I was born and raised in Peru and moved to the United States at the age of 11. I recently graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara with a B.S. in Biochemistry. I am currently teaching myself neuroscience to prepare for graduate school to which I will be applying in a few years. The subjects that I enjoy teaching are mathematics, chemistry, and Spanish.
Aside from these subjects, my other interests are: powerlifting, traveling, and nature. I recently bought a guitar that I hope to, one day, be able to play. I believe the best way to excel in a specific field is by first taking care of one's physical and mental health.
Getting through my college classes was not an easy journey. I have faced many academic obstacles, and I had to constantly improve my study habits. Unfortunately, I did not have someone to teach me these studying skills, so the only way to get through high school and college was by learning from the many mistakes I made along the way. I look forward to share these lessons to motivate you and help you reach your academic goals.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of California-Santa Barbara - Bachelors, Biochemistry
SAT Math: 670
SAT Verbal: 550
SAT Writing: 570
GRE Quantitative: 158
GRE Verbal: 152
High School Chemistry
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I would help the students get engaged by relating the topic to real-life applications or relating it to a topic the student finds interesting. I've found that by allowing the student to attempt the problems on their own first, and then going over the concepts together, they tend to be more interested in knowing how to get over the obstacle that prevented them from finding the solution.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
It is important to get to know the student to get a better idea of the student's feelings toward the subject she/he is learning and the method in which the information is delivered to the student. In a typical first session, I would ask the student what they like and what they don't like about how they're currently learning the material. Also, I would share my experiences where I had problems learning certain subjects and explain how I overcame the problems. I believe the student should know, in the first session, that it's normal to feel frustrated when they come across an obstacle when learning, but there is no reason why they shouldn't overcome that obstacle.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
It is important to understand that, in many aspects of life, we have to do things on our own, and education is not the exception. Learning to be an independent learner is learning good study habits that will help the student be as efficient as possible when studying. I believe it is important to teach that a student can find joy in learning, even if the subject is boring to them. Learning to make connections of concepts and ideas to something that is relatable to the learner is an important skill that will, without a doubt, help the student become an independent learner. 5 skills that are important to always keep in mind are: self-awareness, desire to learn, resilience, and time management.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
There are multiple paths we can take to reach a destination. If a student has difficulty learning something, then we will look for another way to make things make sense. I, for example, like to learn dense material (e.g. glycolysis) by looking at diagrams or images that can show me the big picture. Studying simple diagrams makes it a lot easier to handle concepts that may seem overwhelming at first. Another important skill is learning how to dissect a problem. Many times, we freeze when we face an intimidating problem, but there might be some things that we do know. If we took the time to write down what we do know, this information can give us clues to continue solving the problem.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Being someone that has struggled a lot with reading comprehension, I understand the importance of self-awareness. Knowing the reason why the student cannot comprehend a reading is important to dealing with the problem. My best advice would be to be genuinely interested in the reading. It is a lot easier to understand something once the person finds it engaging.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The first thing is to approach learning a concept or solving a problem with a positive mindset, knowing that you will eventually understand it. If a problem seems complicated at first, it is a good strategy to write down information that you do know. This will not only provide clues as to what the next step to solve the problem is, but it also helps you be more confident.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
A reliable method that shows whether we understand a concept, is attempting to teach it in our own words. Once we're able to explain the concept in our own words, we can be certain that we've understood it. This also helps us recall that concept in the future since we have already put in the mental effort of connecting the dots in our brains. In math, we can be sure we understand the material once we are able to apply a theory/technique on problems that are similar.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By proving to them that they are capable of learning the material. This can be done by repeatedly doing practice problems and tackling problems differently until the topic is mastered.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By directly asking why they believe they're having difficulty with the concept, or simply observing where they get stuck when solving problems.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would help the student get engaged by relating the topic to real-life applications or relating it to a topic the student finds interesting. I've found that by allowing the student to attempt the problems on their own first and then going over the concepts together, they tend to be more interested in knowing how to get over the obstacle that prevented them from finding the solution.