As an Materials Science and Engineering major, math is a big part of my academic career. I was introduced to tutoring in my residence hall as a freshman. I would help the girls in my hall on their math homework. After that, I applied for a job at the tutoring center on campus and was accepted. Tutoring is by far the most enjoyable and rewarding job I have ever had. As a graduate student, I am no longer eligible to be a tutor, I have been looking for a way to keep doing what I love!
Outside of school and work, I am a yoga enthusiast and hobbyist who enjoys making beaded bracelets.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Arizona - Bachelors, Materials Science and Engineering
Graduate Degree: University of Arizona - Current Grad Student, Materials Science and Engineering
SAT Math: 710
Yoga, beading, swimming, crime shows, Just Dance on the Wii
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy for teaching is to provide alternative approaches to problems to cater to every type of learner.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session with a student, I would ask some questions to gauge the student's prior understanding of the content before jumping into working on problems.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The key to helping a student be an independent learner is to teach by building off the knowledge a student already has, but filling in any blanks in their knowledge. I do this by leading with open questions that force the student to think about the question and really target their areas of confusion.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would make sure that I provide lots of positive reinforcement when the student does things correctly, and be sure to be encouraging when they get confused or make a mistake.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try to present the concept in a way that differs from how they originally learned it and use simpler language, since there are times when the language is the reason for the confusion, not the math.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
My key strategy is asking questions. It is easiest to figure out where a student is struggling by asking questions to see what they already know.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I like to make jokes about word problems so that they can see beyond just the math and perhaps begin to have fun with the problem. I also like to be enthusiastic about the material, because it can be contagious.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
After working through a problem with a student, I ask them to try the next one on their own. If they do it correctly, I feel comfortable that they have learned the concept; if they make mistakes, I take the opportunity to clarify any remaining confusion.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Positive reinforcement is the key. If you reinforce what a student does correctly, they will gain confidence in what they know as well as feel more comfortable with the content you provide to fill in any gaps.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I ask directly. Usually the best way to figure out what a student needs is to let them tell you!
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I come equipped with multiple ways of approaching a problem. Every student learns differently, so it is important to have both numerical and visual, auditory and kinesthetic ways of approaching an explanation.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I typically use a whiteboard because it allows me to work interactively with the student.