I believe that all academic subjects are intertwined and can build on each other. I practice this concept when I tutor by engaging students through their hobbies and interests. After all, the point of learning a concept is to apply it to something else in the world. Why not learn math, science, and reading with a real-world focus?!
I am a Biology, Chemistry, AP Chemistry, and Anatomy and Physiology teacher in Wisconsin. I found my passion for teaching in the UTeach program at the University of Texas at Arlington, where I developed a guiding principle of exploratory learning. I believe the best way to learn something is to TRY IT! Let's get started!
Undergraduate Degree: The University of Texas at Arlington - Current Undergrad, Biology, General
I love to draw and paint as a way to relax and let off steam. My dog and I love to go for walks through the park, and occasionally we take a jog through a forest preserve. When I'm not doing those things I'm playing my favorite video games or reading. Right now I'm learning how to code and program computers in my spare time.
High School Writing
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Writing
What is your teaching philosophy?
Not only do I want my students to be confident in asking questions, but I also want them to be confident in knowing that the answer they receive is trustworthy. I want my students to learn to think for themselves and take charge of their education. I also believe that art and creativity have a place in all aspects of education- from math, to science, to reading, to learning a language. That's why I believe that students should be challenged to bring their outside skills to their educational goals.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, I will hit three main topics of discussion with the student and parent. First, I want to know what my student's hobbies are so that I can incorporate those things into future lessons, and so that I can show my student that I care about them for more than their "grades." Second, I will have the student take a diagnostic test to determine the learning style (kinesthetic, aural, visual, etc.) and past content knowledge. These tests give me a good idea of how to present materials to the student and ensure that I don't spend valuable time covering material a student already knows. Third, I will do some planning with the student and parent. We will create a two-week plan to address future meeting times for the two-weeks, upcoming assignments/tests, and update contact information. If there is still time left, then the student and I will get started on some practice problems or a homework assignment.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner by presenting content in an exploratory fashion. For example, if a student is learning plant anatomy, then I would design a lesson where the student "dissects" the plant and uses their notes (from class or from our lesson) to label the parts. Then the student will talk about each anatomical function. This methodology allows the student to independently explore the content, ask questions, and evaluate answers.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
In a perfect world, all of us would be motivated to learn as much as we could about everything we could! However, the bottom line is that sometimes reading, and science, and math are boring to practice. In order to motivate my students, I will use a timer system to break up the lesson depending on the student's specific needs. This allows the student and tutor time to cover a concept, but can also ease a student into a challenging concept.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I would present the material in multiple ways. We can read about the concept, watch a video clip, try practice problems, or do an experiment!
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I help students get excited/engaged in the subjects they are struggling in by giving them hands-on experience with the material. Instead of simply taking notes about a math formula, I want my students to use it to apply to a real-life situation. I also set the tone of the session by expressing my own engagement in the material.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
In order to know if a student understands the material, I will give the student a "wild card question" when I think the student has a good grasp of the material. The "wild card question" will have a base problem, an explanation, and an application aspect. The student will demonstrate understanding by answering all parts either aloud or on paper. This method is based on Bloom's taxonomy and gives the student an opportunity to use higher-order thinking skills.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
During a tutoring session, I like to use a variety of materials. These materials depend on the subject, but almost always include a whiteboard, something tactile (algebra tiles, rock samples, a book), and something digital (video clip, website, Google Earth).