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Rebecca S. July 30, 2020
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And our July Tutor of the Month is…

Gabby Huckabee! We chose this outstanding tutor because of her amazing achievements in science and her dedication to passing down her wisdom to others. After graduating from Arizona State University with a BS in astrophysics, she is currently a PhD student at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Gabby has been tutoring for five years now! 

Here is our interview with Gabby:  

1. What are your strengths as a tutor?

I try to help students by asking leading questions and prompting them to reflect on their problem-solving process often.  We spend time identifying strengths and weaknesses, then finding ways of thinking about problems that cater to those strengths.  I also keep a casual attitude and environment, which helps students feel more open to leaving their comfort zones and making guesses, even if incorrect.

2. How have you grown as a tutor over the years? Please provide a specific anecdote if possible.

When I neared the end of my bachelor’s degree, I began offering help and insight to my high school students looking to start college in addition to base tutoring.  I’d mention how the things that they learned may come up in college or research fields if they were interested, and found that I could offer some of my experiences in a way that made the material more engaging.  I found that talking with students about related personal stories or academic experiences they may eventually encounter made tutoring more enjoyable for both me and the students, in addition to making the learning more digestible.

3. What do you work on with your student(s)?

I tutor in physics and math.

4. What are his/her/their goals and how are you working on accomplishing them/how have you accomplished them?

My students have goals ranging from raising their class grade to preparing for next year’s material and learning the beginnings of much higher levels in math.  We would work on the former by going through their homework and textbook and learning multiple methods for solving, including the method taught in class, methods mentioned in the textbook, and methods that I had been taught by my former teachers, in order to find the tools that worked best with a student’s learning style.  We would work on the latter goals by supplementing current material with higher levels, such as by introducing the unit circle and trig graphs when learning about sine and cosine.

5. When have you been extremely proud of your student(s)? Please provide a specific anecdote if possible.

I am most proud of my students when they show a drive to learn new things, and ask questions that require critical thinking.  When a student asks for more explanation, it shows me that they want a deeper understanding and not just a shortcut to an answer.

6. What do you enjoy about working with Acakid?

I enjoy helping students find excitement and satisfaction in subjects that they may otherwise find mundane.  Teaching full sized classes is much different than one-to-one tutoring.  Tutoring really lets me individualize instruction for a student and adapt to their needs and pace, and to see them grow as learners is always encouraging.

7. What are your hobbies and passions outside of Acakid?

I enjoy biking, hiking, doing my cosmology research, and making art in my free time.

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