A highly motivated and hardworking individual currently achieving a doctorate in physical therapy. Seeking to obtain employment for tutoring position in order to provide quality education and mentoring in the biological sciences. Eventual career goal is to become a doctorate level faculty at a physical therapy graduate school, teaching anatomy and molecular biology.
Undergraduate Degree: Arcadia University - Bachelors, Biology (concentration in molecular biology)
Graduate Degree: Arcadia University - Current Grad Student, Doctorate of Physical Therapy
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that everyone learns differently, and therefore, a key fundamental in tutoring is first discovering what kind of learner one is teaching. Once that is deciphered, the most difficult component of learning has been conquered.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I try and complete a series of questions to discover if my student is a kinesthetic, auditory, and/or visual learner. I also would like to have a general understanding of what the student's current situation may be. This is to create an environment conducive to learning.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I always give students exercises/work to do that helps them organize their thoughts when I'm not around to assist them. I also use fun facts throughout sessions that relate to subject material in order to get the student more engaged. Often times, science can be droll to young learners, so adding "cool, interesting" information can spark independent thought and desire for more information. It is also very important, in my mind, to use positive reinforcement to give students a sense of accomplishment. Typically, students with a more positive outlook on their progress are more likely to succeed and form good habits.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
As I mentioned before, positive reinforcement is very important in keeping students motivated. It is very difficult to learn in a negative environment. That being said, I believe that setting goals is an excellent technique for not only keeping students motivated, but also for tracking progress.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I always try and use tangible, real-world examples to help students get around a mental block. For instance, I've had students that have struggled greatly with intercellular pathways when tutoring biology. I tend to use the "bus stop" analogy in which certain proteins and enzymes may need to reach a certain part of the internal cellular structure. The "bus" (a transport protein) that carries "people" (proteins/enzymes/etc.) to their "jobs" (intermediate binding regions) where they go inside to work at their "desks" (the specific biological task). Personification is very useful as well when demonstrating in this way.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Psycho-social awareness is key in success from the first session until the last. It's important to understand that everyone, at some point in their life, needs assistance in understanding certain things. There is no shame in seeking help, if anything, it makes you stronger. My first goal, with every student, is for them to get passed self-doubt, embrace their position, and know that they will succeed.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
The best way to get a student engaged in material is discovering relativity. "What does he/she like to do? Hobbies? Fun?" If I can relate the material to activities they find enjoyable, learning development is reached at a greater rate.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I use a technique called "reflect/recall." The best way to make sure a student understands is to have them teach it back to me. I've used this technique for many years and can attest to its value as a learning tool.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Start small. By achieving small successes regularly, students become motivated. Also, I always encourage my students to have a voice, expressing their issues and creating a plan to work around them. Eventually, independence is built, and students will continue to gain confidence. Also, I feel it is imperative for students to understand that they shouldn't be crippled by the fear of failure or being incorrect. Fear hinders learning, and my goal is make sure my students feel comfortable at all times.