Education is the key to discovering the innovation of the future. History shows the great strides made in accumulating knowledge due to the work of legendary scholars and renowned civilizations. To put it simply, the limits of society can only be expanded by the level of sophistication of the people living in it. We live in an age of phenomenal growth in the sciences, mathematics, technology, arts etc. and the future of society will be dependent on how we utilize that knowledge.
I attended Stuyvesant High School in New York City before earning a Bachelor's of Science in Health Sciences at Stony Brook University with a concentration in Public Health. My college career was focused on the Pre-Med track and involved many courses in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. In addition, I made sure to increase the variety of my course load by taking classes in Political Science and the social sciences. Since graduating from college, I have worked in a medical office and am in the process of completing my medical degree at the American University of Antigua. I am currently completing my clinical rotations and look to successfully acquire my degree next year.
I have tutored officially and unofficially during my academic career. While in college, I was the tutor for my Chemistry 129 class, helping students to understand the fundamental nature of atomic bonds and interactions involved in chemical reactions. My tutoring involved leading group sessions during and after lecture as well as individual office hour appointments during the week. Learning revolved around guidance for weekly quizzes as well. My Bio 358 course covered an extensive array of topics from molecular biology, chemistry, and the social sciences and the interactions between them. Tutoring with students was accomplished by initiating and moderating discussions on online forums and well as group sessions for the concepts covered in lecture. I also was involved in tutoring fellow students for classes in an unofficial manner by leading exam review sessions as well as helping in write up of lab reports and essays.
My favorite subjects to tutor are Biology, Chemistry, History, Political Science, and Mathematics. I view learning to be a lifelong pursuit and that which must be varied and broad in scope. True growth through studying many different disciplines can change the way we view the world and keep a balance of how we live in it. Its the reason I feel comfortable tutoring in these subjects because it helps me learn new things and remember the ones I've forgotten. My tutoring style focuses on devising specific plans for each student based on their knowledge level. In addition, developing a strong relationship with the student can help overcome any obstacles that are bound to occur and maintain a steady progression to fulfilling the goals of the student.
I firmly believe that being a well rounded individual is the best way to approach the different obstacles and struggles in life and to constantly improve my limits. Aside from my tutoring activities, I like to involve myself in community and leadership-development activities. During my time at college and my medical school career, I have been involved in many clubs and organizations. I was also a resident assistant at Stony Brook University as well as the Vice-President/Treasurer of an anti-tobacco club on campus which were both fulfilling positions to hold. My interests also include playing sports such as basketball and football. I helped manage multiple teams for my college's intramural competitions as well as running a basketball club during my first two years of medical school.
Undergraduate Degree: Stony Brook University - Bachelors, Health Science
Graduate Degree: American University of Antigua - Current Grad Student, Doctor of Medicine
Sports, Politics, Volunteering
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to get the student engaged in the subject matter to be learned. It’s not efficient to drill things into another person's head without them understanding why and how they're going to learn the material. Once the student buys in, a specific approach for the subject matter can be created.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would find out how the student feels about the particular subject, and then list out the positives and negatives of the subject matter. Success at the end of the day is about understanding the concepts. If I can show the student the importance of learning the subject matter for his or her own interest, a better relationship can develop in setting up the plan for the sessions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Practice begets confidence. In the beginning, learning a new or difficult subject is like learning any new skill. Through practice, the student will become more comfortable with the subject matter. As he or she progresses through the material, quizzes and assignments separate from the classwork given to the student can be designed to further their understanding of the material.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Learning is built on understanding the concepts in a stepwise manner. The student builds up his or her knowledge base by constantly improving what he or she knows. During times of difficulty, it’s important to review the material the student has already mastered and then to try again. In addition, sometimes it’s necessary to step away from the topic and come back to it at a different and more opportune time.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Students should be asked to read and then summarize what they have gained from the material. Asking questions about what they've read help in their understanding of the subject matter. In addition, students can be asked to visualize what they're reading as way to connect the information together.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Building an initial bond with a student is crucial to true progress. The student needs to be able to relate their struggles, and examples from my life in similar situations can help with that. It’s also important to set a definitive and stable structure to tutoring sessions to keep things moving in the right direction.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Succeeding and doing well in any subject requires a certain level of work ethic. Struggle is part of the process to overcome. We can focus on the all the material that the student has already mastered to increase his or her confidence. There will be times, however, that the subject matter is not interesting or engaging. Those times require proper discipline and focusing on the end goal of completing the task at hand.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
One of my favorite things while tutoring is to explain a concept, and then ask the student to explain it back to me. To truly understand something, the student must be able to teach it back to another person. I would also incorporate repetition into the learning process. Often, reading a text or explanation more than once, even if already understood by the student, can allow the student to pick up on specific things missed the first time on the read. In addition, long term memory is built on covering concepts repeatedly over a period of time.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Confidence is gained by understanding the subject matter and progressing in the course material in a steady manner. At times, academic goals may seem too difficult to attain, and it's necessary to proceed in a stepwise manner. Small victories allow for improvement in learning and an increase in the motivation to continue and build upon that success.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Every student progresses differently. It is important to design a specific plan based on how the student learns. Regular assessments are the key to determining what areas the student needs help on and where the understanding of the subject matter is solid. The assessments could come in the form of regular quizzes and assignments.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Each student's ability to grasp a topic depends on how well it's taught. Building a strong relationship initially with the student can help define how sessions will progress. Some students need a guide in their learning, while others need more discipline. It’s important to identify the specific learning habits of each student to adapt a style to match it.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Depending on the subject, the materials used can vary from specific reading assignments to completing question stems. The best type of learning happens with a variety of resources used, including those provided by the student's institution and outside study materials.