACT Composite: 35
ACT English: 35
ACT Math: 35
ACT Reading: 34
ACT Science: 34
Reading, writing, playing the piano, singing, bollywood dancing, listening to music, cooking, and volunteering
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to prepare students to handle the class on their own rather than just focusing on the knowledge. I like to give students the ability to rely on themselves to succeed, fostering growth and confidence.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In my first session, I like to go over the student's aims for the tutoring sessions and what they hope to accomplish. Then, I like to set a plan for following tutoring sessions, keeping in mind the student's preferred studying methods.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
A student becomes an independent learner with confidence in their abilities to complete the tasks at hand. This means not only teaching students the subject matter they need to know, but also tips and tricks to get on the right path to solving the problem.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
If a student is having difficulty staying motivated, I like to start back from the basics and build up from the foundation. I focus on the student's strengths to build their confidence because confidence is key to motivation and hard work.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would first try to determine why the student is having difficulty learning the material (i.e. is it confusing, is the method not helping, is the student distracted) and use that as a base to change how I am teaching the material to better suit the student.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
My method of reading comprehension is to first teach students how to analyze a text, even if it takes some time. For example, I teach my students how to read paragraph by paragraph and write down one or two keywords dealing with the subject matter of the paragraph. After some practice, this paraphrasing becomes easy and the students get the hang of reading deeper into the text.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
When I start working with students, I find that connecting with the student helps me better understand how the student learns. Some students are creative learners; other students are logical learners, some are visual, and others are auditory. Thus, I find it crucial to understand how the student is as a learner by giving them various different types of learning mechanisms to determine where they fit in best.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I believe that students who struggle in a subject face a problem of self-confidence. The most important thing in this situation is to play with the student's strengths and work from a solid foundation. This increases the student's confidence in their ability to face the subject, and thus they become more excited and engaged. I personally faced this with chemistry. After finding a great tutor who played to my strengths, I now love the subject.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
In order to make sure the student is understanding the material, I would have the student practice analytical questions in front of me. In the case of writing, I would ask them to brainstorm in front of me so I see how well they are thinking through the subject material. Quizzing and incentives also help.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I play to the student's strengths. If a student has an affinity for music, I would find out what helps them memorize or learn various pieces and what they love about music. I would use this and apply it to the subject to help the student be more cooperative with the subject. Then, the learning strategies come into play and the student discovers that it is not so bad after all.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
If a student appears to be struggling with my current methods, I might sit down with the student to see where they are having difficulty. Is it memorizing the formulas? Is it knowing where to apply specific information? Based off of this information, I would alter how I am teaching the subject to best fit the student's needs.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
In science courses, I like to just have paper in front of me and explain a subject to a student drawing out information or notes. In science, as well as other subjects, I love to use practice problems, colorful notes, quizzes, and incentives to better help the students learn. I will sometimes use books for subjects such as writing and reading comprehension to help a student work through problems.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I start off asking the student what they expect out of the course and what differences they would like to see by the end of the course. Then, based off of the subject, I like to give a diagnostic test to gauge where the student is at in the subject. Based off of this, I determine the student's needs and draw out a plan with the student for the course of the tutoring.