On the brink of finishing up my studies in Philosophy at the University of Chicago, I am spending a few months with family and friends in Southern California.
Myers-Briggs ESTJ-A (you should try the test at 16personalities.com to find yours!). Pretty strongly logical-brained and a major fan of 70s music (please love Eagles, Elton John, Billy Joel, and Pink Floyd with me).
Some of my many passions include history, culture, argumentation, languages, medical science presented at a clearly understandable level, nutrition, fitness, world travel, observing the seasons in different countries, excellent storytelling, and dapper men's fashion.
University of Chicago - Bachelors, Philosophy
SAT Composite: 2220
SAT Math: 740
SAT Verbal: 760
SAT Writing: 720
AP Chemistry: 4
AP English Language: 5
AP US History: 5
AP European History: 5
SAT Subject Test in Chemistry: 780
SAT Subject Test in Spanish: 740
SAT Subject Test in World History: 770
AP Spanish Language: 5
College Political Science
High School Business
High School Economics
High School English
High School Level American Literature
High School Political Science
High School Writing
Latin America History
SAT Subject Test in Spanish with Listening
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Study Skills and Organization
Technology and Computer Science
What is your teaching philosophy?
The better you can ask good questions and show a student how it will serve their interests to own their learning, the better you will teach.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Learn their personality type (Myers-Briggs), if they're generally-speaking more emotional versus rational, which modality they relate to the best in learning (auditory vs. kinesthetic vs. visual vs. abstract), their background, sense of humor, hobbies, interests, goals/ambitions, and personality/character. Getting to know the student on a holistic level will set the stage for forging a successful professional relationship.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
If they've already got the gift of independent learning down pat, then good for them. If I notice they tend to lean on others (myself included) more than is conducive to their long-term ability to succeed in school, then I will start by asking the best questions I can to learn why that might be. Over time, starting with some slight nudges to encourage that they learn more independently (alone study time, for example), I will guide them in becoming more independent if possible.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Use the info I have about them (learning style, personality type, etc.) to see if I can better relate the skill or concept to THEM.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
This is like eating vegetables at dinnertime when you're a kid: no, it's not the ice cream and it's not glamorous (at least not upfront, not at first). But the solution here is to remove ALL distractions, and clear out a proper working space where you're alone. Then, in what should be a blocked-out chunk of time on your calendar, we have to get you practicing your reading--and NOTHING else but reading in that specific time. Reading is a true discipline, remember. While reading, I will expect the student to be underlining, highlighting, and taking notes in the margins. I won't feed the student; I will instead take them to the shore and expect them to fish as best as they know how. I want them practicing to read and answer questions based on the text all on their own, multiple times over. If after several tries solo they STILL aren't satisfied, then I will guide them from there. But with reading comprehension, the main struggle is in fact a focus, time/energy management, and discipline struggle--NOT an intellectual shortcoming.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Chunking is HUGE. Take a big scary piece of work and break it down into bite-sized steps. Prioritizing is also massive: deciding we're not going to try being perfect but instead apply the 80/20 rule ruthlessly until we achieve the desired outcomes. And finally, being informal and humorous as much as we can, because we want to make learning fun and enjoyable, a meaningful part of life rather than some crap we have to put up with.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Relate it to them and their interests and goals. Simple.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
The ultimate proof that a student has learned is that they do not merely rote-memorize and vomit back the material at me. Rather, the ultimate proof is when a student can TEACH the same material, and in their own words and in their own way.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Quick, easy wins, and then constantly drill them on the subject matter until it comes as easy as walking. This is based on proven performance psychology.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
They will show up along the way while we are in session, if only I as the tutor will fully pay attention.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
First is by showing my empathy and compassion for whatever ways in which the student may not be as strong or smart. This is a question not of IQ but EQ, so particularly in times of sensitivity (i.e., a student who is quite slow with math, and feels painful insecurity about it), the best thing I believe I can do is relate some experience I've had where I totally felt the pain of being a slow learner, but that I nonetheless found a way to work around that and win (and they can too).
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Google + Wikipedia! And I'm not ashamed to admit it. If these simple tools have helped me significantly through an elite university's courses, they can serve every purpose for students here. Besides that, it's a smart idea to keep whatever info I have about that student (as a person and a learner) at the ready. Also, my iPhone may turn up something handy for the session (some app or tool), and my watch will be invaluable for timing and establishing time barriers.