I am currently a college senior studying biomedical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. As a student in the STEM field, I have a natural curiosity of the world around me, which makes me a passionate learner. I want to inspire other students to be just as eager to learn and solve problems to understand the world better through interactive learning and teaching fundamental concepts. I have worked with students for 8 years at after school and summer programs, and my experience ranges from teaching students at preschool level to 12th grade. I mostly tutor in SAT prep, but I also tutor math and science from elementary school level to high school/early college level. I have been tutoring with Varsity Tutors for about a year and a half now, and I love taking on enthusiastic students.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - Current Undergrad, Biomedical/Mechanical Engineering
Movies, video games, music, science
High School Biology
High School Chemistry
High School Physics
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
The job of a teacher is not to help students memorize facts and formulas; it is to teach them how to learn and understand. I want my students to be able look at problems and concepts and apply them to the world around them. It is not just learning what the answer is, but why or how the answer came to be.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
My typical first session with a student would be to assure that they understand the basic concepts of the subject they are learning before addressing specific problems. And of course, getting to know the student to form a trusting relationship.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Through teaching the fundamentals of any given subject before giving more integrated problems, I can help students consider how problems can be solved through critical thinking. This will help students become better learners.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I keep students motivated through encouragement and taking problems step by step so they will want to keep working towards a better understanding of the material.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I try to apply the skill or concept to a real-world application, or use a hands-on activity to help them see the problem and how it can be solved.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found that interactive or hands-on learning is most successful when working with students. Also, sticker rewards for the younger students.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
When a student understands the fundamentals of the subject, any other specific parts of the subject can be built off of those basics. I start students off with simpler questions and gradually make questions harder to build confidence.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate the student's needs based off of their given coursework material, and relate that to their confidence and performance in the subject. If they are struggling with answering questions or problems in a certain area, I focus on that area of learning. But if they express to me that they feel unsure about another area, I will also focus on that material until they are confident in their understanding.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
To be sure that a student understands the material, I use different methods to test comprehension, such as short assessments, practice questions, and verbal assessments.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
To adapt to the student's needs, I must take into consideration their preferred learning methods and adjust my teaching style to suit their preferences so they are able to learn most effectively.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
During a tutoring session, I use worksheets with sample questions of the material for practicing. For visual/interactive learning, I use molecule model sets for chemistry and computer simulations for physics. I also use candy from time to time to help kids in lower-level math subjects with counting!
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
If a student is struggling with reading comprehension, I will use more visual or interactive learning methods to help them understand the material.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Applying the subject to real-world applications that students use in everyday life can make them more engaged. Sticker boards for achievements also make students more excited to learn subjects they are struggling with.