A photo of Niraja, a tutor from Southwest Virginia Community College

Niraja

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I am very passionate about helping people learn.

My goal is only to help my students excel and I know that each person has their strengths so I play to that.

I find fun, quirky ways to keep the subject interesting and if my methods don't work for you, let me know and I'll find another way that may work better for you!

I'm graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Biomedical Engineering and after I will be going on to do my masters in Biotechnology at John Hopkin's University.

Niraja’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Southwest Virginia Community College - Current Undergrad, Biomedical Engineering

Graduate Degree: John Hopkins University - Current Grad Student, Biotechnology

Test Scores

SAT Verbal: 690

SAT Mathematics Level 2: 740

SAT Subject Test in Biology E/M: 700

Hobbies

I'm an extrovert and I love trying new things. My hobbies include dancing and painting as of now and cooking may be starting to become a hobby as well.

Tutoring Subjects

Algebra

AP Biology

AP Chemistry

Biology

Cell Biology

Chemistry

College Physics

Competition Math

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Science

English

Geometry

High School Biology

High School Chemistry

High School Physics

Math

Middle School Math

Middle School Reading

Middle School Writing

Organic Chemistry

Physics

Pre-Algebra

SAT Subject Test in Biology E/M

SAT Subject Tests Prep

Science

Test Prep


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I try to make learning as fun and interesting as possible. Everyone has something that can make academics click with them, and I just want to be there to help that happen!

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

I ask what they expect of me and what their particular style of learning is. I also try to figure out a system which we can work with regularly that will best help the student. Any doubts or concerns can be addressed here as well. I want the student to be as comfortable as possible; after all, this is only to help them excel!

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By a regimented implementation of ways to conquer problems or figuring out some general studying strategies will progressively allow the student to become independent.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I like making games out of any academic scenario because I have learned that there is a lot more motivation behind something that piques the student's interest as opposed to something that doesn't.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

I would try to explore another way to help the student understand the particular question. Repetition of practice problems is also key in overcoming any difficulty.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I used to struggle with this as well, but I have realized that there are always a few key things that you need to look out for that are always helpful in reading comprehension, and after that, it becomes a matter of repetition.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

As mentioned before, I work with the student. There is no particular strategy that works for one student because everyone is different. That being said, I try to find those strategies that best suit the student and use those during our sessions.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I love turning academics into a form of a game. It allows for a fun interactive way to learn without it feeling like work

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Repetition, repetition, repetition. That is a key thing for me. Whether it be problems I make up or problems from a homework set, doing something over and over again will help the student grasp the concept.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Positive reinforcement is always my way of approaching being a tutor. I am not here to judge or grade them but only to see that they excel. As a tutor, I want to build a relationship in which the student is comfortable speaking their mind with me.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

First, I will directly ask them. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it's difficult for students to understand.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I cater to the student in whatever way they need. I don't have a particular style that I use since every student is different

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

QUESTIONS!!! I make up my own problems, read from the book, or even pull things from the Internet. I will try to provide as much material as I can for my students to the best of my ability.