When I was in 8th grade, I was struggling with pre-algebra (I couldn't seem to wrap my head around distance/rate/time problems). I found myself loathing a class I had once loved. I started working with a tutor and going from barely getting by to being successful in that class was a very fulfilling feeling that I hope to continue to pass on to others.
Undergraduate Degree: Northwestern University - Bachelors, Industrial Engineering and Economics
Graduate Degree: NYU Stern - Current Grad Student, Master of Business Administration
SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1480
SAT Math: 800
Soccer, Hockey, Volleyball, Guitar
What is your teaching philosophy?
The best teachers are always trying to learn as well.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get to know his/her likes and dislikes, and identify where they are strong to build up confidence. Create a friendly and casual atmosphere.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Build confidence through repetition and positive reinforcement. The student must believe that they can succeed on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
There are various ways to do this, depending on the student. By working with parents to develop a rewards system for some. For others, increased classroom success will be enough. Breaks within a session are also useful to help refocus.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Break it down into more bite sized pieces. Or frame the problem in a real world setting that the student can relate to.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Give the student questions that test a familiar concept but in an unfamiliar manner. If the student can recognize the steps to the solution, then he/she understands the concept.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Teaching kids to use the internet as a resource when they are stuck is very valuable. Something that I wish I had learned earlier is that the internet is full of supplemental material that can frame a problem in a new light.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Positive reinforcement. A student has fun when he/she gets the answer right. Celebrate little steps forward, even if it is just figuring out the first step in a problem.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Again, students have more fun when they get the right answer. Break a problem down into simple steps, and provide confidence boosting feedback upon each completed step.