Let’s give a big welcome to our latest Mentor of the Month! Athina, studying Biochemistry at the University of Birmingham, joined our online tutoring program in April 2020.
She has quickly become one of our top tutors, particularly specialising in teaching fun science themed classes!
As well as teaching students one-on-one, Athina has also taken on additional responsibilities such as developing a fantastic series of experimental science courses, contributing to tutor training materials and leading a fun “tutor night” where she shared her favourite activities with our members.
What do you enjoy about teaching Science online?
I always liked science growing up because I had so many questions and science would answer a lot of them – why is it raining? Why are my eyes green? Why does this pen fall down? Science gave me logic and the answers, it helped us go to the moon and it gave us medicine! I really enjoy sharing my love of science with enthusiastic students through the Star Mentor program. Having gained my TEFL certificate last year, I was excited to have this opportunity to tutor online, sharing my skills and passion with Chinese students.
How have you found teaching Chinese students?
My students are cleverer than me! All the students I have taught so far have very good English and are also very talented at science.
A few days ago, when I was giving a chemistry class, there was a mathematical question. As soon as I showed the title on the presentation, the student immediately said “Teacher, I think you made a mistake!” and I realised that the numbers were wrong. It was a little embarrassing, but now I find it very funny and I’m happy that my students spotted the mistake so quickly!
How would you describe your teaching philosophy?
I think that the best teacher is interest and enthusiasm! With the help of Katie (Education Director), I have developed four science short courses for the Star Mentor program. I always start by thinking about the subject as if I was a child – when I was younger, I was so curious about the world. Then, I try to incorporate these questions into the course as it is developed. Almost all of my students are very interested in science – they are always asking questions and constantly test my knowledge, so I never think that teaching is a passive or boring job!
You also love to travel – what is your favourite travel experience?
I love travelling, I love meeting new people, I love eating new foods and exploring new places. I spent three months last year in China, I travelled all over the country but I was mostly based in Yangshuo near Guilin. I worked with kids in outdoor education, we went kayaking and hiking – it was great! I had the opportunity to explore China and discover it’s incredible culture and history – it’s a beautiful country and I’d love to go back!