I am a senior at Smith College, where I study mathematics. My past mathematical research has included work with Markov chains, random walks, and combinatorial optimization.
I tutored briefly in my freshman year of college, in addition to being a homework grader for calculus classes. For the past two summers, I have worked at Epsilon Camp, which is a summer camp for students who are profoundly gifted in mathematics. My experience there inspired me to start tutoring again.
I believe that all students learn a little differently, and though schools try their best they can't account for every learning style. My goal is to adapt my instruction to each student's preferences in order to help them as much as I can.
In my free time, I like to play ice hockey (or just skate), knit, do yoga, and read, especially epic fantasy (I may or may not have all the Lord of the Rings books memorized). I also enjoy experimenting and developing gluten free cookie recipes.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Smith College - Current Undergrad, Mathematics
SAT Math: 800
SAT Verbal: 800
SAT Mathematics Level 2: 750
In addition to math, I enjoy reading, knitting, playing ice hockey, and yoga.
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Different people have different learning styles, and I do my best to tutor accordingly. I believe that being flexible with my methods allows me to be a better teacher.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would work through some problems with them and try to determine any points of confusion. From there, I would try a few different teaching approaches to find the best way of helping them understand.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Being an independent learner doesn't necessarily mean that the student is good at the subject, but that there is no fear involved. I can help students become independent learners by keeping them curious and interested in the work, and by making sure they are not intimidated by it.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would try approaching the problem from different angles, maybe using a real-life example (if applicable), or by taking the problem completely out of context. It would definitely depend on the student.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
By using puzzles, games, or fun out-of-context examples.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
At the end of every unit/chapter, I would give a few problems and ask the student both to complete the problem and explain, in words, how and why he/she did what they did.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Making sure their foundation in the subject is solid will help make future work much less intimidating. Often students just need an initial push to start work, and once the initial hurdle has been passed there is much less uncertainty.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I would do this by working through problems with them, and by asking a series of questions about what they want to get out of our sessions.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I'd ask them how they think they learn best: are they visual or auditory learners? Do they work best from seeing an example or by doing it themselves? I would also adapt my approach after seeing them do some problems.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I'd ask them to paraphrase, or I'd read them a paragraph and ask them to tell me what happened verbally.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Being positive and encouraging, and establishing a good foundation of knowledge before moving on to more complex concepts.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use a lot of colored pencils/markers and scratch paper.