I recently graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in biophysics, and would like to continue academic and test prep tutoring before going onto graduate school to study medical physics. While at Loyola, I tutored as part of a few different programs. The best of which was CircEsteem, an after-school social-circus run out of Alternatives in uptown. There, I worked with students between the ages of 8 and 18, ranging from two twin girls from Evanston to children born in refugee camps in Africa. My role as a tutor focussed on helping the students with their homework and working with other tutors to identify and help each student’s problem areas. Additionally, last year I began to work with the Prep to Succeed program, tutoring high school students who are preparing for the ACT.
At CircEsteem, the ideal was a 1 to 1 tutor to student ratio so that everyone could work individually. This rarely happened in practice, so I would often be teaching one student chemistry while helping another with fractions. The work was very rewarding though whenever a child would begin to understand and learn a difficult topic or come in celebrating an A on their exam. One student in particular, was fantastic to work with. He was born in Africa and didn’t speak the best english, but he loved math and science more than any other high schooler. Often he would ask me to teach him something I had learned in class after we finished with his homework, giving up a bit of free time. His curiosity drove my inspiration to teach. At Prep to Succeed, I tutor two high school boys preparing for the ACT, and the draw is the same. The students have a desire to do better, so I have a duty to teach them. Through the program, I was trained in general exam strategy as well as various specific strategies to use in each section of the exam. While tutoring with Prep to Succeed, I meet with each student individually, and we go over the practice exam that he had taken the prior week. Depending on the day, we might go over each incorrect response to show various ways to correctly solve those problems, or go over a general approach to the section or type of problem. Last year, both students scored better on the ACt than thea had on the pretest (even correcting for testing effects) and seemed to gain plenty of confidence in their academic ability, both of which were a reward for me as the tutor.
It would be great to expand my tutoring and work privately with students. While tutoring, I work to instill confidence in my students in addition to the academic knowledge they need. The best part of working at a circus was not getting to learn to juggle, it was sharing the joy and relief of students who were doing well in school again. I am happy to help others prepare for high school and college in a way that was never available to me. Moreso, I recently went through the process of completing high school, exploring colleges, and then graduating from college, and I see it as part of being a tutor to help my students prepare to do the same. Thank you for the consideration.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
While working on research into STEM education, I learned that young children learn best when asked open-ended questions about topics. Applying that to teaching, I try to guide the student to reach conclusions on his or her own.