I love science and believe it or not so can you! Science is life and applies to everyone everyday. My method of instruction one I have honed since first being certified for Advanced College Level Tutoring in 97'. Over the years I realized that a strict "across the board" curriculum just doesn't work for every student. Everyone is different, has different ways of learning and tolerance for certain types of instruction. Therefore my sessions are customized to each students individual interests, so rest assured you will have fun and gain the proper understanding of your subject matter!
Undergraduate Degree: California State University-Fresno - Bachelors, Biological Science
Forensic Science is one of my favorite subjects, I have had real world experience in the field and it was awesome. Introducing science as a FUN and interesting study is so rewarding! I come from a family filled with scientists and law enforcement ( forensics was bound to happen!) Outside of academia, I play Violin and Bass, I am a HUGE Pink Floyd fan. Going to concerts is my favorite thing to do bar none. Besides science, music Is my life!
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Science
High School Biology
High School English
High School World History
Middle School Reading
Middle School Science
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
There are many ways to teach, and you must figure out what will be most effective for your students. If you do not adapt to your student's needs, you won't be successful, and that is not the way to go!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get to know you of course! How can one teach if they do not know what will keep the student engaged?
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I have many tricks up my sleeve, but it all depends on the student. What might be best for some, may not be for all. It's my job to figure that out to ensure your success.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
When you are interested and excited about something, you tend to stay motivated! So, let's get you excited about science!
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
In science, this scenario is quite common. When this happens, I do whatever I can to make that specific concept relevant to the student. It is much easier to understand something if you can make it relate to your everyday activities. Luckily, science is literally everywhere and can therefore be put into terms that a student can grasp.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I make sure that I get a feel for what each student likes and what they really dislike about the subject. Without this you are treading water.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I encourage my students to "think out loud"! I am not looking for right or wrong; I am looking for the way my students think - how they process information. I never judge, even if the answer is completely off - that is helpful as well! By having my students talk through the process or concept, I can ease them onto the correct path. As a student, I was never afforded this opportunity in my studies, and instead used my friends as soundboards - the results were surprising and tangible. It may seem silly at first, but it's fun and memorable, which is key. Asking my students, "ok, why do you think that is the answer?" does NOT mean they are wrong! I am building confidence by having the material "taught" back to me by the student. If/when they can do this, they have grasped the concept and we can move on. This has been my most successful method by far.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Since no student is the same, you have to be a bit of an armchair psychologist and assess the needs on a case by case basis. One size does not fit all. Gathering data and formulating a hypothesis as to what will produce the best benefit is my job, as a scientist and a teacher.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt as much or little as needed. I can go from teaching silly acronyms to ensure subject recall, to textbook teaching. If a student has dyslexia, I can assist with confidence, as I have had my own issues in that regard. Over the past 20 years I have been teaching/tutoring, I have encountered all types of students who have needs that must be addressed. If you require special modification or accommodations, look no further - I get it!
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Textbooks, PowerPoints, instructional videos/animation of processes. And yes, I do incorporate hands-on labs when needed-and they are fun and awesome!
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Let's break it down. In my experience, I have found this issue to be on the easier side of setbacks. First, is there any visual impairment, i.e. dyslexia? Are you skimming the material, or really reading it? I have a tried and true 3 step method: Read, Read Aloud, Write it down. You have now used sight, hearing and motor function to drill it into your brain. It works, really!!
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I will do most anything for my students. That being said, my students who are struggling are my biggest concern. I have been known to incorporate labs, and even field trips for a more hands-on approach. After all, seeing is believing! A bunch of confusing words in a textbook mean nothing until they are put into practice - then it becomes real. Now you can see the process and result, and that is exciting!
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I incorporate quizzes that I inform the student of, and will shoot it over to them when they MAY not be expecting it; this makes them have to think on the spot and recall from the last session. Again, no judgment - just a guide for me. I have silly songs and sayings that are impossible to get out of your head, which my students always thank me for later. And the best thus far, is to have my students present a "lesson" to me, and "teach" me the concept. If they can do this, they are good to go!