I am currently a cultural anthropology graduate student at Columbia University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. I received a Bachelors of Arts in political science with a specialization in International Relations from Brooklyn College CUNY in May 2019. I have tutored and instructed students ranging from kindergarten to college in math, reading, English, and writing throughout my high school and undergraduate studies. Having professionally applied the skills I developed over the course of my studies in the practical world in my work with organizations such as the United Nations, I recognize the importance of helping others understand and develop the tools to excel in their studies both academically and professionally. I believe that any student is capable of developing such a skill set because my experiences have taught me that crafting an approach compatible with the student provides greater results than forcing all students to learn by the same method.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: CUNY Brooklyn College - Current Undergrad, Political Science and Government
ACT Math: 34
ACT Reading: 33
Rowing, volleyball, research
What is your teaching philosophy?
Typically, I will start off by listening to what the student believes he/she is struggling in. From there, I will see what needs to be immediately worked on in the case that there are upcoming examinations or paper deadlines. Afterwards, I want the student to be comfortable with the pace and schedule we will be going at, and I hope to achieve that by working closely with the student to create this schedule.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
For students who are struggling with reading comprehension, I usually try to pinpoint the root of the problem first. If it has something to do with vocabulary, I will first scan through the reading with the student to pull out the difficult words and then define it with them. If it has something to do with comprehending sentences, I will teach the student tools (i.e. note-taking, highlighting) to use during independent reading. If I see that those problems are no longer present, asking questions pertaining to the text will be the best way to judge how much of the text the student is comprehending and thinking actively about.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
In regards to math, to make sure that a student understands the material, I usually bring with me worksheets and practice problems. I pre-select questions that I think are both challenging and doable. From there, I will have the student walk me through the problem as if I was the student that was struggling with the problem. If the student is capable of doing this, then it is a relatively clear indicator that they are attaining a good grasp of the material. As for English and writing, this gets a little tricky, but it all revolves around practice too. In addition to worksheets, I like to bring reading level appropriate books to start off familiarizing the student with a variety of sentence structures and grammar points.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
To help a student build confidence in a subject, I believe that a student should be praised when they start to understand even a little part of the topic, because it is nonetheless visible progress. To continually build confidence, I would have the student walk me through problems on worksheets that I bring to sessions. If they are capable of reteaching me the steps through a variety of problems, it should show them that they are more than capable of learning and teaching back a lesson.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
For mathematics, I start off giving a test problem in the topic they need help in. It allows me to assess where the problems are stemming from. Sometimes students understand the overall topic, but are having small problems that stem from earlier topics in the subject. The same tactic goes for other subjects as well. I will usually bring with me materials pertaining to a specific topic to assess the student's needs.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
On the first session, I will try to pinpoint the type of learner the student is. If the student is a more hands-on sort of learner, I will intervene once to demonstrate how to solve a problem and then provide them with different problems. Changes will also be made if the student is a more visual or auditory learner.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
For mathematics, I will almost always bring additional sets of worksheets and practice problems so that the student can receive practice, regardless of if they have the materials for the session. For English and writing, I bring reading-level appropriate books, passages, and practice reading comprehension packets.