I am currently in Graduate School completing a dual degree MD/PhD program in Neuroscience at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. I am a graduate of the Brooklyn College BA-MD program, a program that guides students directly into medical school at SUNY Downstate. I have taught Biology, Chemistry, and Physics at various levels ranging from high school to college and graduate levels, and currently teach numerous classes in my medical school. I have succeeded academically due to my personal philosophy on education: I value complete understanding of material above all else. I am a continuous learner and I strive to teach that to my students. Once a subject is truly understood, tests will be easy, and great grades will follow. With this mindset, I have become talented at understanding where a student's problems with subject matter lie, mainly because I have probably experienced the same issues when I started learning these subjects. Now, I feel confident in passing on my knowledge to other people, and I feel that my last seven years of teaching demonstrate my ability to do so.
Undergraduate Degree: CUNY Brooklyn College - Bachelors, Biology B.S. / Chemistry B.S.
Graduate Degree: SUNY Downstate Medical Center - Current Grad Student, M.D. / PhD (Neuroscience)
MCAT Physical Sciences: 12
MCAT Biological Sciences: 12
Movies, Books, Martial arts, Video Games, Science
Anatomy & Physiology
MCAT Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
MCAT Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
High School Biology
What is your teaching philosophy?
I value teaching to attain complete understanding of material. Any methodology to attain this is acceptable, whether it is visual learning, the Socratic method, or a simple discussion.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I will have them talk about what their goals of learning are and where their main issues with the material lie. We would then focus directly on types of practice problems that the student has issues with so that I can assess for myself what the student's approach to answering questions is.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I will help them develop a framework with which they should approach new problems, and how to think their way towards a solution. When this might not work, I can also guide them towards appropriate resources they can use to help them with problems.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Keeping the session oriented on them and what they would want to learn is very important. I would want them to get interested in the subject and feel like they are accomplishing their goals.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Tackle it from different angles. If talking about it does not work, try a diagram. If that's not hands on enough, a demonstration of the concept itself.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
By working on active reading skills, such as highlighting important portions of the text and outlining difficult passages.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Observing how they work to answer questions. I want to know how they tackle problems and figure out what we can do to improve their approach.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
By immediately trying to make it relevant to their interests. All scientific concepts have real life applicability, and demonstrating that makes dealing with them more engaging.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Asking questions, and requiring them to teach concepts back to me.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I would work through practice problems with them, pointing out their strengths and identifying specific weaknesses that, when fixed, would lead to success in the subject they're studying.