I recently earned my Master's degree in Marine Biology from Auburn University, where I was a lab teaching assistant for Organismal Biology, Principles of Biology, and Genetics. During that time, I was the most requested and highly evaluated TA since the department started the program in the 1970s. I was also a teaching assistant during my time as an undergraduate at Auburn, graduating in Marine Biology.
I'm have a very laid back style of teaching and scheduling, and have successfully tutored 20+ private students (and taught 1000+ university students) during my time in Auburn. Fortunately, almost all of my students want to come back and will ask me to tutor multiple classes during their college career! A few have even had me tutor them in history and med school classes, simply because my teaching style works so well for them. If you want to tutor with a friend, it's a great way to stay together in a class and I have reduced rates for each student!
My strengths are the sciences (Honors Biology/Honors Organismal Biology/Genetics/Ecology/Marine Systems, etc) and the histories (World History, European History, Modern/Medieval, etc). I've also had five years of French training and am exceptionally well versed in Music Appreciation.
I've also recently tutored Intro to Psychology, as well as Logic, Ethics, and a few other prerequisite type classes. Ask me about any other subjects or classes (especially sciences) and I'll see what I think my own abilities are!
I received an ACT score of 34, a GRE Biology Subject Test score of 830 (90th percentile), graduated undergraduate cum laude with honors, earned a Master's of Science degree, presented my research at multiple scientific conferences, received 20+ scholarships and research grants, received an award for most highly evaluated teaching assistant at Auburn University, and have studied and taught science oversees (Bermuda and the Bahamas).
The most rewards part of my past has been watching students who once struggled now enter med school, vet school, optometry school, PhDs, and fellowship programs. I'll always be a mentor and friend to those students, and I can't wait to help others! No matter what your level, I know that with a little help and some fun analogies, I can help you reach whatever goal you desire. Send me a message, let me know what you're studying, and I'll talk to you soon!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Auburn University - Bachelors, Marine Biology
Graduate Degree: Auburn University - Masters, Marine Biology
ACT Composite: 34
GRE Quantitative: 153
GRE Verbal: 161
Scuba, chess, and baseball
What is your teaching philosophy?
Through years of watching professors and instructors, I've been able to distill my own teaching techniques down to a format that is easy to understand and fun to remember. I use drawings, analogies, and a host of memory devices to ensure that students enjoy the lessons and gain confidence in learning on their own.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
We usually start with introductions about ourselves, our hobbies, and the material we want to study. I generally try to find common ground with the student and come back to it as something fun to talk about as we leave later. Then, we'd run through a few different teaching techniques and let the student decide which they prefer. Then, we'd review some of the information they've already learned and start into new material. At the end, I'd give them a goal to reach for the next meeting (e.g. memorize the functional groups for chemistry) and encourage them that I think they'll definitely succeed.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Many students can easily learn a new teaching device that they can employ in future study sessions. The most successful that I have seen are color coding material, drawing pictures, coming up with fun analogies or stories (especially for biological processes), and using mnemonic devices for lists. My past students will occasionally call from med school or PhD programs to tell me that they still color code their notes or use mnemonics to memorize the requirements of surgical procedures.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I often find that constant enthusiasm and encouragement helps students stay motivated. I'm also very sympathetic to students and make sure that they feel comfortable telling me if something is wrong (e.g. death in the family, illness, or a break-up) that would inhibit their learning. In that case, I try to reschedule so the students can come at the session in a state of mind that is conducive to learning. When students feel like studying is an encouraging experience that fits into their normal lives, they tend to look forward to tutoring sessions. I also bake frequently and find that fresh cookies are always motivating.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
When students struggle with a concept, I always try to slightly modify the learning device that we have been using, such as use a new analogy or mnemonic. If the student is still having difficulty, then we can move onto a new device, like drawing a picture or even acting out a process. If a student is still struggling at the end of the lesson, I will generally look online to see what techniques other instructors have used in teaching this same concept. I can then modify their technique before our next lesson.