My name is Nathan Kim, and I am a student at Southern Adventist University who will be applying to medical school in a year.
I started tutoring in my senior year of high school, when I was requested to tutor a twelve-year old student with severe ADHD and behavioral problems in math, science, and history.
Though I struggled with the process, I felt useful and energized knowing that I had helped another individual, however rudimentary the increase in knowledge/grades were.
Through this experience, I went on to work at summer camp for children, tutored at an elementary school, and now am tutoring fellow college students in subjects that apply to my major, such as biology, chemistry, etc.
I hope to make an even larger influence through my involvement here on Varsity Tutors and hope you or your student will reap the impact of the culmination of my years of developing and refining my teaching skills.
Undergraduate Degree: Southern Adventist University - Current Undergrad, Chemistry
ACT Composite: 34
ACT English: 35
ACT Math: 34
ACT Reading: 35
ACT Science: 32
Basketball, playing piano, playing cello, video games, teaching, eating good food.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that humans don't remember what you try to teach them. They only remember what you are. I want to not only provide the student with information; I aim to inspire my students.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session with a student, I'd likely form a relationship with them. I believe interpersonal relationships are vital to success in academics.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
This is one of the most significant problems I have encountered since starting my tutoring process. I ultimately believe that students learn by example, and if I am effective in exemplifying my passion for a subject, the student will slowly follow suit in their character and their actions.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Short-term deadlines are the most effective way in motivating a student. (e.g. finish this question set by the next time we meet, solve this difficult problem yourself, and explain it to me next time).
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
In these situations, I oftentimes assist the student by relating the concept they are struggling with to a concept in everyday life that is much easier to grasp. By associating the concept with everyday objects, (method of loci) the student gains a much more familiar understanding and grasp on the subject they are approaching.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
This one is very simple: Practice.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found that obtaining the student's respect and trust is the most effective method in establishing a successful relationship with the student. This can be achieved a variety of ways depending on the student's personality.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Testing and outside the box questions. This is the only way to reinforce student knowledge.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I have found that once I drill a student in a subject and do problems with them, they begin to understand it much better, and because of this, automatically gain confidence through our time together. Time with the tutor/instructor is the most effective tool to building confidence for students.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I often talk with the parent personally. For most students, the trend tends to be that they are simply lazy. This is fixed by instilling passion and inspiration into the student's heart.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I have seen such a large variety of students that frankly, nothing surprises me. Ultimately, I have discovered that using everyday occurrences to explain abstract concepts is a nearly infallible process in tutoring.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Practice problems and surroundings. Mostly practice problems.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Lead by example. If the teacher is excited and encouraging about the subject, often times it is apparent, and the student will follow suit.