I offer experience and a love for working with students. I have tutored standardized tests (particularly the ACT and SAT) for 7 years and various high school maths and sciences for 8 years. I am a certified high school Biology teacher, although I left teaching to home school my 5 children (4 boys and a girl). I've also worked jobs coaching middle school-aged children in soccer and track. Each student is unique; I love fitting his/her strengths the best I can to the task at hand. I have learned many tricks and techniques to help students succeed. I hope it's clear I love working with kids, and I have had a lot of experience in doing so!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Dartmouth College - Bachelors, Psychology mod. w/ Philosophy
Soccer, Ice Hockey, Running, Hiking, Climbing
High School Biology
High School Physics
Middle School Science
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Every student is intelligent; there are many different kinds of intelligence; there are many different learning styles. I carefully attend to what a student says and how he/she processes things, and I analyze the material I have pertinent to the task at hand, all to try to find the best way to help this student understand and improve.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I tend to plunge right into the material, going over what the goal of our session(s) is(are), and looking at and analyzing what the student has brought that is pertinent to that goal. Then I let the direction we take from there depend a bit on the student's feedback, but usually we continue into practical material. I will tend to chat a bit with students more in the second or third sessions, as we get to know one another more. With some out-going or chatty students, of course, the opposite happens; we chat first, then move on to the goals of our session.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I tend to create real world pictures/scenarios that help to clarify what the concept is about. I draw something if I can, or have them participate in mentally creating the scenario. Then we tie it back into the concept at hand.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I only deal with this topic in the context of math word problems or ACT science passages. Therefore, I usually train students to look for key words; sometimes I need to train them to focus on the relationships conveyed by prepositions.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
We go over our goals for our session(s) (Why are we meeting?); we go over material the student currently as pertinent to the goals (How far do we have to go?), and then I get the students insight/feedback on what obstacles are in our way, if he/she has any, or I go over what initially jumps out at me as things we need to work on. Then we get to work, and I modify our strategy or techniques as I find out more about the student.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
If at all possible, connect the subject to interests the student has. Show interest in the student as a person; he/she is more than this struggle. (This is easy for me; I love to get to know more of my students, but I let it happen slowly over the course of our sessions.) Finally, sympathize with the necessity of sometimes doing things we have no interest in; life is full of times when we must discipline ourselves to do hard or aggravating things; that discipline in itself is valuable.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Feedback. Test them with another similar question. Check back to the topic later with more questions to make sure he/she has retained it. Connect the questions to other similar questions so the student sees the pattern and the concept being taught.