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I am a current undergrad at the University of Washington pursuing a major in Bioengineering. I got my start in tutoring at my high school where I was a tutor in their Gear Up Peer Tutoring program, which was a program that selected high achieving students and gave them the opportunity to volunteer in the schools Learning Center. I joined the program its first year and became its most active tutor, putting in over 200 hours.

In my time as a tutor I find that most of my students are frustrated with their teachers because they never answer the question. Sort of how some students will write a great, long and detailed essay for a short answer question, but never answer the prompt. Classroom teachers struggle with this because they tend to be stuck in a rut. Teaching the same material every single year, repeating the same explanation every single year. They will assume to know the students problem but will often misunderstand the question since they expect to hear the question the last years class asked.

My teaching method avoids this problem by first identifying where the student is having a problem. Often I will start a session by asking the student to try to explain the concept by themselves, and then step in when they can not explain a part. Of course if a student has no idea how to start then I will walk them through it step by step and give them the individual attention that their classroom teacher couldnt provide. My main strengths as a tutor are my ability to listen and my attention to detail.

Outside of tutoring I have played soccer on a premier youth club and have studied the cello and piano. As a cellist I played in my schools chamber orchestra and the local youth symphony. I have done a little bit of kendo (Japanese fencing) though I would not call myself an expert on the subject. And in my free time I like to play video games.

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Rikuo’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Washington-Seattle Campus - Current Undergrad, Bioengineering

Test Scores

SAT Composite: 2250

SAT Math: 760

SAT Verbal: 800

SAT Mathematics Level 2: 800


Soccer, video games, tennis, cello

Tutoring Subjects

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Before I try to teach a student a subject, I try to understand how they are interpreting the information. So, instead of forcing my interpretation, I can focus on correcting or embellishing what the student already knows.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

In a first session, I would outline what specifically the student wants help with and identify what would be the most effective way of helping them. For example, if they needed to memorize scientific vocabulary, I would help them make personal mnemonic devices.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I would show them ways they can study, such as mnemonic devices, extra study books, or online resources. Additionally, I would encourage them to build good habits, such as talking to their teachers and studying the class material the night after the class.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

I would try several different approaches, such as analogies, progressively harder practice problems, and visualizations of the concept.

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