Hey there, I'm Travis. I reside in the greater Seattle area and work as an interpreter (American Sign Language/English/Spanish). To date, I hold a Master of Science in Computational Linguistics, a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics. I tutor a wide variety of subjects, including computer science, mathematics, and Spanish. If you need help, let's work it out together!
I can also provide tutoring services through American Sign Language (instead of English), if need be.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: The University of Texas at Austin - Bachelors, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Linguistics
Graduate Degree: University of Washington-Seattle Campus - Masters, Computational Linguistics
Cooking, knitting, salsa dancing, swimming
American Sign Language
AP Computer Science
AP Computer Science A
College Computer Science
Elementary School Math
High School Computer Science
High School English
Technology and Coding
What is your teaching philosophy?
One of my favorite quotes, which is often misattributed to Einstein, goes like this: "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session with a student, I may ask about the student's interests, such as about hobbies and sports. By collecting such information, I can tailor the tutoring to make the content more relevant to their lives.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I believe that empowering students by helping them figure out their learning style is the best course of action. Once they figure out the method in which they learn, they can tailor their own independent study time in a way such that they effectively learn the material.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
There are numerous reasons why students get dissuaded from continuing their studies. For example, a common theme that repeatedly surfaces with my students is that the coursework will not be relevant in their everyday lives. By learning about the student's interests, I can tailor my tutoring style to explain that everything that they learn in school can be applied in the real world. Students may also be going through struggles that are outside of the scope of school. For such cases, I can provide emotional support.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try to reframe the skill or concept. There are many ways to learn, and I believe that any sort of knowledge can be learned in multiple ways.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I believe in assessing each student for the "root" of their struggle with reading. For example, the "root" could be lack of exposure to new vocabulary, a lack of understanding how words are pronounced, poor vision, or dyslexia. By assessing where the root of the problem lies, I can take action in order to improve each student's weakness or to notify their parents about an undiagnosed condition.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
It helps me to know the student's background. When I meet a student for the first time, I ask them about where they grew up, what sports they like to play, and what hobbies they have. This helps me to establish camaraderie with the students as well as allows me to connect concepts in their class to their everyday lives.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Like I mentioned before, if a student is struggling to find a subject interesting, I can reframe the subject to help explain how knowledge of the subject can make a difference in his/her life.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I ask questions after a few minutes of relaying new information.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I congratulate students in a genuine manner when they solve a difficult problem. I also give them ideas to play around with in order to build their critical-thinking abilities about the subject.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
First, I establish camaraderie with the student. Next, I tutor the student using a learning style that I believe is the best match for the student. If the student struggles to learn the material, I modify my teaching style to match their learning style.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I always bring paper and a writing instrument. If the students are visual and/or kinesthetic learners, I usually have a bag of props that I can use with the students.