A photo of Shamus, a tutor from San Jose State University

Shamus

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I am a high school science instructor who is passionate about changing lives and inspiring future scientists. My teaching methods are evidence-based and appropriate. I believe in creating a supportive environment between myself and the student that promotes academic achievement. I am capable of identifying the development needs of students, providing support and strategies for success. I have an aptitude in utilizing diverse strategies that are engaging and help close achievement gaps.

My academic background includes earning my Masters of Science degree in physiology in 2015, and a Bachelor’s of Science with a minor in Chemistry in 2012 from San Jose State University. My education provided me the opportunity to work as a researcher and teach college level human physiology lab. I have experience teaching at the high school and collegiate level, however, I thoroughly enjoy tutoring students at any level.

Shamus’ Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: San Jose State University - Bachelors, Biology. Minor in Chemistry

Graduate Degree: San Jose State University - Masters, Physiology

Test Scores

MCAT: 26

Hobbies

Hiking, golfing, cheese making, and spending time with my family.

Tutoring Subjects

Anatomy & Physiology

AP Biology

AP Physics 1

Biology

Chemistry

College Biology

MCAT Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

Graduate Test Prep

High School Biology

High School Chemistry

High School Physics

MCAT Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

MCAT Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems

Middle School Science

Nutrition

Physics

Science


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I am a high school science instructor who is passionate about changing lives and inspiring future scientists. My teaching methods are evidence-based and appropriate. I believe in creating a supportive environment between myself and the student that promotes academic achievement. I am capable of identifying the development needs of students, providing support and strategies for success. I have an aptitude in utilizing diverse strategies that are engaging and help close achievement gaps. My academic background includes earning my Masters of Science degree in physiology in 2015, and a Bachelor's of Science with a minor in Chemistry in 2012. My education provided me the opportunity to work as a researcher and teach college level human physiology lab. I have experience teaching at the high school and collegiate level, however, I thoroughly enjoy tutoring students at any level.

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

During the first session, I will take the time to get to know the student. It is important that I know their interests, how they like to learn, and establish short and long-term goals. Once I know their learning style and their interests, I can make their lessons personal and exiting.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Before a student becomes an independent learner, they need to determine how their mind likes to process information. Once they understand how they like to learn, then they can take on any topic and make it fun and interesting.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Motivation has a lot to do with success. If a student is seeing the results of their hard work, then they stay motivated. I will ensure that each session is designed well and the student comes away with a clear plan that will result in academic success.

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

I believe there are no skills or topics too difficult for students. The key to making difficult topics easy and approachable is relating it to the student. My students find that I present skills and topics in a way that makes sense and relates to their lives. By using real-life examples and analogies, I make complicated material easy to understand.

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

When students are having trouble with comprehension, I start out by focusing on vocabulary. After the student has mastered the needed vocabulary, I teach them about sentence structure and grammar. Oftentimes students miss subtle inferences due to their lack of understanding of sentence structure and signal words. After those skills have been established, then I have my students focus on mapping the text. This is an effective way to quickly organize information and connect ideas from paragraph to paragraph.

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

This biggest key to success with new students is establishing a clear academic goal. Once we have a destination and an end-point, I can design a comprehensive plan of success.

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

I believe that bringing excitement and engagement to a topic is all about presenting the information in a relevant way that piques the student's interest. If the student can see how a topic applies to their life, and the information is made fun and approachable, then it becomes exciting and engaging.

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

As the student is moving toward mastery, I will check their understanding with formal assessment. If the student is not comprehending the information, then I will need to remediate the lesson and make sure we take some extra time on that subject.

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

I will help build confidence by ensuring academic success. During my lessons, my students will be constantly engaged and making connections of old ideas to new ideas. When they see how much they already know and can apply it to new information, then their confidence level and performance will remain high.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

If I suspect a student may need special accommodations, I will ensure my lessons are designed to meet those needs. I will also make sure their teachers and parents/guardians are aware of the issue.

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

Depending on the student's need, I might need to modify how material is presented. My goal is to present the topics in a way that maximizes learning. If a student need special accommodations to allow them to succeed, then I will be more than happy to provide those adjustments.

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

I like to maximize modern technology and make my sessions fun and engaging. I incorporate games, videos, and interactive material to make each session enjoyable.