Concordia University - BSc Bachelors in Science, Specialization in Physics, with Minor in Multidisciplinary Studies in Science
I studied for my degree in Canada where the university system is a little different from here. My bachelor's degree was a physics specialization which incorporated year-one university classes in biology and chemistry and several classes with the maths department. My minor was through the Science College and included research projects in addition to classes in the history and philosophy of science. I also completed four research projects while at university. Together, this taught me to think like not just a physicist, but an all-round scientist.
I have worked as a science and maths teacher/lecturer in England for four years, including two in secondary schools and two in college, and I have one year of experience as a tutor. I have taught science up to GCSE, mainly AQA. I have taught physics up to A level and also taught BTEC Applied Science. I have taught students from many backgrounds, including those who naturally excel academically and those who struggle, those with unique learning needs, those in all school years, and even adult learners. My students show a high level of success and it is a joy to see them grow in confidence throughout their time studying.
I am extremely approachable and supportive. Students often say that I am their favourite teacher, and one even asked me to adopt him! This is because I make sure that every student is seen and heard and valued so that they know I am on their side. I believe that it is essential for students to feel comfortable asking questions because areas of doubt can grow if left unaddressed. The mind works better when it is relaxed, and ideally even having fun. Science is like a series of puzzles and with the right attitude, solving each puzzle becomes extremely satisfying.
Although the science curriculum is large, I believe that patience is the best strategy in the long run and it is better to ensure that topics are understood before moving on. This is because the more a student enjoys success the more it creates in them a growth mindset, which makes subsequent learning easier.
Key skills in science include abstraction, extracting and organising information, evaluation, interpreting diagrams and graphs, observation and measurement, and rearranging equations. If these can be mastered then it becomes easier to apply them in new situations as each topic arises in the curriculum.
My approach focuses on mastering these key skills and becoming confident at recognising when the subject at hand requires them. The best way to master these skills is to use them to solve real problems. I first assess how confident students are with each skill and then decide how much support they need. If a student struggles with a skill I will show them how to apply it and then get them to use it in a simple scenario with lots of scaffolded support. As they grow in confidence I will ask them to use the skill to answer gradually more complex questions and with gradually less support. We revisit each skill frequently as it arises in new topics.
It is not possible to cover the full content of five lessons in a single hour of tutoring each week so I ask students to attempt as much as possible on their own and come to me with any areas that they find particularly challenging. As a student grows in confidence with the key skills then they should find that they are able to succeed in understanding most new topics on their own.
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