I am a freshman studying Computer Science at Northeastern University's school of Computer and Information Science. In High School I was an AP Scholar with distinction, a title earned for scoring above average on 7 AP tests. As a Senior in High School while taking AP Calculus AB, I was a peer tutor in my school's Pre-Calculus course. Other tutoring experience comes from volunteering to help my peers in their math and Computer Science classes. I am an avid programmer with experience across a wide range of technologies and languages, including NodeJS, MySQL, C, C++, and Objective C. Most of my experience in Computer Science comes from personal projects and my own curiosity. Learning new things is my favorite pastime, and I'd like to share that feeling with others as much as I can. When tutoring students, I work to give them a taste of the joy I experience when faced with new knowledge. Anyone can learn to love the education they receive both in and out of the classroom.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Northeastern University - Current Undergrad, Computer Science
ACT Composite: 31
ACT English: 32
ACT Math: 28
ACT Reading: 35
ACT Science: 29
Computer Programming, Math, Playing Soccer, Watching Football, Surfing Wikipedia, Reading, Playing Video Games, Learning new Things
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
If a student does not find joy in a subject they are learning, they will not learn the subject to the best of their abilities. Therefore, it is the duty of the teacher to teach the student to love the subjects they are being taught. My favorite way to learn involves personal achievement. The feeling that results from such an achievement helps to excite students about the subject. When tutoring, I ask questions that lead students through the thought process to solving the problem at hand. As the student answers these questions, they better understand the problem and are better equipped to solve it themselves. When the question is finally solved, it is the student who solved the problem, giving them a sense of achievement that motivates them to keep moving forward.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Because of the importance of the student-teacher relationship, I would spend the first session with a student getting to know them and their learning style. This would involve asking them what they think of the subject we are working on, how they are doing in the subject, why they sought out tutoring, and what they would like to accomplish with tutoring. I would then talk to them about my teaching style and ask them if they have any questions about it. With the time left, I would ask them if they had anything specific they wanted to work on, and we would begin from there.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
A student becomes an independent learner when they are able to think through, understand, and solve problems themselves. When this process becomes easier for the student, they will begin to find more joy in their work, and when the problems they used to solve stop challenging them, they will be driven to seek out new challenges. Problem solving is taught by leading students through the thoughts necessary to arrive at a solution. As a teacher, I lead students by asking questions that point them in the right direction to arrive at the solution themselves.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
When a student starts losing motivation, my first priority is to not stress the student out about the subject. Stressing them out further would only make the student lost motivation faster. If time is not an issue, I would slow down the pace of the session to give the student a little bit of a break. Lack of motivation is often due to burn out. I would then identify aspects of the subject the student is still somewhat motivated to learn about. If time were an issue, I would also slow the session down, but not to the degree I would if time weren't an issue.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I would identify the fundamentals missing from their understanding of the concept and work on those first. If the student weren't missing fundamental concepts, I would have them deliberately work through sample problems that require the specific skill they are having difficulty learning, helping them with the smaller aspects of the problems along the way until they are able to solve problems involving the skill or concept without much help.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension is an important skill to have when it comes to understanding the problems to be solved in Math and Computer Science. If a student is having difficulty understanding a problem statement due to a lack of reading comprehension, I would walk through the problem statement with the student, defining terms they may not understand and rephrasing portions of the statement that are cryptic to the student. I would then think of an analogy to better describe what the problem is asking and describe the problem that way.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
A strategy I have found successful when working with students involves relating aspects of the subject we are working on with other academic and non-academic subjects the student might be familiar with. This helps build connections in the student's brain, which allows them to solve problems with skills they may already have. Another strategy of mine involves expressing to the student how proud I am if they solve a problem by themselves. This helps build in the student a drive to solve similar problems.