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Mikayla

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I am a senior at Pacific Lutheran University, majoring in biology and minoring in social work.
After I complete my studies at PLU, I plan to continue to Washington State University to attend veterinary school.
My college education actually began when I was in 11th grade through the Running Start program in Washington state. I graduated from high school with an Associates in Biology from Pierce College. Pierce College is actually where I was first hired as a tutor - in fact, it was my first job!
For the next several years I tutored students of all ages in subjects such as math, chemistry, biology, and occasionally study skills/organization. I was also a Supplemental Instructor for the first quarter of General Chemistry.
Although I am a biology major, I actually prefer to tutor math and intro/general chemistry. Biology is fun to learn about, but I think that math and chemistry are fun to tutor!

Outside of work and school:
I love to cook! Cookies, desserts, pastas, and curries are my personal favorites to cook (I have a weakness for rich foods).
I have also joined the lacrosse team at PLU; because it is a club sport, it is a lot more relaxed and enjoyable.
I have also started yoga weekly, to help me "de-stress" during the week.
Finally, as an aspiring veterinarian, I love all kinds of animals and spend time regularly with my reptiles.

I am excited to work with all kinds of students, so I can't wait to hear from you!

Mikayla’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Pacific Lutheran University - Current Undergrad, Biology, General

Hobbies

Animals, Lacrosse, Spending time with friends and animals, Yoga, Reading, Watching Movies, South Park Fan

Tutoring Subjects

ACT Math

ACT Science

Algebra

AP Statistics

Art

Basic Computer Literacy

Biology

Business

Business Statistics

Cell Biology

CLEP Prep

CLEP College Mathematics

College Application Essays

College English

COMPASS Reading Prep

COMPASS Writing Skills Prep

Competition Math

Ecology

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Science

Elementary School Writing

English

GED Prep

GED Math

GED Science

Geometry

Graduate Test Prep

GRE Subject Test in Biology

GRE Subject Test in Chemistry

GRE Subject Tests

Handwriting

High School Biology

High School English

High School Writing

Human Development

IB BIology

IB Chemistry

IB Mathematics

IB Psychology

Life Sciences

Math

Microsoft Excel

Middle School

Middle School Math

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Science

Middle School Writing

Music

Other

PC Basic Computer Skills

Pre-Algebra

PSAT Prep

PSAT Critical Reading

PSAT Mathematics

SAT Prep

SAT Subject Test in Biology E/M

SAT Subject Tests Prep

Science

Social Sciences

Social Work

Statistics

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Technology and Computer Science

Test Prep

Violin

Zoology


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

FGS

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

My favorite material to use has to be the whiteboard! I find that when using a whiteboard to practice skills we can: erase easily, color coordinate, and easily collaborate on solutions to problems. However, I do like to use other things as well. When able, I like to incorporate visual aids (for example, pictures) or physical objects that can be worked with. The materials that I use can change depending on the student, his/her preferences, as well as their learning style. For example, for previous students I have made study sheets/reference materials to help them when studying.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

I think that a strong tutor-student relationship is vital to help the student succeed. I need the student to be able to trust me; likewise, I need to ensure that the student knows I care about their success. Therefore, I like to spend part of the session focusing on getting to know the student and a little bit about who they are. Then, I would move into the student's academic goals. For example: what does the student want to get out of tutoring? Do they have milestones that they need to reach, or certain things that they want to work on? Finally, I would explore the subject (with the student) and identify areas where work is needed. This way, it becomes a collaborative effort. If there is enough time left, I would want to work on a concept that the student has difficulty understanding. If we are low on time, I would want to develop a short-term plan with the student to help them until the next session.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

My approach would depend on the age/abilities of the student as well as the type of material. Usually though, I would first assess (with the student) and see what methods they currently employ in attempting to understand material. Then, I need to understand what a student does and does not understand in the text in order to see where we need to improve comprehension the most. Once I get a feel for that, I will show students "better" ways to understand the material that they are reading. I may have the student read out loud, a paragraph at a time, and tell me what they understand about the reading and have them summarize in their own words. Main ideas and key topics in the readings would be addressed and I (or we) would develop questions that require one to think about the reading on a deeper level.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

One of the best techniques that I have found is actually pretty simple: I first demonstrate to the student how a similar problem/similar material would be done, so they can have an example. Then, I walk through the problem with the student and answer any questions. After that, I would develop a new problem and have the student attempt the new problem (we would work together on this as well). Next, I would again give the student a different problem and have them solve it on their own. Finally, I would have the student develop their own problem and walk through it with me (as if I was being tutored). I believe that one best understands the material when they are the ones teaching it! Other methods that I would use would be having the student develop and answer their own questions or create a flowchart of information (for biology or chemistry, for example).

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I believe that this begins with first building a student's confidence and then giving them the tools to succeed. Help them learn how to plan their own schedules, what study techniques do and do not work for them, and help them understand where to go if they need extra help.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I like to get to know the student and identify their life goals. What do they want to have for a career? A tutor needs to understand what drives the student first. Then, as the student begins to improve, I would draw attention to their increasing scores, which should help them stay motivated.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I like to first give a learning style quiz to my students. This way, both the student and I can adapt my tutoring style to what would be most effective for their specific learning style. Over time, I will learn what does and does not work and adapt my style accordingly.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I would go back to the beginning of the material and identify where the student began showing difficulties. For example, if the student were having difficulties with material halfway through a chapter, I would go back to the beginning of the chapter. I would have the student explain to me what they do understand and go from there. That way I make sure that the student has solid foundations and can better understand the material that they are having difficulty with. Additionally, I would look at their grades and past tests/quizzes in order to identify their strengths and find any weak points.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

I would change my tutoring approach. No student learns the same way. There is no use tutoring a student in a static way if it does now help them. Trying a variety of approaches (using different materials, explaining things differently, etc.) will help me find what helps the student learn the best.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

First, build a relationship with the student. Spend some time becoming comfortable with the student (and vice versa) and learn what their goals are. I find it important to find out what the student expects from a tutoring session so I know how to tutor them effectively. I also spend some time finding out previous methods that they have tried. Once we begin working on material, I like to start from the beginning and move forward until I find a weak spot. Then, we work together from there.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I would help them identify their priorities and interests. Then, I would make the material applicable and meaningful to their future goals. For example, we could research colleges/programs the student wants to enter in order to understand what we should be striving for. Another method is by focusing on what the student's strengths in the subject area and focusing on those in order to give them more confidence.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

I would focus on the student's strengths in the subject. Letting the student know what they are doing well is important - no one wants to only hear what they need to do to improve. I would also have the student practice teaching me the material after we have practiced it sufficiently.