My name is Esther. I am currently attending Pasadena City College where I am pursuing an Associate for transfer in Civil Engineering. I have always enjoyed teaching. My father, who is also a teacher, has inspired me with that specific vocation. I have witnessed several times the power of teaching: how teaching can transform lives, how it can take people from point A to point B and I myself have been teaching since I was 15. At that age, I had developed an implemented a training program in my church in Africa. The goal of the program was to help people read and notate music. The program has been very successful and runs up to this date. In the US I have tutored students from different ages and backgrounds within my school and also privately. These experiences have enabled me to develop a specific skill set in the Education Sector.
One reason I enjoy tutoring is that I believe there is nothing more precious in life than to be given opportunity to share knowledge with others. I also think that teachers, mentors and coaches should be the most respected people on this planet since they hold in their hands the power to influence, shape and train the elite of their societies. Because of that, I take very seriously every given opportunity to train people and I always make sure to be a positive influence. I am actually working as a Math Tutor for one of the programs at Pasadena City College where I have completed all my math classes: Calculus I, II and III, Linear Algebra and Differential Equations. My teaching philosophy is finding the missing pieces to solve the puzzle in the head of the student.
I speak and write both French and English fluently. If I am not doing Math then I am making music. Indeed, I play a little bit of piano, sing but mostly compose my own music.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Children must be taught "how" to think, not "what" to think. -Margaret Mead "If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn." -Ignacio Estrada
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Introduce ourselves and then learn about the student's hobbies and interests. Listen to the student's educational background in general or concerning the subject I am tutoring. Go over his strengths and weaknesses, and finally, do a little bit of tutoring.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By showing him tips, strategies, insights, and teaching him skills that will boost his overall self-confidence and help him become very good at self-learning.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By finding what motivates him.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I will change the way I teach it and find a way that will make it easier for him to understand the concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I encourage them to use the dictionary and check words that seem difficult to them and will probably suggest to go with them over problems or texts that will help them better their reading comprehension. In other words, practice makes perfect; there is no magic trick.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Find a common ground with them. Know about their aspirations and goals in life.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I have to bring out the exciting part of the subject. I can relate to an area of their life. I will show them how useful that subject can be in their daily life. If it does not help them, it can always help them help somebody else.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
A lot of interaction, asking questions, and letting them do the thinking but providing guidance so they get to the right answer.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By helping them to have a deep understanding of it. If they know that they know it, their confidence will have no problem.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
When I ask them questions and they tell me about their weaknesses and by assessing their overall progress.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I change methods: I use a different language if necessary, as well as different methods; I do what fits their need the most.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Whiteboard, dry erase marker, notebook, pencil, and any other necessary material for illustration.