Hello and welcome. I hope after reading this that you will get a better sense of who I am and what i can offer.
I am a senior at the university of North Texas who works nights as a custodian in order to pay for school, having that job enables me to get a great discount for tuition and also instills self-discipline that I demand from myself to propel me forward into my professional career.
I have always learned from teaching other students in my classes and I actually make it a goal to study with some of the low performing students in order to teach them and, also teach myself. I've worked under a professor who was very passionate about teaching and his passion has become my passion as well as he took me under his wing, showing me all the ways one can learn. I worked for a couple of years as a Spanish and Humanities tutor for the Dallas county community college district and have worked with a number of diverse students whom were anywhere from high school students to retired individuals who wanted to go back to school.
Tutoring has allowed me to connect with other individuals and I consider myself both humbled and privileged to have the opportunity to bridge the gap with what someone knows and what they aim to learn.
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be ignited." -Plutarch
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is a combination of the naturalistic approach to teaching as well as direct method. I will not go over concepts that may be too advanced for a student. I do my best to teach any concept in the most relevant way that I can. Often that means I ask personal questions (usually as an ice-breaker) and then incorporate that into the lesson as much as possible to establish a connection to the material.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Ask about where the student is, and where they see themselves after our first session. Usually I will gauge if we are a good fit.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By teaching them about learning. Often that is the underlying problem with a student; they simply haven't learned how to learn.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Try to diagnose the underlying issue. Sometimes the issue has nothing to do with the subject itself. Think of me as a study doctor; I need to know the symptoms before I can treat anything that may impede learning.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
By letting them know that they should decode, establish a connection with that they are reading and what they know, and then contemplate what they have read about. If they continue to struggle, then I would then make use of analogies with their likes and learn to dissect them as they would any text and gain a deeper knowledge of the material, and hopefully a bit more about themselves too.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Getting to know them and their preconceived notions of what it is that I do and how our meeting will go, and then trying to offer a compromise if I think their expectations are too high or too low.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Find a connection; this I think is crucial for any subject.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
ALM-audio lingual method for language acquisition, as well as a naturalistic approach. It's important to establish techniques that fit the individual and not what would be easier for me to teach.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By tackling a seemingly impossible task and breaking down misconceptions of the subject that they have set for themselves. A good example if someone wanted to work on pronunciation would be to show them a really long word and tell them that they can learn to say this in a matter of minutes once we begin to break up the word and chew the language.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Based on what is being asked of them by their teachers. The teachers are the grade holders, and it is my job as a tutor to get the student to the best possible outcome. That means having to know what exactly their class is asking them to understand. If it's for self-improvement, it would depend where they are proficient and where they are not, and I'd let them know what their weaknesses are and how to improve.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Based on their likes and how they see the world will determine how I need to go about showing them how to master those needs.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Pencil and paper and suggested online resources. It would be ideal if I also had the same textbook that they use, but other than that I would use the textbook only for reference and to double check myself.