Recent BSEE graduate from UCF. Looking to tutor and mentor students in mathematics and physics, especially the ones who find math a burden; it isn't....You're just not awake yet.
Undergraduate Degree: University of Central Florida - Bachelors, Electrical Engineering
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What is your teaching philosophy?
Those who seek a solution, shall find one.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First sessions I usually take my own mental notes and try to understand how the student understands the problem and their approach to a solution. I also assess their skill level and habits.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
This question is usually not in the best interest of a tutor, but a student will have to wean off the crutch of a tutor sometime or another. However, I usually try to teach a student how he/she can overcome some of these obstacles when stuck on a problem and demonstrate troubleshooting methods.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Usually, successful test scores are the main motivation. However, when students are really down, I try and relate what their interests are to the subject material. Sometimes explaining the more advanced material that the fundamentals pertain to helps a student understand why he/she is learning such material.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Each student is different, especially in learning methods. For these scenarios, I try and demonstrate a few different methods to obtaining a solution, which can be easier to understand than maybe the textbook examples or those taught in class.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Usually drilling questions, and once a certain number of questions have been done, normally a student will begin to become aware of the patterns that are required to achieve a solution on their own. A lot of mathematics is really manipulation of equations and transforming them, in which some students just aren't using the right "tool set".
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I've normally seen a boost of excitement once the student finally goes through a problem on their own, after some instruction and drilling, and is successful. A lot of times, that's the "eureka" moment. We keep going until that moment comes.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Understanding why you're learning something is the most important thing behind it. A lot of times, students have this empty objective of "I'm taking this class because it is required," and it makes the work/reward fruitless and uninspiring. Understanding the end game helps students get back on track.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Confidence is a slow progression and combination of successful questions answered and better test scores as the result.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I usually have students perform a problem they're struggling on first by themselves and watch what they do. If they get stuck, then I go to another problem that they may be more confident with and have them execute that problem. The differentiation between the two can usually expose the mistake/conceptual error more easily to me.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Pencil and paper. If available, a whiteboard and markers. I'm old school, no calculators.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
What I won't do is be a "Band-Aid" tutor. Ten out of ten times the error(s)/misunderstandings of a concept are due to a misunderstanding of a previous fundamental concept. Building a stronger foundation is crucial for every student.