I am a life long student who has struggled time and time again with finding the best way to learn and be able to understand the material. I've found that the biggest problem I have is the fear of failure, which I believe to be a very common problem. I learned to understand that it's ok if I fail, just as long as I try again until I get it right.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Radford University - Bachelors, Clinical Psychology / Pre-Med
Huge movie buff, love cooking and socializing with friends. I play the Cello and the Piano, and read myself to sleep every night.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I firmly believe in a hands-on learning philosophy. You have to show dedication and desire to learn a difficult subject, and getting "down and dirty" with it is the best way to show yourself that you can do it!!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Ask them firstly why they want a tutor. Then, ask them to explain the primary issue they have in their own words (can't pay attention, don't understand the material, scared of tests). Then, ask them to give specific examples of problems in that subject that they have (fractions, grammar, converting units).
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By helping them understand what kind of learner they are! If you are a visual learner, then watch videos on YouTube, play with models, and draw diagrams! Understanding the kind of learner you are will help you adapt your future subjects in a way that you can understand.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Show them that the victory is in the small steps, not the giant leaps. "You may not think you're good at math, but look at how amazingly you did those long division problems!" Step by step the student will get better, so I believe my role is helping them realize their success, and not worry about their failure.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Learning doesn't have to be a terrible thing. Yes, it’s stressful at times, but helping a student deal with that stress and get rid of it in a positive way will help them succeed. Identifying problem areas and how they learn are the two biggest things that need to happen first, so that you can devise a plan to help them.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I believe in the power of the "See one, Do one, Teach one" method. Watch someone do the problem first, and then work another out on your own, and finally, teach someone else how to do it. By reversing roles from time to time and having the student "teach" the tutor, I can assess whether or not they have a firm enough grasp on the subject matter.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Focus on the success, not the failure. Most importantly, continuously remind them of how far they have come in an area! Show them that they are making progress, and the stress and work it's taken to achieve it is worth it!
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
One of the biggest problems for those who struggle to read is that they simply aren't interested in the subjects they are reading. Help improve their reading comprehension by finding a genre of "fun reading" that they really enjoy! By helping them to learn to enjoy reading, you are helping them to master a skill that they can move from genre to genre.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
The easiest way to evaluate a student is to simply look at the work they have already done. Once you have an idea of what level they are at, using diagnostic tests and quizzes can help you get a better sense of the student.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Everyone learns differently; finding out how a student learns best is key. Are they a visual learner, or are they more auditory? Will they learn best by working through the problems themselves or watching me show them the steps? Really it boils down to this: it takes time to learn how to teach a student, but as we get to know one another it becomes easier.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I find diagnostic skill tests to be very useful. But also watching videos online, downloading additional lessons, and educational games for your phone or iPad!
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
When most people say they "hate" a subject, it's simply because they find it to difficult or boring to keep their attention. Sitting in front of a text book trying to pound information into your head is the least productive way to learn. By introducing new methods such as quiz games or interesting video lectures, you can show a student that learn about a subject can be fun, and doesn't have to be boring.