As an engineering student and self-taught translator, I understand how difficult it is to grasp the more abstract concepts in the sciences and humanities. Not only have I learned how to overcome these issues, but I enjoy re-learning them through teaching because I have seen how even the most obscure subjects are relevant in the real world.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Clemson University - Current Undergrad, Environmental Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering
High School Biology
High School Chemistry
High School Physics
Statics and Dynamics
What is your teaching philosophy?
While I am skilled at explaining the core tenants of a subject, I believe you learn best when you are challenged to reproduce what you have learned. When I study or teach a subject, this means producing a multifaceted problem that a student/myself can work through with guidance to develop the type of critical thinking that is common in solving all math, science, and engineering problems. For language-learning, it means explaining the context in which a tense or mood would be used, and then applying that grammatical knowledge to learn how to have more nuanced dialogues.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
A typical first session would likely involve figuring out the student's testing schedule and level of familiarity with the subject, in order to see if the student simply needs help working problems to understand a subject or first requires explanation. This would mean asking the student to explain certain subjects to me or explain what types of problems and concepts they are requiring help with.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The best way to create an independent learner is to provide the student with ways to teach themselves about something they are passionate in. I would not have taught myself Spanish without the wide array of resources on the internet that allowed me to figure out my own questions and move at my own pace. In addition, with a diverse background, I believe I can provide guidance on what fields or subjects would be important to focus on in order to follow their passion.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Primarily by positive reinforcement. Focusing on the progress made is important, because feeling constantly stressed about not understanding a subject is draining on motivation. In addition, I think I can offer unique perspectives on how a given subject is practiced in the real world. I would do this by using the principles of a problem or subject that seems esoteric and explain how it has actually been used in my international and domestic engineering projects.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
After walking through a few problems and reviewing the fundamentals of each step, I would help the student draw a concept map linking the very fundamentals of the problem to the application being asked for.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would help a student figure out a natural stopping place (paragraph, chapter) to quiz themselves and review what they had read, instead of plowing forward without comprehending everything. In the long run, this is a time saver.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Focus on and celebrate progress, and remind a student that it's okay to struggle. Even as an engineer, there are basic chemistry and physics concepts from high school I still need to look up sometimes.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I think asking the student to do/explain a problem or situation again, but with different parameters, is the best way to know they learned the concepts and not just how to do one specific question.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
If a student is having trouble visualizing a concept, the questions are usually more focused on understanding the set-up to a problem before the actual solving process begins. Otherwise, based on their efforts, it is possible to tell if a student is simply having trouble keeping equations or concepts organized as they try to address a problem.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Textbooks, reference websites, and any materials I need to illustrate a concept on paper.