I have always looked at education as a path to connect yourself to what you are very passionate about. Without education, where would we all be doing what we love to do.
I have always been passionate about mathematics, and the arts, to the point where I have always tried to find a way to combine these two fields into one big branch of education. When one really thinks about it, one branch of education cannot exist without the other.
I feel that we are all connected in one way or another, whether it is by backgrounds, interests, or just by expressing yourself that others accept. And it all starts with the student's education.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Teaching students is rewarding when the students come into the lesson with the desire to learn. As a teacher, I feel like I am responsible for their success, and I use the following metaphor as a way to get the student the most motivated in learning. Getting a good grade is like building your own house. There is the "A" house, the "B" house, the "C" house, and houses that you do not want to consider. It is entirely up to the student to put in the effort to build the kind of house that they would like to live in. I, as their foreman, will supply all of the sharp tools necessary to build their grade house, and it is up to the student to utilize those sharp tools to build what they desire.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first session with the student will often entail a brief introduction period between the student and myself, lasting at most 10 minutes, basically using this as an icebreaker in order to get to know the student and the teacher in order to ease any tension or anxiety. Next, I would ask the student any concerns that they have regarding anything that is related to the subject. After this, I would inform the student how I would like things to work out as part of the teacher/student relationship. If there are any compromises that are deemed appropriate, we will mutually come up with them. Then I would spend the last half of the first session introducing the student to my method of teaching, and then after that I would assess the student, and then for the last ten minutes of the session, we would discuss what was good, bad, and anything we could do better for a future session with each other.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try to break it down into as many different baby steps as I possibly could, but still treat the student as very grownup about it. This method will help the student compartmentalize each concept as its own lesson, and once they get comfortable with the concept, slowly but surely I would incorporate each concept into each other until the entire skill is mastered by the student.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would read what they are reading myself, and I would try to make the part that they are reading completely similar to a situation that they are more familiar with. Let's say that character A is going through something that real-life person A is going through; I could use that as a metaphor for the student to help make the student understand what character A is going through in the story. Basically, I would use real-life experiences that are similar to the plot and try to make the real-life experiences related to the plot of the story, making the plot much easier to understand.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would start off with relating something that the student is interested in to a concept that the student is struggling with learning. As a refresher, in case they are still struggling with the topic, with each new session, I would remind them of the fun example that we worked on originally as a way to get them motivated on the lesson that we are working on today.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I would have lots of writing utensils and lots of things to write on. For me, whenever I write things down, it makes it a lot easier for me to remember the concepts. Plus, with having everything written down, I have it all handy in case I need it in the future whenever necessary.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Repetition with the material. If I do the same things over and over again in order to remember the concepts, that seems to be the most successful strategy I have used over time. I understand that it is very time consuming, but it is worth it in the end when the students are acing their tests; they understand the concepts a lot more due to all of the repetition.