Hi, I'm an international student who has just graduated from St.John's College this past May. Prior to coming to the U.S, I attended many English speech competitions in China and was awarded prizes from Provincial first prize to national first prize throughout high school. As a result of strong English language skills, I worked as a teaching assistant to Foreign teachers (U.K, U.S, Australia, Singapore) at various English training centers. Later on, I became an independent tutor myself working with students between 8-30. For four years, I have worked as a tutor on the weekends and full-time on summer/winter vacations (in China, we only have these two vacations; there isn't a spring break or fall break). The courses I taught include Elementary English, Adult English, Math in English, TOEFL and so on.
At St. John's, I studied under an interdisciplinary program called the Great Books Program. We have four years of seminars (reading philosophical works such as Plato, Aristotle, Kant or Wittgenstein), four years of Math (Euclid, Algebra, Calculus and etc.), three years of laboratory sciences (Lavoisier, Darwin, Newton, Copernicus and so on), two years of Ancient Greek (we learn basic paradigms so that we could read the original text of many great books such as Antigone, Republic and etc.), two years of French (same as Ancient Greek, mostly for translation purposes), and one year of music (basic music theory and composition, focus on appreciation of classic music such as Bach). The classes were all discussion based, in which I have developed good listening and communicating skills. During the four years in College, I've taught Chinese to schoolmates from time to time.
I have learned that working with different people requires different methods. What works for one student might not work for another. Throughout my teaching experience, I had developed a variety of methods for teaching different individuals in different age groups. I think the key to teaching is finding out what interests the particular student that you work with, because interest is the best teacher of all. Oftentimes, students wonder why they just cannot get the perfect scores on the tests, or learn well what they mean to, despite their endless efforts and hard work. Learning is not an easy thing, but it is not itself a boring or dull thing. It requires the right attitude as well as the right methods, but the latter is usually a problem for most students. With the right methods and proper hard work, half the efforts can get you double the effects (this is an old saying in Chinese).
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