Throughout my academic career, I've always had a passion for helping others, whether it be in the health or education fields. Throughout my high school and undergraduate years, I have had the opportunity to tutor over one hundred individuals from subjects ranging from basic reading to advanced college Biology and Health courses, finding with each student a unique balance of patience and guidance that has allowed for them to succeed where they believed they would otherwise fail. I can honestly say that helping individuals understand ideas they once viewed as foreign, complex, or "above" them is one of the most rewarding tasks I have ever encountered. In my own academic journey, I have explored a wide variety of subjects including Molecular Biology, Anthropology, Computer Science and Psychology, and have plans to continue my education with a Masters In Public Health with a focus on Disaster and Humanitarian Relief. I look forward to using my experiences and education to help students achieve their highest potential, allowing them to impact their communities and beyond in a positive way.
Undergraduate Degree: University of Central Florida - Bachelors, Psychology
Programming, Computer security, Cooking, Hiking, Public Health research, Medical anthropology
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that the purpose of education is not only for future economic success, but also for kindling and refining the curiosity within the human spirit while challenging the student to be creative in assessing and solving problems. I find that to help students do this, tutors and instructors alike should not recite information to be memorized like a list, but ask for involvement. This would include active examination, brainstorming and sometimes even debate to allow for true growth in a subject. I believe this also requires that instructors ensure the teaching environment is in fact a safe place to make mistakes and ask for clarification on uncertainties. It is my primary goal to ensure student learning and understanding through the creation of a conducive environment and active participation.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first section, I would first try to build a rough "roadmap" of current standing, major milestones and end goals for the student. This would only take a short time, but is often crucial in developing a customized and effective supplemental curriculum.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner through two main methods. The first, which is sometimes seen as almost contradictory to the goals of teaching, is encouraging mistakes. Getting students to think critically and come up with their own conclusions is often blocked by the fear of "being wrong". These instances of making mistakes should not be feared, but instead seen as opportunities for personal growth and analysis. The second method is employing a teaching method where, while the student is being gently guided through a topic, they are also encouraged to "teach the teacher". This is a fantastic tool to allow for confidence and critical thinking to take hold, which can in turn make independent learning much less daunting.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
The best way to keep a student motivated in my opinion is encouraging the student when they are struggling, and always congratulating and recognizing progress, even in small steps.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty in a concept, I often use a more common analogous situation that can easily be understood, or I break the concept into much smaller pieces so that the student never feels overwhelmed by a complex idea.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
My main method for helping with reading comprehension is a discussion based format of analyzing important parts of the text, and recreating them within the students own unique vocabulary.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found that when starting work with a student, gaining some insight into how they see their work is invaluable, as is actively encouraging creative thought on the subject. Both allow for a fully customized learning experience and usually much better retention of information.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would use positive reinforcement in terms of progress as much as possible, and use said subjects as an example that the student has the potential to rise over any challenge. I am also an avid believer that little victories yield amazing results, and will always recognize them in my students.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I use impromptu follow up questions, ask for rephrasing in the students own vocabulary, and novel or slightly abstracted situational questions to ensure understanding of a concept.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I build a student’s confidence by active encouragement, gentle guidance through particularly difficult subtopics, and always recognizing effort, creativity and progress in the subject.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
To evaluate the primary need of the student, I simply ask. However, from that point and throughout the lesson, I tend to raise questions and scenarios related to the topic to find both strengths to be recognized and weaknesses that can be improved upon to ensure the best possible outcomes.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt by always working with my students at their pace. I believe that in all forms of teaching, patience is absolutely key and each student has a specific pace which needs to be recognized for the best possible progress. Furthermore, by actively asking for participation on the part of the student, I can adjust curriculum on the fly, addressing specific needs with more focus and time.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
In most of my tutoring sessions, I have primarily used online charts and diagrams to help illustrate ideas, as well as scenario-abstract drawings, when the situation demands.