I have provided college and high school level tutoring for biology
courses and the MCAT
, SATII, and AP exams as an independent and contracted tutor for over the past six years. I have a Bachelors of Science
in Biology and Doctorate of Philosophy
in Cell and Molecular Biology, in addition to having faculty training in education. My favorite subjects are genetics
, developmental biology, and zoology
I really enjoy teaching and seeing others grow in their understanding. In my experience, there are three important factors to tutoring: creation of a relaxed learning environment, listening to the student, and providing positive constructive feedback.
A fun and relaxed environment helps a student to speak freely and risk making mistakes. This helps a student to observe their limitations while minimizing negative feelings, which can interfere with the learning process. When they can accept where they are, it is easier to get them to focus on their learning goals without feeling like the “should” farther along.
By listening to a student, I can help them achieve their goals. Instead of imposing an agenda on the student, I listen to their needs and then restate them back to the student. Furthermore, when applied during the session, a student has opportunities to affirm either what they know or do not understand. This technique generates a dialog, which helps the student feel more like a collaborator rather than a passive observer.
Finally, I believe that “success breeds success”; giving a student positive feedback is very important. Some students are stressed by negative reinforcement from low test scores, self-criticism, or social pressure. I encourage a student to learn to recognize their accomplishments, not matter how small. It seems that the best way for them to recognize their strengths is to give them a balanced appraisal; first I provide positive feedback before giving them very specific learning objectives.
In summary, a student that needs tutoring often requires affirmation of their strengths. By allowing a student to speak freely, make mistakes, and recognize their abilities give them the confidence to move forward through the learning material.