I began Tutoring in college at Saint Cloud State University while I was a sophomore majoring in biomedical sciences. I began tutoring general chemistry and quickly found it enjoying as kids who cared to learn came to seek help.
I quickly went from large study groups to one on one tutoring during my junior and senior years.
But I wasn't always someone who like to study notes and read books. It wasn't until my junior year when I met a mentor who changed how I would look at the rest of my career. He was an organic chemistry professor who began the class explaining how he got to where he was today. You see most professors are naturally brilliant at the college level. This professor of mine explained how he was just an average joe. He explained that he couldn't learn the same way his peers had while he was an undergrad and so he developed his own style of learning. Today he incorporates a different kind of visual learning that he feels includes all learning types and not just the gifted. I too like to include a white board and visuals to comprehend tough subjects like chemistry and biology.
Undergraduate Degree: Saint Cloud State University - Bachelors, Biomedical Sciences
DAT Perceptual Ability: 21
DAT Reading Comprehension: 20
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What is your teaching philosophy?
I am very much a visual learner. I like to teach with visuals and with examples. I'm not the kind of person who can learn by memorization. I like to teach by understanding why the little components are important to the whole subject.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Time is of the most importance. In the first session, I like to understand what your expectations are of having me tutor. Whether it is helping understand homework problems or describing theory and problem solving. Also, I like to get an understanding of what you're working on in the future so I can come prepared to the study session.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I like to use positive competition. There is no better feeling than the accomplishment of test questions over your peers. Being motivated is no easy task. It often helps to surround yourself with people who have the same mindset as you, even if they have nothing in common besides being self-driven.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
We make goals, find strategies to obtain those goals, and we study future content ahead of schedule.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I like to relate it to how it's going to be an impact on their career path. I remember distinctly in high school of students who hated higher level math classes and had a hard time relating it to life. The problem is you may not see how it relates to yourself in the future because you simply don't know the power of applied knowledge.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Every student should have a big whiteboard in their home. Learning doesn't stop outside the classroom. I like to let the students teach me with visuals how they understand the problem or subject so they too can comprehend it better.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Confidence comes from test scores. There is no better feeling than scoring the highest in the class. Unfortunately, not every teacher these days announces the name of the highest test score.