A photo of Samuel, a tutor from University of Cape Coast Ghana

Samuel

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I graduated from Old Dominion University, Norfolk Virginia with a Masters degree in Secondary Education Mathematics and University of Cape coast, Ghana West Africa with Bachelors degree of Sciences (Mathematics). I am a highly qualified licensed teacher for mathematics (grade 6-8 and 9-12, North Carolina). During my six and a half years of teaching as a mathematics educator, I have taught: Math foundations, Math 1, Math 2, and Math 3. I also served in United States Navy for 4 years.

My motto: Every student can learn math but it takes the right teacher. I combine both everyday situations and technology to make math make sense to my students.

Samuel’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Cape Coast Ghana - Bachelors, Math

Graduate Degree: Old Dominion University - Masters, Math Education

Hobbies

Reading and watching movies


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I know different students learn in different ways. That means some learn by hands-on activities from themselves, and others learn by listening to the teacher lecturing. We never know what students bring to a classroom. This is why it is so important for educators to do their best to get a better understanding of their students inside and outside the classroom. Students learn differently, have a different educational background, are at different levels of comprehension, live in different environments, and different neighborhoods with different family and cultural backgrounds. Students base future decisions and actions on their past experiences. Student failure, family attitudes toward school, the cultural importance of education, and support from family, teachers, and friends all play very important roles in how a student learns. Not all students are at the same maturity level, so not all students can process information in the same way or at the same rate. Also, students have different learning styles. Teachers need to show all students that they care about them. Talk to students about things outside of school and even try to participate in their lives like going to concerts, sporting events, etc. Smile and greet them positively every day too. Teachers should also understand their student's learning styles and adapt their lessons to best fit the most students or, if possible, all students by including visuals, hands-on materials, and discussions. Technology can be as simple as hands on diagrams, or it can be interactive learning with other students in other schools. It can be something in between like Promethean boards, laptops using different software, websites, clickers, calculators, and video clips. I also believe it is important to provide small group as well as one-on-one instruction in order to truly know the needs of my students and to better understand them as lifelong learners.

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

Get to know the student's learning difficulties, and build a positive relationship with the student.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By gradually releasing responsibility, teaching the student basic fundamentals of math, and motivating the student to not give up.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

With regular and immediate feedback, and telling the student it is ok to make mistakes in math but never quit.

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

I start from the basics and correct where he/she got it wrong.

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

Give them the guidelines of reading and make them aware reading is the foundation of every school course.

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

Let them make the mistakes and use their mistakes to work it out. The use of other technology (calculator or interactive websites) to confirm what they're learning.

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

With the integration of technology to better their understanding on each lesson. Instant answers.

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

I use instant assessment tools such as educational websites to check their understanding.

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

With motivation. Making them aware it is ok to struggle in math, but constant practice is the key to overcoming it.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I use exit reflections; asking the student to write down their points of confusion on each session and their accomplishment in the lesson.

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

By knowing the student's needs, a little bit of background, and learning style, and then adapting to his/her level for better understanding.

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

It varies; PowerPoints, curriculum standard of the lesson, personal notes, and the student's own notes/book.