Meet our February Tutor of the Month, Ruth Chen! A junior at USC majoring in Cognitive Science and minoring in UX Design, she has been working with us for almost a year now. We are so proud to have her as part of our team!
Ruth is a creative, talented, and passionate tutor. She is an innovative problem-solver who brings together science and the arts in her teaching. Read our interview with her below to learn more about this spectacular teacher!
- What are your strengths as a tutor?
I love creating, whether that’s through writing, design, or photography, so I love applying that same creativity to my lessons. As a tutor, I am very creative. I like designing games or fun lesson plans that help students feel excited about learning.
- How have you grown as a tutor over the years?
As someone that loves to carefully plan and organize as much as possible, I’ve learned when to let my lesson plans go and instead go with the flow. Students are dynamic and rapidly growing, so I learned to adapt to their ever-changing learning styles, interests, and goals.
- What do you work on with your students?
I teach many subjects with a variety of clients of all ages, from refining cognitive skills with three-year-olds to a mental math course to middle school Language Arts. I especially like working with younger children up to middle school age.
However, my favorite subject to teach is English, because I love watching students develop their own creativity and critical thinking skills.
- What are their goals and how are you working on helping them accomplishing these goals?
For preschoolers, the pandemic uprooted how toddlers learn about others and their world. I design lesson plans that will sharpen their cognitive skills such as sorting, matching, phonics, and basic math skills. I also try to teach them conversational skills through simply conversing with each other and asking each other questions. In my everyday lessons, I incorporate reading stories, games, and singing songs into my lessons.
For English Language Arts, I have been helping prep for a state academic competition as well as teaching basic writing skills.
- When have you been extremely proud of a student?
I helped one of my students write her first essay. That was especially rewarding because I knew she really enjoyed reading and even had future aspirations of becoming an author one day. I know that writing skill will form the foundation of her future writing abilities, so I feel very proud.
- What was a challenging moment you had with a student and how did you overcome it?
When I first began tutoring three year olds virtually, I felt a bit lost on how to make lessons interactive and engaging. I remember learning in my developmental psychology classes that the toddler age is all about discovering the world through hands-on exploration and play. Because preschool is an extremely tactile period of learning, it was difficult to translate that into an online environment.
However, as time progressed, it became a fun challenge for me to make online lessons engaging even for preschoolers. I looked at fun in-person preschool activities and games and thought about how I could translate it to online. I even created my own phonics mini-game using Figma, which is an application I typically use to design!
- What do you enjoy about working with Acakid?
I enjoy working with Acakid because I can connect with diverse students and flexibly teach alongside my current responsibilities. Furthermore, it’s given me something fun to do during this pandemic.
- What are your hobbies and passions outside of Acakid?
I love photography, baking, and especially design. I have a special focus in user experience design, which focuses on designing apps and websites. I find that the same skills that go into designing an app’s experience also apply to designing a student’s learning experience! I’m also passionate about journalism and fighting disinformation.