I have been a tutor for over five years, mostly teaching in math and science subjects. My first lessons are mostly "liberal" in the sense that, I try to alley the fears of students in studying these courses. My approach towards tutoring is "participatory" in nature, which helps my students stay active and engaging, while tutoring is in session. In addition, I intermittently ask questions whiles I teach, which affords me the opportunity of knowing whether my students understand a particular concept or not.
At my leisure times, I read about current issues around the world and play soccer with friends.
Although I am a tutor, I have learnt a lot of things from my students; both academic and extracurricular. I therefore hope to help you achieve your academic aspirations, even as you help me attain my highest potential.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I like to teach "interactively;" I encourage the students to participate throughout the lesson, which makes the subject under study interesting.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In order to "break the ice," I normally start by asking students what the extracurricular activity that they are interested in. I then formulate a conversation around that area before we delve into a tutoring session.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I don't readily provide answers for students. I start by teaching them the intuition behind any subject that I teach, for I believe that once they grasp the concepts, especially in math and the sciences, they can be comfortable learning on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would give the student a break for about five minutes before we continue. We may discuss something which is extracurricular in nature, or I may just tell the student to walk around for a while before we tackle the concept again. During that period, I may also think up scenarios that I can resort to, in order to make the concept comprehensible.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I recommend a book at their reading level, after which I ask them to summarize the story in their own words. Once they are able to express the gist of the story in their own words, we then look up the meanings of some "new words" in the book they read. I advise the student to read more even when we are not in session.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Most students have anxieties, especially with the Math and Science subjects. Before I begin teaching any subject, I do all I can to assure the students that, they should not be scared of the subjects that I teach them. I'm an avid reader, so there are times when I will show them publications that show how some successful people today struggled academically initially, but ended up making it. After tutoring for over five years now, I have come to the realization that, anxiety is what prevents most students from "opening up the minds" to a new subject. Once that is cleared, they psych themselves to study and tutoring them becomes easy.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would improvise fun games and extracurricular conversations around the subject. For instance, if the topic is about "mixtures" in chemistry, then I will ask the student to "mix" some household products such as salt and sugar with water, rather than teaching the subject on paper.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I improvise questions as I teach. This is to ensure that the student understands the concepts and intuition behind the topics that I teach them.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I start by giving students easy questions to answer first, and I steadily increase the difficulty level of the questions as we progress along the tutoring session. This boosts the confidence level of the students, thereby psyching their minds to learn the more advanced topics.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
My first sessions are mostly "diagnostic in nature." After familiarizing myself with the student, I normally give this assignment to the student in order to ascertain "where they stand." I do not mark the paper in front of them.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Every student is different; as such, I curtail tutoring sessions to suit a particular student's needs. From the "diagnostic test," I can infer whether a student is a fast learner or one that needs patience and time.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use a textbook on the subject matter being taught and I normally ask students if they have notes or textbooks from school. I teach with these materials as well.