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Alex

I'm a recent transplant to the Austin area, by way of New Orleans! I am a middle school math teacher, certified to teach all secondary mathematics. I love working with students to reach their full potential, and believe the best way to learn mathematics is through a dedicated focus on the basics. I have worked with students for more than 4 years now, starting as a tutor in college.

Undergraduate Degree:

 University of South Carolina - BS, Business

SAT Composite: 2040

SAT Math: 700

SAT Verbal: 650

SAT Writing: 690

Cooking, Running, Soccer, Hiking

5th Grade Math

6th Grade Math

7th Grade Math

8th Grade Math

Elementary School Math

Spanish 1

Summer

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that all students need is a fresh set of eyes and a guiding hand when they stumble. The student's own hard work and grit are the main ingredients in ensuring their success, and I am simply here to help show them the way.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

I always want to get to know the student first (e.g., what their favorite subjects are and why, how they came to like those subjects, and what their goals are from tutoring). From there, we can move forward into diagnosing some of the stumbling blocks the student has and ways that I can help them over those hurdles.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

The first step in becoming an independent learner is to identify how learning benefits you as an individual. I would help students identify areas in their studies they feel are strengths, and then show them how they can use those skills to improve upon their weaknesses.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Staying motivated is all about keeping a goal in mind and recognizing your progress and success along the way. By highlighting the path for students and continually recognizing their growth, I can help students maintain their motivation and drive towards their goals.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

The key is to leverage your strengths in order to improve upon your weaknesses! Using the skills that you already excel in, we can work together to identify similarities in what you are struggling with. By doing so, you will begin to see how everything can be interrelated, and you can begin overcoming your hurdles!

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Taking the time to get to know each student's personal style and personal goals is most important. If we are not on the same page as the student in terms of what we are aiming for, there's no way that we'll be a successful team. However, if both the student and I know exactly what is expected of each other, we'll be able to get off on the right foot and move quickly through the material.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Working with material that the student knows well (comic books, song lyrics, tv shows, etc.), we identify how various writers convey meaning. From there, we apply the same skills to more rigorous academic texts.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

You get excited about material when you feel confident in it! Everyone starts from somewhere, but the important part is to identify what your strengths already are and use those to build on your weaknesses!

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

The best way to learn is to teach. Therefore, I always make sure that the student can teach the material back to me in a way that makes sense and shows their true understanding.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Constant, visual tracking of student progress is important in developing confidence. When the student can see the progress they are making regularly, they improve even faster!

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Sometimes, the student is great at identifying their weaknesses. Other times, they don't even know what they don't know! I work with the student through various real-world applications of material to tease out where they might struggle with specific steps or understandings. From there, we figure out what to tackle first and how to move forward.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I continually set and maintain a high bar for my expectations of the student, but regularly readjust my support along the way. If the student needs me to be very direct and specific about my expectations, I do so. If they need more of a supporter and cheerleader along the way as they work through the material, I can do that. It's simply a matter of spending time with the student and getting to know what their personal style is.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Depending on the ability level and needs of the student, I have various hands-on manipulatives and anchor charts that we use. Oftentimes, I work with the student to create these materials together as a means of helping to instill their meaning in the student's mind.