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Peter

Everyone can learn, and I am committed to helping you master your material. I enjoy making connections between subjects and topics, relating tricky areas to knowledge and interests you already have. You can accomplish great things, and I'm here to help.

Undergraduate Degree:

 University of Vermont - BA, Anthropology

ACT Composite: 31

ACT English: 30

ACT Math: 26

ACT Reading: 35

ACT Science: 33

SAT Composite: 1430

SAT Math: 660

SAT Verbal: 770

Linguistics, history, dance, celtic music and culture, camping, hiking, teaching! Contra dance, square dance, blues music, live music

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that everyone can learn, and I'm committed to helping find the best way for each student to understand their most challenging subjects. I love using visuals, music, movement, and analogies to make new information stick, and I have never given up on a student.

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

I would like to learn about my student's interests, hobbies, favorite subjects, and most challenging areas. Then, I would look over something that's been really problematic and make a plan to tackle it, often by breaking it down into steps that are easier to handle.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

My goal is to put myself out of a job. By starting with what a student has already mastered, I add skills and information to build on strengths. This way, a student's independent learning is constantly expanding, until eventually, no more tutoring is needed!

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Depending on the student, I might keep reminding her or him about the ultimate goal (acing the next test, or understanding a certain concept), or I might focus on the next step to accomplish. Celebrations along the way are important, too - from a simple high-five to a full victory dance, along with outlining all the successes up to that point. Recognizing everything you've already done well sure helps boost the mood and help move forward.

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

I would try a new approach, or a different way of learning about it. I might compare it to another idea that is easier to start with. I also might stop for a 2-minute movement break, since our brains can't learn unless our bodies move sometimes!

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

With endless patience, I help students work through difficult sections with a variety of strategies - breaking new words down into syllables, determining meaning from the context, or even practicing reading skills by translating a historical speech into a tweet or Facebook post.

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

Linking new learning to things a student already knows is helpful, but even better is relating new learning to favorite topics or hobbies. Really into cars? Let's structure that math problem around torque, or HP, or MPG. Love horses? Let's explore how the use of horses has changed human history over the ages.

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

The real world isn't divided into subjects. Reality is all connected, so I like to learn what you're excited about, and show you how it's connected to the areas where you struggle. You need English to learn about history, which is heavily influenced by science and technology, which are based on math, which has a long and fascinating history...

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

My style involves guiding students to answer their own questions. Instead of me asking if a student understands, I help the student to provide the answers that demonstrate understanding.

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

By frequently reflecting on progress made so far, we can establish the confidence to move forward. Many students start off thinking that they don't understand anything at all, but I can always find something to be proud of.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

First, by asking the student what her or his needs are. Then, by guiding the student to answer her or his own questions, we can both discover areas of strength and areas where we need more work.

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

Some students learn best by listening to descriptions. Some have to see an image. Other people need to physically move to remember information. Everybody learns better if we use a combination of approaches, so I like to be prepared to tutor in many different ways and adjust based on what works well.

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

I am not artistically gifted, but I really like to be able to give a visual, so having something to draw on is important. Having students draw a picture to represent concepts is also a great learning strategy. I also like to use props, when appropriate, and music can be a great memory trigger.