Hello! My name is Joseph Clark and I am a second year Computer Science student at CSU Monterey Bay. I believe that anyone can be successful at a given subject and that performing well in school is not a given talent, but something that you work hard towards and eventually pays off in the future. I try my best to ensure that my students succeed in any area that they need assistance in. And while I'm still learning new things everyday myself, seeing a student have that "Ohhhh!" moment is the best feeling to me.
I my spare time I love to remain active; I go to the gym, play basketball, go hiking. But I also don't mind playing Smash Bro's every now and again!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: California State University-East Bay - Current Undergrad, Biology, General
Playing basketball, hiking, playing video games
Q & A
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would typically introduce myself.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I would help them become an independent learner by encouraging them to study outside of the classroom or tutor sessions and gain a genuine interest in the subject.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would help a student stay motivated by letting them know that all the hard work and long hours will pay off, for sure, one day.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would offer more time for that individual and try my best to explain any concept that he/she is not understanding.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Simple checks in between chapters or pages so that the student knows exactly what's going on. That would gradually grow so that he/she will understand most of the book.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would make flashcards or small games to make the subject more interesting. Or give exciting facts about the subject as well.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I typically bring my laptop so the student and I can access certain websites for helpful resources. I also always bring a notebook, my organizer, and some extra pencils.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I am a very strong believer in "practice makes perfect." The more that you do something the better you are going to get at it. Whether it be a math problem that a student isn't understanding, or a chapter in a novel that needs to be read again. Anyone can be academically successful if their heart is into it.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I find that asking questions leads students to the answer very efficiently. For the most part, students already have the background knowledge they need to succeed, it's just a matter of giving them that extra push that they need to get their brains moving in the right direction.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Positive encouragement, I find, is the easiest way to build confidence. Most students are bogged down with stress and outside influences that can easily discourage them from believing that they are smart or that they don't understand the material. But in actuality, they are very smart to have made it as far as they have, and they really just need someone to tell them that.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Most students will only miss one or two steps when it comes to writing papers or solving math problems. I like to give example problems and see where the student starts to get things wrong, and then I focus on correcting that area since that is what they need the most help in.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Some students work well by themselves trying to figure it out on their own and other students like to talk it out and come to a conclusion faster if they have another mind to help think about it. So depending on the situation, I might let a student just have at it when it comes to a problem, and then correct them afterwards. Or I might sit down and really help them figure it out by talking it through.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Small quizzes, in my opinion, are nearly essential in checking for understanding. I understand that some students are not great test-takers, which is why I like to use quizzes instead. Or it may be as simple as a problem set that could be completed for understanding. If I see that a student is mastering a particular concept, that is when we can move on.