I have been lucky to have many opportunities of learning in life and I have come to realize that learning is indeed a lifelong journey. We all continuously teach and learn from each other by exchanging ideas and knowledge. I get very excited at the prospect of being able to pass on to others what I have learned, and learn more along the way to continuously evolve in this exciting journey.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to ensure that the student can learn the underlying method so that they can apply it to solve any given problem in the future, instead of just getting the answer to the problem at hand. This approach also allows students to develop into independent thinkers, and further discover different ways of reaching the same answer.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
My approach to a typical first session is to understand the student's way of learning, as well as the extent to which the student feels comfortable or uncomfortable on certain types of problems. It is also important to gauge which method works best for the student.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
My approach would be to teach them how to fish, instead of simply handing them the fish. In my prior teaching/tutoring experience, I have come to realize that students don't learn from simply getting the answers to their questions. It is important to teach the students the underlying methods and principles so they can arrive at the solution on their own. This is more of a facilitating/guiding approach than simply giving answers, which allows them to build a solid foundation and consistently apply to all future problems.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
In my experience, the best way to keep students motivated is to help them understand the "why" and not just the "how". I have noticed that when students understand how they can apply the principles they are learning, beyond just solving classroom exercises, they get more excited and open to further learning.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I have realized that no one student learns in the exact same manner as the other. If a student has difficulty with learning a skill or concept, I would try different approaches to ensure that ultimately they student understands the underlying concept. I would continue to work with them until we find a method that works best for them.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
My approach has always been to first help the student on a particular problem, and, once I feel that the student understands the concept, I will follow-up with a few more similar problems. I have noticed that when students are able to solve follow-up problems, their confidence level rises.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
A conversation usually goes a long way in understanding what particular areas are problematic for the student. I will work with the student to understand their areas of strength and weakness, and determine a teaching approach that addresses the weak areas.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Being flexible is key in any kind of teaching. Every student learns differently, and I would work to recognize what works best for a given student. I would try different methods until we find one that works best for them.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I usually use the student's own textbooks, class notes, study guides, etc., and I also like to create my own practice problems based on the above.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I like to practice understanding the student's learning style, understanding the student's areas of strength and weakness, adapting my tutoring style to fit with the student's learning style, and teaching them the basic "tricks" to breaking down problems and arriving at a solution in a much more efficient and easy way.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Many times I have noticed that students struggle to learn concepts, or they get frustrated with the way they are taught in the classroom. I would focus on teaching them basic ways to reach a solution with a much more efficient and easy approach.