My name is Vivek, and I'm currently a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in Neuroscience. My experiences in tutoring have come from working at a nearby center called "Perfect Tutors" and from helping classmates at my after school academic resource center.
I really enjoy getting to know and helping kids learn. I've worked with kids from the age of 4 in summer camps up to high schoolers. Whether I'm teaching Math, Science, or Reading, the best part about my job is seeing when a kid understands a concept after struggling for so long.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus - Current Undergrad, Neuroscience
ACT Composite: 34
ACT English: 32
ACT Math: 36
ACT Reading: 33
ACT Science: 36
SAT Subject Test in Chemistry: 770
SAT Subject Test in Physics: 780
SAT Subject Test in Biology E/M: 760
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I am generally a strict teacher, but I like to see the kid enjoying what he/she is learning. In order to do this, I use a lot of hands-on activities and games so they can learn the material with a better and more elaborate approach.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first session should be about setting expectations and goals for further tutoring sessions. I'll help establish what the student needs help with, tell them how I plan to help them, and set a schedule so they know when we're going over what information.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The most important thing is to get the student to understand the concepts. I'll start by doing the problem, and then work through how to do the problem with them, and eventually, they should be able to do it themselves.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Give them goals and expectations. For older students, they have the motivation to learn and succeed, so all I have to do is give them the proper information to do so.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I'll help them work through each problem separately so they understand the concepts. If they understand the reasoning behind a problem, they can use it and apply it to similar problems.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension is one of the toughest skills. One suggestion is to slow down, and mark all pertinent information. One in-depth reading is much better than multiple quick glances at comprehending the information.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Making sure you show up and end at the right time. Punctuality is very important, and it's crucial to earn their trust and confidence as soon as possible. If they listen and understand what you're saying, you can teach them at a faster rate.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Make them play games with the information, such as Jeopardy. This way they are entertained by the game, but still learn the same information.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
A quick method to check understanding is give them a few practice problems. If they're struggling with it, then work through the missed problems and their thought process for them.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Give them easier questions to begin, so they feel more confident when they get questions right.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Give them a pretest, and ask them where they feel they're struggling. This way you can figure out where they need help.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Different subjects have different methods of teaching, whether it's reading passages or solving math problems.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I prefer to use a whiteboard to draw out diagrams. Pictures and diagrams are the easiest ways to show and explain a concept.