I started out tutoring my friends who were struggling in school, but never charged any money for it. I wanted to help them get through their classes so that they could continue making their dreams come true.
I ended up taking a hiatus from school for a little while to take care of family, but then went back in January of 2014 to Tunxis Community College. It is at Tunxis where I began my career as a tutor. I got CRLA Certified through Tunxis and I've never had a better job in my life. I love to see the smile on my student's faces when they finally solve a problem they have been struggling with. I graduated from Tunxis in May of 2016, so unfortunately I could no longer tutor there as a peer tutor.
I am currently accepted into Trinity College and hope to continue my success there as I complete my Bachelors degree in Biochemistry.
Undergraduate Degree: Tunxis Community College - Associates, General studies in science
I like to keep my brain active with mind games like mine sweeper and sudoku. I also like to go hiking, read books, and listening to music
What is your teaching philosophy?
Never be afraid to fail, because through failure, we achieve the most meaningful education. Everyone is bound to fail at some point; just don't let it drag you down.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
A first session is all about establishing what kinds of needs the student has. Some students need to just vent, some students need to re-go over the basics, and some students are missing just that one piece of information that would complete the puzzle.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I help by empowering the student by teaching them different ways of looking at problems. Most people assume there is only one way to figure out a problem, but in my experience there is always a different way, and maybe that way will make more sense to the student.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would give them some concept type questions or practice problems. In my experience, motivation is highly correlated with success, so if a student feels like they are making progress, they are more likely going to keep up the good work.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I try to identify what is actually confusing the student. Sometimes, confusion comes around because they didn't fully grasp the material from the last section. If it truly is the new material that is confusing, then I try to work out some practice problems with them so they can see practical uses with the new information.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The most important part is having the student's full attention. Turning off cell phones is a huge boost for success. If a student can't seem to focus because it is too noisy in the room, I would change rooms. Always giving praise when a student figures something out gives them a confidence boost to try working on harder problems.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
You have to show them that they have the ability to do the subject material. In my experience, most students struggle in classes because they just don't care to learn the material, which stems from the preconceived idea that they aren't smart enough to understand the material in the first place.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I always give practice problems that students have to work on during my sessions. If they can answer the questions, then they are starting to grasp the material; if they can't, then we go over it again.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
The easiest way is to keep on giving them positive reinforcement when they complete a task or problem. If they can't, then I would ask them easier questions that they should be able to answer, show how the two are similar, and help them through the next problem.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
First, I ask them what material they are working on is, what they believe the problem is, and what they expect out of me during that particular session. Then, I backtrack a little bit, and ask them questions on the previous chapters (if they are related to the current chapter) to see if they have mastered the basic steps. If they have, we continue; if they haven't, then I know where to start
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
First, I have to get a pretty good idea on how the student thinks, and then I can help shape the information in a way that's easier for them to process. Sometimes, it's not the information that is given, but how it is given, that affects how the student takes in the information.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I usually just use an old notebook for scrap paper, my TI-83+ calculator, and plenty of pencils and erasers.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I usually try to rephrase the definition if understanding it is the problem. If they can't read the text, then I try to help them out by sounding out the words. If processing the information is the problem, then I usually go over the subject 2 or 3 times before trying a different solution.