My name is Alison, and my mom is a teacher, so throughout my life, I've been around various schools and I've learned a lot about teaching through her and her classrooms. I'm very passionate about math, it is my favorite subject by far. I've known so many people who don't share the same skill or the same disposition towards it, because most math teachers don't truly understand the underlying principles, or how differently kids learn. No matter how good you can be at something, if you've had bad teachers it'll never come to you as easy as one who actually works with you.
I've never been the type of person to have perfect grades due to ADD and I used to struggle with teachers like that too. But after realizing I had it and doing everything I needed to I have such a good handle on it that I often immerse myself in learning things for hours if it grabs my interest. Now I find myself explaining subjects to friends in real life to help people understand (even if they didn't ask for it).
In summary, I know how much harder it can be for some students to learn certain things, according to circumstances, and before anything else, I will find the best way to explain a subject to you personally. Everyone learns differently, and that's the most important thing to keep students from struggling.
I will help you in anyway I can, even if that is just homework or practice test help
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Everyone learns differently, so the most important thing you can do when teaching is work with your students and understand what their needs are.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Talk to them and learn a bit about who they are, what their struggles are, and what helps them learn the most.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By giving them the foundations and showing them how they can apply it. If they understand the broader topic and they understand how to use the founding principles, then the student will be better prepared for learning more about it independently. Showing them all the resources available that they can take advantage of helps too.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would help a student stay motivated by relating the concepts to the student in a way that appeals to them personally. I would also help them break it down in such a way that they can work on it without being overwhelmed by the material. Most importantly, I would find a way to make it more interesting to them.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would talk with them and find out exactly what their difficulty is in learning it, and then I would present the student with that concept in a more digestible format for them.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would encourage them to take as much time as they need to properly process the information, and I would lead them to the tools to help understand it in another way. Examples would be highlighting, notes, writing about parts they read, and breaking it up in a way that's easier for the student to understand, to prevent mental blocks from being overwhelmed by all the information.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Finding a metaphor for some concept to relate it to them in a practical way, so they can understand the reality of it. A funny metaphor helps draw them into the material as well. But mostly, it's finding what learning style helps them best and introducing the subject matter to them through that style in a way that interests them, like above.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
By giving them examples that they would find hilarious or otherwise interesting. That, and introducing them to the material in the least stressful fashion.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Teaching them the material in various ways so that they can learn it from multiple angles, showing them how they can use the material (or why it's important), and giving problem examples for how they can apply knowledge of the subject. Once I can see that they understand the material inside and out, know how to make use of it, and understand what comes from the material, then I'll know that they understand it.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By introducing it to them slowly and carefully, so as not to overwhelm them. By giving them problems of increasing difficulty as they understand the subject more, and by doing so help them be proud of the small successes they make towards understanding the full material.