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Jim

Learning is a daily, lifelong process. If embraced, it can foster a fulfilling life, one with many choices regarding career, family, and personal attainment. I discovered that at an early age and feel that I have been a beneficiary: as a father and husband; an historian, financial analyst and banker; a teacher, mentor, tutor and friend. That’s my approach as a tutor: listen carefully and understand my student; respect their learning style and ignite (or maintain) their passion for learning (and meet their immediate goals). Leaven it all with some fun.

Throughout my career, I have had the benefit of great mentor/tutors and have always tried to do the same for others. Formally, I have taught students at the high school and college level in math and history (Rutgers University - PhD, 1988) and advised many others informally as a banking and investment professional (Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), since 1994). Recently, I have become a math tutor, mentor and substitute teacher in the Denver Public School system and an historical adviser for a national high school competition focused on the U.S. Constitution.

Since my approach to studying the past has been very comprehensive, I have also developed active interests in literature, music, art and architecture and popular culture. Along with a making a good meal, reading widely, hanging out with friends and family (including a tri-pod Labrador), watching British crime dramas, and drinking a great cup of coffee, these round out my day.

Undergraduate Degree:

 Princeton/Empire State College - BA, History & Social Theory

Graduate Degree:

 Rutgers University - PhD, American History

Music, art, architecture, reading, great coffee, sports (especially hockey and football), cooking, time with family and friends

10th Grade Math

10th Grade Reading

10th Grade Writing

11th Grade Math

11th Grade Reading

11th Grade Writing

12th Grade Math

12th Grade Reading

12th Grade Writing

6th Grade Math

6th Grade Reading

7th Grade Math

7th Grade Reading

8th Grade Math

8th Grade Reading

9th Grade Math

9th Grade Reading

ACCUPLACER College-Level Math Prep

ACCUPLACER Elementary Algebra Prep

ACCUPLACER Sentence Skills Prep

Adult Literacy

African-American History

American Literature

AP US Government

ASPIRE Math

Business Enterprise

CLEP American Government

CLEP American Literature

CLEP College Algebra

CLEP College Mathematics

CLEP History of the United States I

CLEP History of the United States II: 1865 to the Present

CLEP Social Sciences and History

College Level American History

College Level American Literature

COMPASS Mathematics Prep

COMPASS Reading Prep

DAT Quantitative Reasoning

Elementary Algebra

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Financial Accounting

GMAT Integrated Reasoning

GMAT Quantitative

GRE Subject Test in Mathematics

High School English

High School Level American History

High School Level American Literature

High School Writing

HSPT Math Prep

HSPT Quantitative Prep

College Math

Intermediate Algebra

Middle School Reading

Political Science

Quantitative Reasoning

US Constitutional History

US History

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

It begins with getting acquainted and listening; a student needs to understand that this is about them and not the tutor.

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

Explore any connection, even if it's not immediately evident, between the student's interests and the subject matter.

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

Encourage your student to teach the material to you, especially at the beginning of a session before you move to the next topic.

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

Students are most confident when they can explain or teach the material to someone else, especially a peer.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Evaluation of a student's needs begins with a conversation with them and their current teacher(s). Diagnostic tests can also be useful to assess areas of strength and areas for improvement.

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

Listening and observing are the foundations for understanding individual learning styles as well as identifying those subject areas that need attention.

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

The learning style(s) of a student will direct the selection of materials and methods - from aural to visual, conceptual to learning by doing, written to spoken.

What is your teaching philosophy?

Learning is lifelong and takes many forms - from formal class work to experiential. It should be embraced and enjoyed, understanding that the process will have its ups and downs. I hope to instill that zest for learning that has informed my life.

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

A first session is the opportunity to get acquainted, develop some of the rapport that will be essential for working together effectively, and share expectations.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Independent learning usually flows from a genuine curiosity about the world around you. As a tutor, you want to do all you can to ignite that passion for knowing more, whatever the subject.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Motivation is usually a direct outcome of having set clear goals and defining a pathway to achieve them. This is a key part of how a tutor gets started with their student, and it's something they revisit regularly.

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

When there are difficulties with learning a skill or concept, it's best to break those down into their constituent parts and begin with smaller "bites."

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

Reading aloud and analyzing how sentences cohere to make paragraphs and so on often will enable better comprehension and demonstrate to the student how a writer develops their characters, points of view, and overall argument.