I am a currently a civil engineering student at an engineering university, and I'm currently working on my Bachelors. I have three years of experience tutoring and teaching math, science, computer science, and test prep. I have three years of experience teaching students between the ages of 3-17. I enjoy working with students, and primarily work with them regarding their math and humanities skills. I love tutoring in mostly everything, but my favorite topics to tutor in are math and history.
I have had a lot of practice in all that I teach, and I believe that any student, as long as he or she is willing to put the work in, can succeed. I love working with students so that I can tap into that potential, and watch them grow. I believe in hands-on learning, and being a current student myself, I understand the frustration, and I definitely understand the struggle. Persistence is key to understanding, and I am willing to communicate that to students.
Outside of academia, I am incredibly interested in the hands-on application of engineering. I am a member of my collegiate chapter of Engineers Without Borders. I had the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua on an assessment trip to work with a community of over 1,500 people. My chapter will be tackling a water systems project there, and I was fortunate enough to be able to travel there with two other peers.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - Current Undergrad, Civil Engineering
ACT Reading: 34
SAT COMPOSITE (2400 SCALE): 2070
SAT COMPOSITE (1600 SCALE): 2080
SAT Writing: 750
Reading, writing, and engineering.
AP US History
College Application Essays
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Science
Introduction to Poetry
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Science
Middle School Writing
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Persistence. Persistence, as a struggling student, is incredibly important, and as a teacher, it is equally as important, if not more so. A teacher's job is to be persistent in working with students, not giving up on them, especially when it might seem as though they are willing to give up on themselves. It is important for teachers to guide students, especially when they struggle, in order to support them, build their character, and prepare them for success.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session with a student, I would first make sure he or she is comfortable before moving on that session's agenda. I would introduce myself, and have the student introduce him/herself before talking to him/her about what he/she can expect from the sessions, and my expectations of him/her in return. Then I would inquire about the difficulties he/she has, and in which classes he/she struggles the most, so that I can come up with an effective game plan, specifically targeting that student's weaknesses in order to make him/her stronger. I would then get to business, and have the student show me either parts of their syllabus, or example problems, of all that he/she is struggling with, before beginning to work with him/her. Then, I would test out some teaching methods, and see which ones are the most effective with that student, and make a note of employing those when a student has difficulty.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner by first setting up some expectations for the student, and then explaining to them that I have expectations of them as well, and that in order to succeed, I can only guide them. That means that the student and I will have a 50-50 relationship, and so, the student needs to put the other 50% in, on his or her own time, which means that he or she needs to learn, independent of tutoring.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would help a student stay motivated by helping him or her understand that learning is a means to an end in order to meet his or her end goals. I would try to inspire in students a love for learning, one alike to mine, and I would also try to communicate that perseverance is key. Struggles are a part of life, and overcoming them is key to succeeding, so perseverance is valuable.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or a concept, I work with him or her until he/she understands. That means that I try various teaching methods until the student understands, and I try tackling the concept in multiple ways. I would try to understand the student to pinpoint what is confusing, so that I can tackle that, and then work on the student's understanding.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
If a student is struggling with reading comprehension, the best remedy is to have him/her read more. I would give them reading materials, and ask them to read them a few times and jot down what sticks out to them, what is interesting, etc. Then I would work with them on the technical details, and assign the student homework on a few different passages, and ask them to follow the method that he or she learned during our session. During our next session, we would go over the assignment, and we would tackle the places where the student has more difficulty. Practice makes perfect, so we would continue this routine until I see that the student better understands literature/reading materials.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The strategy that I have found to be most successful with students is persistence. I have found that not giving up on students, and not allowing students to give up on themselves, works best with students. Students are most successful when they are determined to take control of their own understanding, and work towards making that happen. Now, persistence includes specific methods, but mainly explaining a concept to students, over and over, until they understand it. Regardless of how much time it takes, or how many practice problems a student needs to go through to understand a concept, students will gain that conceptual understanding, and once things proverbially start "clicking" for them, it makes all my efforts worthwhile.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
If a student is struggling in a subject, I would try to get him/her excited by finding out his/her dream job, or something he/she really likes, and relate that back to the concepts that the student is struggling with. For example, for a student that dreams of building roller coasters and is currently struggling with the application of torque, I would relate roller coaster motions back to torque, and explain to him/her the relationship between the two, and the significance of that relationship.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I think that the best way to ensure that students understand the material is to have them explain the concepts. I usually ask students questions, usually "Why?" when I ask them to explain something, so that I can ensure that they are coming to a conclusion because of proper reasoning. It also enables me to see where the student lacks in conceptual understanding, which, in turn, allows me to address that understanding.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I think the first step to building a student's confidence in a subject is to make him or her aware that there is nothing that he or she is incapable of understanding; that some material might be difficult to understand, but no obstacle is insurmountable. The next step to take is to ensure that the student understands the material, and by working with the student, this is addressed. The third, and most important step, I feel, is for students to be aware of their own conceptual understanding, and be held responsible for it. I tend to assign students some work so that I can hold them accountable, and if students understand that they are putting so much work in, so much effort into a subject, they become more and more confident in it.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate the needs of students by mainly talking to them and asking them where they think their conceptual understanding lacks, and I rely very heavily on the information they provide me with. I begin addressing their issues from there, and as I go along, if I notice that a student is doing something wrong, that usually in an indicator that there are other places where the student's conceptual understanding is lacking, and at that point, I reevaluate and start at the basics and work my way up, until I can ensure that the student understands all the concepts.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt my tutoring to the student's needs by first evaluating the type of the learner the student is, and trying a slew of teaching methods on the student. Once I determine the methods that work, I will use those to make sure the student understands all the concepts.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
During a tutoring session, I usually use the materials the student already has, or uses in school. I try to make their education as accessible to them as possible, which means using the materials they already have access to. If more materials are required, I will supply them in order to make sure that the student understands the concepts.