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Miriam

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I graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I have a strong background in biology and the physical sciences and really enjoy teaching these subjects. Most students find science to be a complicated subject, and I have been told by a great many students that I have a knack for simplifying scientific concepts for them in ways they can understand. I want to utilize my teaching ability to help students in need, and I find doing so quite fun and rewarding. I believe in helping students achieve success, and to help them feel confident and motivated to learn new concepts.

Tutoring is a two-way street; the tutor must help the student thoroughly understand a topic and the student must provide feedback as to whether or not they fully understand. It is my duty to help all of my students understand (not just memorize) new topics front-to-back and to use the new knowledge as a strong foundation for future concepts. I also believe that students should not expect to be spoon-fed answers by a tutor, but instead should utilize the tutor as a source for guidance. I am very easy-going and patient, and will take as much time as is needed to help my students understand all that is required of them to know.

Outside of academia, I enjoy reading, traveling, watching movies, telling jokes, and hanging out with family.

I look forward to tutoring all of my future students!

Miriam’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Arizona - Bachelors, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Hobbies

Tutoring, reading, exercising, walking my dog, traveling with friends, hula hooping, and laughing.

Tutoring Subjects

Biology

College Biology

Ecology

Elementary School

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Science

English

Environmental Science

High School Biology

Languages

Life Sciences

Microbiology

Middle School Science

Molecular Biology

Other

Romanian

Science


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I want to help students who are genuinely interested in learning a particular subject. I also enjoy getting students engaged in the learning material and making the material fun and exciting. I try to devise simple ways for making the information easy to comprehend, whether it be by association or through the use of mnemonic devices.

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

In the first tutoring session, I would like to discuss the student's course and listen to/address their concerns regarding the course material. I would then provide strategies to success in the particular course and offer helpful, personalized study tips.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I encourage students to never give up on completing their assignments. They should keep at it until they understand what needs to be done. In order to become an independent learner, a student must also learn to work on assignments on their own without outside help, unless they absolutely do not understand the material. Lastly, I encourage students to manage their time wisely between projects and to allocate appropriate time for each individual assignment.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Encourage the student to find a new environment to learn; changing scenery can make learning a lot less dull. Also letting the student know that they are doing a great job and offering praise when earned can help the student stay motivated.

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

I would identify where the student lacks understanding and determine if I would need to review the topic with them using a fresh approach. I would also encourage the student to ask questions about concepts they do not fully understand so that I can help the student better understand them.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I would have the student read a passage and have them interpret the passage to me. If I notice any form of struggle with this task, I would form a discussion with the student and help them understand what they have just read. Following the discussion, I would formulate questions about the passage and ask the student to answer the questions to the best of their knowledge.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

What I found to be most helpful for many of the students I have tutored is first going over the new material, showing the student how to complete the first question and asking the student if they have any questions about what I have just done. I then watch them complete the next question and assess any difficulties they may have. I make sure they understand how to complete one question before allowing them to complete the next few questions so I know they fully understand the concept.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I would relate the concept to their lives. For example: If a student feels that 'DNA Replication' is a burdensome topic to learn, then I would tell them how DNA replication plays a key role in renewing new cells, which, for example, allows for our hair to grow and for our tissues to be repaired. Knowing this information will make the concept more practical and should most certainly engage the student with the difficult concept.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Begin the session by asking the student various questions about the material to ensure they understand the concepts. Based on the answers, I can assess if the student understands the material or not.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Set attainable goals for the student in the first tutoring session. Having them see how much they have grown over the course of some time will surely boost their confidence. Building on their strengths is also very important. If they know a great deal about a related topic, I would ask them to explain it to me. Asking them to share with me a topic they feel extremely comfortable with is a great ego boost. Also, having a positive attitude during all of the tutoring sessions will help the student feel comfortable with me and will show them that I am willing to help them succeed.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

The best way to evaluate a student's needs is to observe how they would approach a problem and how they complete their work. Based on what I observe, I can personalize strategies for successful learning to help the student achieve success.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

If the student has difficulties with reading or understanding written material, then I would shorten the material by summarizing it in words the student is certain to understand. Also if a student cannot read a particular graph or understand a diagram, I will describe the graph/diagram in an easy-to-understand manner. I will then encourage the student to continue asking questions about things they do not understand so that I can help clarify those concepts for them.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

In a physical one-on-one tutoring session, I typically use a plain piece of scratch paper and a pencil to draw diagrams in order to make tough concepts appear simple. I also use mnemonic devices to help students remember key information. I find that the use of mnemonics is really helpful for many students.