I started tutoring back in high school; I used to tutor for Arcadia High School library. After my graduation, the library recommended me to parents who wanted tutoring for their students. I continued tutoring through college, tutoring in organic chemistry for the University of California, Davis. After graduating from UC Davis, I will be tutoring in more or less any biology course, including basic biology and biochemistry. I will also be tutoring in high school math and physics and college math and physics geared towards health sciences.
Naturally, I thoroughly enjoy tutoring; I love to be able to play a part in bettering people's understanding in subjects that I love. Working with Varsity Tutors allows me to continue my passion as a tutor, and play a part in making hard subjects easy and ideally enjoyable.
Outside of tutoring, I enjoy weight lifting, running, tennis, and singing. I am very honored to have had opera performances both at UC Davis music building and Berkeley City Hall.
University of California-Davis - Current Undergrad, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior
SAT Math: 730
SAT Mathematics Level 2: 800
SAT Subject Test in Biology E/M: 790
Anatomy & Physiology
MCAT Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
High School Biology
MCAT Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
SAT Subject Tests Prep
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I believe one of the best ways to help a student become an independent learner is to try to find their best learning mechanisms and develop solid critical thinking skills.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would definitely try to remind them of why they're studying, why they're dealing with all of this tough material and what goal they have in mind. I also try to promote their engagement in the subject material, as I believe a deeper and more profound engagement brings a great deal of motivation.
What is your teaching philosophy?
It is imperative for me to empower whomever I intend to help. In the context of teaching, I pave the way, little by little and a concept at a time, for my tutees to ultimately solve a problem all by themselves. I do so because I believe once you solve a problem your way, with the ways of thinking that best match you, you would be much closer to mastering your subject.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Before the first session, I typically ask my tutees to send me the material that they would like to work on and include the specific questions that they have. This way, not only do they come to the session prepared, but also give our session a direction to take. At the end of our first session, I ask my tutees to give me feedback on my teaching style and what worked well for them and what did not.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I always like to start from something that is readily understandable by the tutee, and then use that subject as an analogy to explain the concept. If the concept is more visual, I look for pictures or animations to help convey the concept. I can also use my iPad to draw specific pictures and/or diagrams to help with the understanding, and then share that screen with the tutee.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I believe empowering students and working together based on their best way of learning yields the most significant improvements. The old clich� is true: one size does not fit all. So, early on, it is imperative for me to figure out what methods of learning work best for the student.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
1. I let the students know that they can interrupt me at any time to ask me a question. 2. As I'm explaining, I ask them if everything is making sense. 3. At the end of my explanation, I ask them to explain the concept in their own words. 4. Then, I give them a few examples to see how well they grasped the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
One way confidence comes is through practice. That's one thing that the students can do on their own. Now, what I can do to help them is to let the scientist inside them come out of his/her shell and bring to the table a sense of curiosity. So, in short, the focus of the student changes from "Oh I need to get an A or else..." to "Oh that's pretty cool, I wonder how that works/where I can use that." With the second mindset, A's just come naturally. I also advocate a scientific approach to the questions. That is: 1. Read the question, 2. Make conscious assumptions and hypothesis, 3. Test them in the context of the question, and 4. See if they work/do not violate any rules. This is a very organic way of dealing with problems, and at least to me, one of the most satisfying ways to do so.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I ask my students to come to the session with specific questions/problems. Then I ask them to tell me where, exactly, they got stuck in the problem/understanding the concept. Then, I walk them through, step by step, to deal with the sticking points. It is important that the student ultimately solves the problem, not me.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
As I get to know the students better, and see the pattern in the questions that they ask, I get a good idea about what ways would be effective to explain the concepts to them.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use my iPad to illustrate most of the concepts in biology/chemistry. I have my iPad connected to my laptop. Using the screen sharing capability of the online platform, I can share my iPad screen with the students. I, additionally, sometimes show animations to my students to better illustrate a point.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
My first objective would be to get a mindset shift from "Oh I have to get an A on this or else..." to "Oh that is actually pretty cool. I wonder how it works/where it is used/how I can use it." This naturally brings in a lot of excitement. I am also really passionate in the subjects that I tutor, and that passion also tends to get passed along to the students.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension is all about quickly forming hypotheses and assumptions and testing to see if they work. The learning process is slow, but once I introduce the students to this strategy, they usually get an immediate boost in their performance.