# Hillary

Certified Tutor

Undergraduate Degree: University of California-Davis - Bachelors, Communication

Graduate Degree: American Public University System - Masters, Educational Leadership

Boating, Swimming, Fishing, Arts and Crafts

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that every student can be good at math.

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

It is important to get to know a student first before jumping into tutoring. I would spend a little time getting to know the student - what they like to do and how they feel about being tutored. I would then discuss the class we are working on together and find out more about where they might be struggling and what they might be worried about. We would then review some problems that they might be working on in class or have passed but the student needs more time with and go from there.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Students usually do not know how to utilize their textbook to help them see examples and even some of the resources that are available to them already. I like to guide students through these types of resources so that they know where they can go to get extra help when needed. I also like to talk with students about how to check their work, especially with word problems, so that they have a better idea when they might have made an error and can go back and look for it.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Everyone needs a break now and then; one thing that I like to do while working with students in person is to bring different puzzles and give students a short puzzle break. Usually, this works as a good incentive to keep working. I would give them a minute to work on a puzzle that they are trying to figure out for every ten or fifteen minutes they work with me (depending on the student and their age).

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

With math this happens often. When possible it is great to break a problem down into steps. Many times, when a problem is broken into pieces it is easier to determine where the misunderstanding is and also gives an opportunity to focus on that area to improve.

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

Reading can be difficult, and with math word problems are everywhere. I like to use a highlighter to look for the important words that are needed to show understanding. This can also be used to discuss words that a student does not understand. From there we can discuss and come up with other ways of saying the same problem.

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

I like to have students do more writing than I do. In math, if all you ever do is see a problem being worked out, it makes it difficult for a student to know what to do. I try not to hold a pen or pencil unless needed so that the student is getting the experience of doing the problem themselves.

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

Celebrate the small steps. Math can be a difficult subject, and students can feel like they will never learn it, but everyone knows some part, and it is important to remind the student that they do know pieces and just have to keep working on the rest.

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

I like to work with problems together, and then have a student work on a problem on their own until they get stuck or finish the problem. Having a student work on similar problems, and showing them how to use previous problems as a guide, helps me know that they are getting a better understanding.

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

Sometimes a student doesn't think that they know math at all, but it is important to show them that they know something. Even if it is only one step of a multi-step problem, it is important to show that they know that one step and that they can then grow from there.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I talk with the student and parent/guardian to find out what they expect to get out of tutoring. I like to also review their progress in their math class, going over work that has been graded with them so that they see what they are doing right and what they need to work on. I try to do this more with practice problems during sessions.

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

This all depends on the needs of the student. If a student needs to have steps written out, then we write them out. If a student works better with manipulatives, then I bring them. If a student needs to hear an explanation a few times, then we go over it. Once it is determined what a student needs, then we go from there.

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

This all depends on the level. For example, students struggling with fractions often do better when seeing circles with fractions cut, and so I use those. A student struggling with integers might need to use a vertical number line instead of a horizontal one. Sometimes, something as simple as graph paper is what is needed.