My aim as a tutor is to help students to achieve their personal potential so that they feel confident with the subject material and learn skills that help them to learn independently through their future studies.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Berklee College of Music - Bachelors, Music Production Engineering
SAT Verbal: 720
Music, Saxophone, Electric Bass, Mountain Biking, Bouldering
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to help students with the course material by guiding them to a point of understanding and confidence with what they are learning. I feel it is most important for me to help students figure out a process of finding the answers without blatantly telling them the answer, as well as encouraging them to develop good study habits and a confidence in their own abilities.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first session with a student is a chance for me to assess what the student is struggling with and how best to help them. We will dive into the course material after some discussion of what the student feels they need help with, identify where there are holes in the student's knowledge, and then address those first. Communicating with the student is a must at all points in tutoring, but especially in the beginning in order to foster confidence in the student and make a plan for improvement.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
In subjects, such as math and music theory, the most important way for a student to become an independent learner is to understand the process of how to find the answer they are looking for. I will guide them through these processes, helping them with how to find the answer, but making sure that they are the ones actually finding the answer. In all tutoring subjects, including language studies, I will also help them to create a practice regimen to suit their learning style so that what they are learning does not seem so daunting to them.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Encouragement is a huge portion of tutoring. When students start to get frustrated with the material, or with themselves, it is important to work in small chunks of the subject material and point out to them the progress they have made and are continuing to make. An example of how to do this would be to have the student explain a concept we have been working on that I know they understand, allowing them to see that they are indeed learning and making progress. Fostering confidence in a student's ability to learn is the best way for them to stay motivated.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
It is very important to have multiple ways to explain a concept to a student. Many students learn in a variety of ways, and one method may not work for all students. Breaking the skill or concept into digestible chunks can be the key to helping a student understand that concept. It is also important to identify exactly what part of the concept or skill they are having difficulty with, and then addressing that through patience and repetition.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
When students struggle with reading comprehension, much of the struggle is due to the student being overwhelmed with information they are trying to understand. By focusing on small portions of the readings, even by breaking down paragraphs, sentences, and even words, I can help the student to understand what it is they are reading.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I find it is helpful to relate what the student is working on to something they really like to do. If they are struggling with math problems, try to use word problems that relate to a sport they like. If they like games and puzzles, make a game out of the material they are learning.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Having a student try to teach me a concept that we just finished working on is one of the best ways I've found that I can assess if a student really understands the information. It also allows me to see exactly where they get lost if they don't quite understand all of the concept.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Confidence will naturally come to the student as they progress through tutoring if the tutor is supportive and optimistic. Reminding the student of things that were hard for them at the beginning of tutoring and allowing them to see how much they have progressed, how much they are more comfortable with, and how much faster they can solve equations and find answers all help a student to be more confident in their own learning ability.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
If a student is having difficulty understanding a concept the way I am explaining it, I need to change the way I am explaining it. As a tutor, it is my job to assess how a student learns and what methods of explanation will best benefit a student and their learning style.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Having the student bring in the material and homework they are working on is a very effective way to help the student, but I also supplement this with practice problems I come up with based on individual students. I feel it is very important for the student to keep notes and any of the material we work on in tutoring so that they can look back and review what we have worked on.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The best strategy in helping students is to be open minded and have a positive attitude. Communication with the student is extremely important in order to find out what the student is struggling with and to find out how best to help them.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I usually prepare some preliminary exercises for the students when we begin tutoring in order to find out what they know already, and then find out if they have any gaps in their knowledge. I also discuss with them how they practice, do their homework, and how much time they spend studying. This allows me to find out if they need better studying methods.