What's My Problem Have you ever asked yourself this question? If so, you're not alone! Many of us at some point have struggled in academic areas that seem impossible to master- I know, because I've been that student once. For this reason, I am motivated to teach and tutor students who struggle with the confidence of mastering their toughest subjects! With a Bachelors in Biology from Spelman College and a Masters in Medical Science from Indiana University School of Medicine, I know what it is like to spend countless hours studying and dissecting material, especially in the Biological Sciences! So, I have committed to doing it all over again... For you! I love teaching the Biological Sciences because it explains a lot of what happens on Earth, and even why we behave the way we do as humans. I love to incorporate exciting things such as animal models, YouTube videos and even dance moves-because I'm a dancer- into my lessons, to assist in understanding concepts. I've even traveled to Spanish speaking countries to understand the Latin culture and language to compliment my goal of becoming a bilingual physician. I believe that the best teacher is the best student, and because of that, I will forever position myself to learn.
Undergraduate Degree: Spelman College - Bachelors, Biology, General
Graduate Degree: Indiana University School of Medicine - Masters, None
exercising; singing; dancing; biking; Spanish language; reading; swimming
What is your teaching philosophy?
Every opportunity is YOUR opportunity... make it count!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First, I'd get to know the student to break the ice. Secondly, I'd become familiar with the student's specific academic issue. Thirdly, I would find out the best way they learn. Lastly, we would move forward in our tutoring session.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Depending on the subject, I would find a way to make the subject more exciting, by introducing new techniques of teaching the subject. Also, presenting the material in an unfamiliar way challenges the student to go and research the subject more outside of our tutoring sessions.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would take time to understand why the subject is so discouraging to the student first. Then, I'll try and create a realistic correlation between the subject and how it is used in life.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
My first inclination would be to stop, take a breather to regroup, and then find the avenue best suited for that student to grasp the information.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
A skill called tell-backs, something I learned while taking a speed reading class, is helpful in reading at a desirable speed and also comprehending. Tell-backs call for the student to read a section of material, stop, and tell the instructor what he/ she has just read. This would be my first approach to mastering reading comprehension.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Using the correct learning style of the student, whether it be audio, visual or hands-on. Another technique I have used is the teach-back, where after a session, a student teaches the information back to the instructor, to ensure that they have grasped the information.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would find a correlation between the subject and what interests the student, so that the student finds interest in the subject.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would use tell-backs, teach-backs and practice problems.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I encourage them, even if I see the smallest improvement -because the smallest improvement indicates improvement period.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Normally, by asking the student a series of questions initially shows where the student needs the most help. Afterwards, once I conduct a few problem sets, I can further determine where the greatest academic need is.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
For instance, if the student is a visual learner, I incorporate more videos and color-coded graphics to explain concepts. If students are more hands-on learners, I incorporate 3-D models for touch purposes to assist in learning concepts.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Depending on the level, I will use materials that range from crayons, color pencils, dry-erase boards, and Legos to graduate-level detailed books and atlases, etc.