I believe that the confidence to apply your knowledge is as important as building a store of knowledge to draw from for academic success. As a teacher, I strive to accurately identify my students weaknesses and strengths before bolstering them with my own knowledge. I want my students to gain an understanding of the fundamentals of the subject that they are struggling with. This kind of understanding will help not only with immediate academic gains, but with future success as well. In school environments, students often do not receive individualized attention that seeks out the gaps in their understanding. By spending time with my student, I can assess those gaps and fill them, helping my students improve.
All the knowledge in the world will amount to naught if you don't have the confidence to apply it. I build up my student's confidence, not with platitudes or empty praise, but by having them practice and learn to believe in themselves. Too often, people are derailed by factors that have nothing to do with their intelligence or their ability. I am well aware of that, and as a tutor, I consider it my job to give my students the confidence to apply the knowledge they have gained. That confidence will serve them well not only now but in future endeavors as well.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: George Washington University - Bachelors, Physics
SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1530
SAT Verbal: 800
SAT Writing: 740
SAT Mathematics Level 2: 710
SAT Subject Test in U.S. History: 760
Music (bass, saxophone, production), basketball
What is your teaching philosophy?
I don't just want to teach my students the answers, but how to ask the right questions-- questions that seek a fundamental understanding of the subject. The answers will come naturally.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I like to talk to the student and hear their own assessments of their strengths and weaknesses. Based on their answers, I delve further into understanding what their abilities are, and how to shore up gaps in those abilities.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I don't just impart knowledge of a subject to my students; I teach them how to improve that subject on their own time. By identifying a student's particular learning style, I can teach them how to best study on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation stems from confidence, and I work to instill confidence in my students every step of the way. It's most difficult to motivate yourself to do something that you believe is beyond you; I'll show you that it's within your grasp.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Oftentimes, inability to grasp a concept is caused by misunderstanding an underlying concept. I would attempt to identify that gap first. Failing that, time and good practice problems can help overcome difficulties in learning. If that too fails as an approach, then I would help the student develop compensatory strategies for working around a concept, so they could at least apply it even without fully understanding it.