I graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2008 with a Bachelor's of Science in Pre-Medical Biology. My academic strengths were biology and mathematics. I now work as a freelance web developer while pursuing interests in running, acting, and skating.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Central Florida - Bachelors, Pre-Medical Biology
Acting, skating, long-distance running
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Figure out the learning style of student first. From there, you can just practice, practice, practice (for the kinetic learners), come up with a mnemonic, or whatever else is needed for that specific type of learner.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I'd like to get a feel for where they are in the class. What they've learned so far, and are currently learning. Then I'd like to hear what they find easy and what they found challenging, in a general sense. Then, we'll tackle specific assignments/questions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Focus on the logic behind the problem. Once they understand that the logic is repeatable in multiple scenarios, they should hopefully be able to solve future problems.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
That depends on the student. I found in my personal experience that just working on assignments with a group or another person helped me stay motivated. That's what I can offer to a student. Accountability.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
We would try again. If they still had difficulty, we would go back to basics and work our way back up.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Break down the concepts and the words, depending on what the challenge was (does the student not understand the word, or do they not understand the meaning of the sentence as a whole?). Talk about what they think it means, and why they think that, and then determine the correct answer together.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Take it one step at a time. And be okay with repetition.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Be honest. I wasn't the gung-ho student in all subjects. I just did what I had to do to get through the year/semester. It's okay if you don't like the subject; all you have to do is try your best. All I ask is that you put in the time and effort during our sessions, and then once the class is done, you don't have to take it again.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
We'd probably go over the questions at the end of the chapter. I'd want the student to synthesize the information and tell me in his/her own words what they believed the correct answer to be. I would expect them to not recite verbatim what the book said.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Keep trying and practicing. When the light bulb goes off and you finally "get it", confidence comes pretty quickly afterwards. So I'd start by setting the student up for success by giving them small, achievable challenges and building up to the bigger challenges.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I'll ask the student or parent where the struggle is. Then I'll work with the student to find out if the struggle is with the most recent concept, or if it derives from a misunderstanding of underlying and foundational concepts.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
That's such a broad question. Life is always changing, and those who can be flexible are successful. I'll listen to what the student needs and do my best to assist. But making a plan before I know what the strengths and weaknesses are is a recipe for failure.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I'd use the textbook and, when needed, we'd use the Internet to research. Knowing how to find an answer when you're unsure is a solid life skill that will serve a student long after they've left school.