I have had a passion for math since middle school. Not only did I always excel in class, but I helped students with the homework while I was in the class with them. This passion for math led to me getting a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science. I have been tutoring students for over 2 years, and I love doing it. I will never stop working on a set of problems until the student not only knows how to solve the problem at hand, but also understands why we are doing each step in the problem. This greater understanding of the problem helps them overcome variations of that problem that they wouldn't have been able to previously solve. I have unlimited patience when helping students understand a new concept in the class, this ensures that the students always get the best possible help when we work together.
Undergraduate Degree: University of California-San Diego - Bachelors, Mathematics and Computer Science
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that anyone can do math. If the student is willing to work and put forth the effort, they can understand any concept and solve any problem. As a math and computer science tutor, it is my job to help the student to understand the material and succeed in school.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During my first session with a student, I get an understanding as to how the student is performing in the class and any previous chapters they might need extra help on. Once I understand the student's knowledge of the course thus far, we will move on to understanding the concepts in the class and solving problems.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I will tell the student that I expect them to attempt the homework on their own before any tutoring sessions. This will make the student struggle on their own and come to me with specific questions on the homework. By struggling on their own, they will have a better understanding of the solution after we work on it together.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would begin the tutoring session by describing how the lesson we are working on relates to the outside world, and if possible, my job. This would show the student just how important the material they are learning about is, and provide them with motivation to learn it, as they will understand how it will affect them when they start working.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
When a student is struggling with a concept, I ask the student to explain each and every step to the problem at hand. This helps me better understand where the student is lacking the understanding. I then provide the student with slightly tweaked problems; these require a good understanding of the concepts to correctly solve. If the student is able to solve the altered problem, it shows that they now understand the material and they are able to apply it to other problems. If they fail to solve the problem, we will pinpoint the lack of understanding and try the process again.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Establishing a good working relationship with the student is crucial. Getting the student to respect me as a teacher will creating a positive working environment for all tutoring sessions to come. Also, getting a comprehensive understanding of the student's knowledge of the concepts being taught will help me tailor my tutoring sessions to better fit the student's needs.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
If a student truly understands the material, they will be able to apply their knowledge of the problem to more problems like it. I would either find new problems to test them on or create problems myself. If they have a deep understanding of the material they are working on, the new problems presented to them will be easy to solve.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
The more you practice something, the better you get at it. In order to build confidence, I would give the student as many practice problems as I could find. Once the student realizes that they can solve any problem I throw at them, they will feel much more confident going into the test.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I will test the student on past and current problems to better understand how the student is performing in the class. I will also ask the student to explain to me what they feel they need to work on, or what they did not understand from the previous concepts they have been covering in the class.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
The student is required to bring their textbook, along with pencils and paper to work with. I will bring a calculator, and possibly a laptop depending on the subject we are working on.