I am a graduate of Southwest Minnesota State University where I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology. Upon graduation, I completed a Master of Science in Biomedical Science program at Regis University. My passion lies in any of the biological sciences, and especially human anatomy and physiology. I will be attending Physician Assistant school next year and am eager to keep my communication and teaching skills up to date in my year off. I believe that education is so important not only for the knowledge gained, but for the confidence and self-esteem gained by students, and this is what I hope to impart to my students. I will adapt my tutoring to whatever learning style the student prefers, but I tend to be a very hand-on type of learner and teacher. I believe that learning should be enjoyable to keep students motivated and try my best to maintain a fun and laid-back environment. In my spare time, I enjoy playing and watching any sport, going hiking in the mountains, snowboarding during the winter, and learning more about medicine to prepare myself for PA school.
Southwest Minnesota State University - Bachelors, Biology
Regis University - Masters, Biomedical Science
What is your teaching philosophy?
I am a very hands-on person and like to use hands-on teaching methods. However, I like to figure out what learning style each student prefers and learns best from, and cater specifically to their preferred style.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first session will consist of just some general information about both myself and the student so we can get to know each other and establish a comfort level. After that, I like to know what the student hopes to gain out of tutoring, whether that is improving test scores or just a better overall knowledge of the subject. Along with that, I like to figure out what style of learning the student prefers so that I can tailor my sessions to their style. I would end the first session with some questions to figure out where the student is at academically in the subject.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I believe the best way to do this is to give focused assignments that challenge the student and allow them to grow.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Positive encouragement. I have never been a believer in criticizing and feel the best way to keep a student engaged is by being supportive. I would focus on the strides the student has made so far and set goals that they can accomplish to keep them on a good path.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I like to slow everything down and go back to basics. I would have them read just a little at a time, and then I would ask them questions about what they just read to get them to focus in on what they are reading instead of just reading without purpose. I would try to focus them in on the main points of what they are reading and teach them how to identify what the author is trying to tell us.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I find it most successful to tailor to the student's learning style, whether that is audio, visual, kinesthetic, or some other way. I also find it helpful to keep thinking of ways to make the learning fun or interesting so they are engaged and excited. For younger kids, that may be playing interactive games. For older students, that may be using models or diagrams instead of relying on books and notes so much.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Make it fun! Instead of bore them to death with more books and notes, make the learning fun. I have always been a fan of using Jeopardy to make it seem more like a game and less like learning. I would also try to flip the setting so to speak, where instead of me teaching them all the time I would have them try to teach me. This would allow them to build confidence and helps reinforce understanding when you have to explain something to someone else.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
After each lesson, I would have the student teach me what we learned. If they can teach everything back to me, they probably have a good understanding. I would also use little quizzes and quiz-games such as Jeopardy to test them on what we learned. I would also review everything at the next lesson so we don't forget it after one session.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Start out with questions or concepts that they understand so they feel a sense of accomplishment right away. I use a lot of positive reinforcement and focus more on what they know instead of what they don't. I also like to have the student teach me or explain something to me. I believe that successfully explaining a concept or idea really makes the student feel good about themselves and that they truly understand it.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I just like to ask the student and their parents first what we are struggling with most and where my help is needed most.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
As I've mentioned in previous questions, I like to base my tutoring on whatever learning style the student prefers and learns best from. If they are visual learners, I will use lots of models and diagrams. If they are audio learners, I would use more lecture type teaching, interactive videos, and online offerings. For kinesthetic learners, I would use lots of hands-on activities and worksheets and emphasize movement while learning instead of sitting in one place the whole time.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use a lot of my own notes and worksheets. I like to come up with question sets and utilize online videos. I also have PowerPoint presentations from some of my classes that I like to utilize.