I believe that education is the most effective way to empower an individual to live up to their full potential. In my mind, it truly is the greatest equalizer. As a Stanford graduate, I have experienced firsthand the opportunities that come with a world-class education. As a psychology major, I have spent years learning about the psychological and social barriers to learning and how these barriers can be overcome. As a tutor, I hope to apply the lessons I've learned and share the knowledge I have gained throughout the course of my education.
In terms of my experience tutoring, I began tutoring community college students in math and science when I was in high school. At Stanford I continued my work as a private tutor, focusing in particular on high school math and science. In addition, the summer after my sophomore year at Stanford, I worked part-time as a psychology and chemistry tutor for Stanford students taking summer term courses.
I look forward to continuing tutoring in the Philadelphia area.
Undergraduate Degree: Stanford University - Bachelors, Psychology
SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1510
SAT Math: 770
SAT Writing: 740
In my free time, I enjoy reading (primarily the news, science articles and novels), going on hikes and backpacking, rock climbing, cooking, volunteering at free health clinics, and spending time with my friends, family and cat.
Elementary School Math
High School Biology
High School Chemistry
Middle School Science
What is your teaching philosophy?
There is significant evidence that one of the best ways to learn something is to teach someone else. Having significant experience both as a student and a teacher, I have found that explaining difficult concepts or problems to a peer significantly improves my understanding. As such, when I am tutoring I tend to ask my students to try to "teach" me concepts they are struggling with, or walk me through a problem that is challenging them, so that any conceptual mistakes or assumptions they are making become clear. In addition, I am a firm believer in never providing the answer to a specific problem, but instead empowering students to work toward it by asking directed questions and teaching them to use their resources.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I always spend the first part of the first session establishing rapport with my student. I believe it is very important that my students feel comfortable with me and understand that I will never judge them for any question they ask or any challenge they face. After establishing rapport, I like to get a general sense of the reason they are looking for a tutor. Working with a student who is having difficulty with one particular concept is very different than working with a student who is more generally overwhelmed.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Empower them to understand their abilities, to recognize when they are struggling with a concept, and to use the resources at their disposal to work through challenging material. Also, help them gain the skills to manage their time and be focused learners.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would first have them try to explain the concept to me and see where they are getting caught up. Then I would work through each misconception, using whatever method works best for them (concrete examples and problems/lecture/reading/online video tutorial). Finally, I would make sure we review the concept several times, perhaps using different problems, until they both understand the concept and can also apply it.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Working through problems together until we encounter what is giving them difficulty. Each student has trouble with different things, so I never assume what they are misunderstanding or struggling with. I have also found that ending each lesson with a challenging question that we successfully work through helps students to feel confident in their abilities and empowers them to continue studying on their own.