I obtained my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Hampton University. I am currently a Research Technician at Emory University. Using my expertise as a Research Technician to explain how chemistry works conceptually and in theory makes me a well rounded tutor in this subject area. My goal as a tutor is to provide expertise, experience and encouragement to each student. Some of the golden strategies that I have incorporated when tutoring are establishing expectations with the learner and discovering the strengths and weaknesses of the learner. I believe these strategies are key to being a successful tutor.
Q & A
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Introduce myself, determine the student's strengths and weaknesses in the subject area, explain my role as a tutor and determine the most efficient way to help the student achieve his/her academic goals.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Alter the way in which I teach the information. Determine the method that the student learns best, and then redirect future sessions so that the student can easily understand a skill or concept. I would also give guided practice problems as homework.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Interactive strategies that force students to use critical-thinking skills have been really successful in the past. An easy way to help students feel personally connected to what they're being taught is to talk about how they can apply the material in real life. I have used real-life scenarios to help students feel connected to what they are learning in the classroom.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would find out what the student is passionate about and then use those interests as natural motivators to increase engagement. Every student learns differently. I think differentiated instruction will assist students who are having difficulties understanding complex concepts.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would ask students to paraphrase information. Paraphrasing is a powerful tool that helps students assimilate and rethink information. It turns them into active learners, and it helps me check to see if the student genuinely understands the material. In the past I have also used what is known as a misconception test, in which I present students with common or predictable misconceptions about the concept that I am covering and then ask them whether they agree or disagree and to explain why.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Offering praise and acknowledging students' accomplishments and progress in the subject has worked for me in the past. I also provide positive feedback when appropriate.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I use a continuum to best determine what a student's academic needs are and how I can help a student reach their goals in an opportune fashion.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
This can be done by getting to know the student and determining how they learn best.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Any textbook relevant to the lesson. A guided outline of topic(s) to be covered during the tutoring session. A detailed syllabus or course outline to ensure topics covered in sessions are not out of scope and are relevant to what is covered in class.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I like to use questioning as a scaffolding to independent learning, asking higher order, open-ended questions, which will promote thinking, problem-solving skills and deeper understanding. I would also encourage the student to set their own learning goals. This will make the student feel empowered and motivate them to take control of their own learning.