I know the feeling: you are stuck on a chemistry problem, and it seems like it's taking forever to learn/do that problem set/get your work done. It feels super frustrating. Other times, a concept just doesn't make sense. Other people might say that it does, and that makes you feel a little bad. I have been in that situation so many times and I know exactly how that feels. But I have always decided to keep going, no matter how hard the obstacles. I have worked hard in school and I hope that I can help make learning easier for you! Over the years of studying in college I have developed effective study habits and problem solving methods that I hope to share with you as you embark on your journey of learning. I love to help others to figure out things and make learning fun! I love to tutor in many science subjects like biology (cell biology, genetics, and molecular biology), chemistry (general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry). I have also taken the MCAT, and I am willing to tutor in specific topics tested there as well (all the topics mentioned above, but also Physics, and psychology and sociology).
Undergraduate Degree: Boston University - Current Undergrad, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1470
SAT Verbal: 720
SAT Writing: 730
Swimming, running, reading.
MCAT Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
What is your teaching philosophy?
Take it step-by-step! Learning takes a lot of time, but our modern society is so fast-paced that it makes it hard to slow ourselves down. To truly learn something, we must be able to take our time in exploring many different aspects.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would get to know the needs of the student, as well as their learning style. I would do my best to cater the session to that!
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I would get them in the habit of asking questions, and then figure out ways for them to logically answer the question themselves. That is the key to becoming an independent learner; not depending on others to answer those questions, and going the extra mile.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Helping a student stay motivated requires that they develop good study habits and have a genuine interest in the subject. I would encourage them to set up a weekly schedule and stick to it, so that going to study and working hard just becomes part of their routine.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try to explain the idea in multiple ways, and see if one of them "clicks" for the student. I would break it down as much as possible, and find what exactly the student is having trouble with. Breaking down the problem into smaller parts helps slow the student down, and it pinpoints the source of confusion.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would have them read as much as possible, and I would have them practice writing short summaries of what they have read. I would also suggest that the students practice with some workbooks that contain short essays followed with questions. In this way, I hope that I could help them to become an active reader instead of a passive reader.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found that the most successful strategy is to find out their needs, as well as their learning style. These two points are so crucial for understanding how to teach someone. Every individual is different, so it is important to specifically comprehend what your student needs. What worked for one student might not work for another, and that's okay. That's why teachers must be adaptable and flexible in their teaching styles.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
The best way to get a student excited/engaged with a subject would be to ask them about certain parts of their lives that are taken for granted, and then link those to the subject of interest. That could help them realize that the subject really is important, and it could motivate them to start learning more about it, not just for school, but for the rest of their life.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would ask the student to explain something for me. One of the best ways to see if someone truly understands the material is when that individual can explain it!
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Building a student's confidence in a subject takes a lot of time, and a lot of dedication. It essentially boils down to having a student realize that the material is doable, that they should not fear the problems/questions, and if they develop a systematic approach they will have a much easier time with the material.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Evaluating a student is comprised of three questions: why have they come to me, why they are in this class, and what are their goals for the session.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
The student's needs always come first, and I have a lot of ways to adapt my tutoring to their needs. The first step is assessing exactly what they need. Once I understand their needs (what, why, goals) then I can start to analyze how they learn. I will begin by asking them a few questions about the material, and then see what they might be confused about. I will then try to explain things to them in different ways in order to see their responses to the different teaching styles. I will take note of which styles work best, and from then on I will try to use the styles that worked. I will continuously modify them as I learn more about the student's needs.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I will use my own knowledge, as well as reference textbooks from my classes. I like to use a whiteboard or some sort of online writing tool so that I can draw things out if needed.