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James

My reason for teaching is to share what knowledge I have gained and to help other people learn. I am not an educator if I simply give out information; I am only a teacher if someone learns. I feel that it is my responsibility to present material in such a manner that students can do well. The material must be presented with enthusiasm, clarity, and an awareness of the level of understanding of the students. All too often instructors present material at their level of understanding and forget that their knowledge has come with years of exposure to a particular field. A question or concept that may be very familiar to an instructor is unknown to a student who has just begun to learn. I try my best to avoid what I may perceive as a small jump in logic because it often becomes a tremendous leap for the students.

My responses to questions have a variety of sophistication. I attempt to provide gradually decreasing vagueness as I answer a question. While a student is looking for "the answer", I try to never answer a question on the first iteration. Their question is often met with a little bit of background and a question for them to explore. This may occur several times before student satisfaction is achieved, but they have had to answer their own question when the process is over. Every aspect of my teaching style is meant to provide positive reinforcement to assure students that their questions and contributions are valued and important to their learning.

Undergraduate Degree:

 Tarleton State University - Bachelors, Chemistry/biology

Graduate Degree:

 Ohio State University-Main Campus - PHD, Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy

Running, swimming, spending time with my dogs, community oriented

College Chemistry

High School Chemistry

Honors Chemistry

What is your teaching philosophy?

My reason for teaching is to share what knowledge I have gained, and to help other people learn. I am not an educator if I simply give out information; I am only a teacher if someone learns. I feel that it is my responsibility to present material in such a manner that students can do well. The material must be presented with enthusiasm, clarity, and an awareness of the level of understanding of the students. All too often, instructors present material at their level of understanding and forget that their knowledge has come with years of exposure to a particular field. A question or concept that may be very familiar to an instructor is unknown to a student who has just begun to learn. I try my best to avoid what I may perceive as a small jump in logic, because it often becomes a tremendous leap for the students.

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

We would have to address the student's assessment of their own skills in the subject area. Finding out their motivation for seeking tutoring would definitely need to be considered, as well as how they plan to contribute to the process.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I believe that most students are very adept at finding the answer to a question, but very few innately possess the ability to know how to answer a question, so I will help a student discover their talent to answer on their own.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Since I have experienced teaching at a university and high school level, I believe I can work with a student to explore what they want to do with their futures and keep them motivated by looking forward.

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

Everyone experiences difficulty in learning and being able to provide positive affirmation of what has been learned, and using their strengths to address their weaknesses is essential to encourage their learning.

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

Every new subject encountered has its own new language to learn, and often it needs to be related in terms of the language they already understand.

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

It is essential to know what the objectives of their class are, and to discover with them what their objectives for the class are as well.

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

I encourage students to pick careers for themselves, and then explore how their class may fit into their quest for a great job.

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

Assessment of objectives related to their existing class can be broken up into very discrete units, and these need to be assessed often and frequently.

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

Student's achievements are frequently depicted as being negative from 100%, whereas I try to emphasize the positive gains from 0% and where they began.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

It is absolutely necessary to spend time with the student to set goals based on what they need to accomplish in order to be successful.

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

Objective assessment of a student must include how the student is progressing, and preparing to slow down or speed up based on this progress.

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

I like to use materials familiar to the students with regards to their own class, and to introduce other instruction material to enhance or support their learning.