If students remain teachable and avoid shutting down, they will have the extra energy and potential to learn. In addition to the students' attitude, the teacher must be dynamic, allow relearn/retakes and urge students to get outside help. Hearing the same information from a different teacher can make a huge difference in retention.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: UNLV - Bachelors, Secondary Education - biological science
Graduate Degree: University of Phoenix-Las Vegas Campus - Masters, Educational Leadership
ACT Composite: 33
ACT Math: 32
SAT Verbal: 620
SAT Writing: 800
camping, hiking, sewing, cooking, teaching college labs and playing with my kids
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
The more and more I come across chemistry students, the more I see them trying to "rote" memorization. Since it is cumulative, you must remember the information so you can apply it to the next concept. Math is the same way; you must know how to do the problem and why.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
My first session consists of learning about the student's academic life, what they like and dislike about their teacher(s). I also would like to get to know the students, their strengths, weaknesses, study skills, when/where they study, and, lastly, about any extracurricular activities they participate in.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Once we learn a new topic in chemistry, such as gas laws which involve algebra, I begin scaffolding the material. If the students have difficulties isolating algebraic variables, then I can diagnose the issue. Once the issue is diagnosed and treated, they can become more independent working problems.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I keep a relaxed atmosphere in my room. In 16 years, I have never issued books to students. Books do not do justice to the complexities and extension that comes from hands on activities, labs, computer tutorials, usage of apps on electronic devices. The more variation in my classroom, the more motivated my students become.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Once new units are started, a list of extra websites, apps, activities, and labs that assist the student comprehend the concept. If students don't find comprehension in those areas, I individually assist them.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension is vital in all disciplines of science. I urge students to access online resources and break words down using Latin bases. The best method I have successfully succeeded in have been breaking down the words to increase their comprehension.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Their academic history is the origination of how they will succeed in my course. Pre-tests are done prior to any tutoring so I can identify their weaknesses and not waste their time. I typically issue a post-test to see how much was retained and how far they progressed for my own use to help others.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Students are more successful when the teacher makes it relaxed, reassuring, and open-door. If they are struggling with a topic, not many students go to their peers or parents. Having teachers who welcome students by keeping them excited and engaged in class through the use of dynamic instructional strategies will help students be more comfortable asking for remediation.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I use the concept of scaffolding. I start with simple calculations. Once they show mastery with basic questions, I adjust the material to word-based problems.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I comfort the student. Even though the topic is difficult, I will break it down into smaller portions and then bring it all back together. For example, in stoichiometry, I have students simplify, multiply, and divide fractions. This is the basis of stoichiometric calculations.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I have students list their strengths and weaknesses. Using their weaknesses, I help them find simple solutions on how to turn them into strengths. Once we finalize our strength list, I can evaluate their needs. Do they need help with algebraic isolation? Order of operations? This way, I can pre-plan on how to address needs prior to starting a topic.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Some students simply need to hear it from another teacher. If students "tune out" their teacher due to indifference or time of day the class is scheduled, I adapt the tutoring on which time of day they retain the most information.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Personally, I do not use textbooks. I use the information I have retained, podcasts, apps, online tutorials, and the Internet. Students do not enjoy book work. The textbook is there for reference, not for solely learning. My sessions consist of a calculator, whiteboard, computer, and my brain.