I am a recent graduate from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in Environmental and Chicano studies. During my time at UCSB I was heavily involved in working with programs that benefit youth; I mentored and tutored underrepresented high school students and at-risk youth to pursue higher education and a better life.
I was a tutor/mentor for a program titled "Pathways" in which I guided underrepresented high school and middle school students to overcome the personal and academic obstacles they faced in order to pursue higher education and a happier life.
I love the short and long term connections that can be made with youth through mentoring, and I believe that helping kids appreciate and respect the natural world, themselves, and others is important to everyone’s future.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of California-Santa Barbara - Bachelors, Environmental and Chican@ Studies
ACT Composite: 21
SAT Composite: 1500
SAT Math: 510
SAT Writing: 530
I really enjoy being outdoors. I am also a mentor/counselor in outdoor/nature connection and education. Another hobby/interest of mine is sports. My favorite sports are football, basketball, and baseball.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
The core values of my teaching philosophy are equity of access, and cultural relevance/competence. I believe that through equity of access, the quality of education must be a primary focus to assure equal education for all. Through focusing on the quality education of an individual, this will ensure their understanding as well as build their confidence to explain the topic to others. Continuing with the emphasis on equal access and quality of teaching, my philosophy also focuses on the four different types of learners. The four types of learning methods are; experiencing, doing, watching, conceptualization. Each type of learner has there own specific questions that they like to ask to ensure their understanding. I believe that it is very important to include and be aware of the four types of learners to improve the quality of teaching skills and to assure the equity of access to education for all students.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would typically get to know the student first. That can be through asking about their day, asking about any interest or hobbies they may have, as well as asking about any obstacles they feel they are currently facing with academics. Where and when appropriate, I will share any similarities I may have to try and build a comfortable connection with the student. I believe that this will allow sessions to run much smoother, as well as improve the quality of what is being taught.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Through teaching and mentoring different ways to approach new topics. I believe it first starts with walking through the steps with the student to make sure they fully understand the topic they are struggling with. Showing them how to ask themselves certain questions, and look for other examples of similar problems worked out in the book or in class is key to learning independently. Also, making sure that discipline is also practiced through working out similar, yet different, problems to make sure a full understanding is met. Double checking your work is also a great practice for independent learning.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Through sharing ways that I stay motivated. I would share this quote with them, "If it's meant to be, it's up to me." This quote serves as a constant reminder that we must continue to face new obstacles and struggles to reach our goals. It's up to the individual to put an effort forward, because the only way to find out if it's meant to be is if you keep trying your best. I would also help remind them of what there goals are, and ask what inspired them in the first place. It's also important to remember that you're aiming to achieve your goals not only for your parents and loved ones, but also for yourself.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would ask the student how they have been approaching this obstacle, and proceed by suggesting different possible ways to learning the skill or concept. I would ask questions that will allow the student to think differently, while guiding them in the direction their thinking could be going.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I ask them to first read out loud, and underline the areas that they feel are important. I will also ask them to circle any parts that they find confusing, or may not know, and by doing this it will allow me to help the students gain a better understanding of the reading as a whole.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Question asking is really successful. Through question asking, you avoid just giving the student the answer, and instead help them find different ways to think while leading them to say/figure out the answer on their own.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
If it is a subject that I struggled with, or not, let them know ways that I was able to overcome the obstacle of a struggle I faced while learning something new. This will hopefully build hope for the student. I believe that it is also very important to encourage and show acknowledgement when the student shows even the smallest of improvement, to gear motivation and excitement for them.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
My main technique is to have the student explain the problem we had just went over to me in their words. If they succeed, I would have them work out a similar problem on their own to make sure that they have successfully understood the skill or concept.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Mainly through encouragement and with feedback on ways that they can improve. This way they can see that they are getting close to mastering the subject, and understand that it takes little steps to get there. Each step of the way needs to be rewarded by words of encouragement, reminding them that they are doing a good job.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
As they workout a problem, or explain their process, I evaluate the areas they get stuck. Before helping, I ask about the notes they took in class. At times, the struggle begins with note taking. After that, I evaluate the steps in which they get stuck the most.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt to the type of learner the student is. If the student understands more through watching me workout the problem first, doing it themselves first, or even working it out together, I would do what is most productive for the both of us.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use a mini-whiteboard to make sure the problem I write out is legible. I also prefer using different colors which makes it easier to understand different steps. A calculator is always handy to have as well.