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Jim

I am a great tutor because when I am finished tutoring a student, they not only get their work done, they understand the concept they were having trouble with. I tutored at Austin Community College for two years, I taught Secondary Mathematics for three years, and I taught at a career school for over 3 years, where I taught College Algebra, among other general education courses.

Undergraduate Degree:

 California State Polytechnic University-Pomona - Bachelors, Liberal Studies

Graduate Degree:

 Texas State University-San Marcos - Masters, Business

Learning

What is your teaching philosophy?

Before getting started, I tend to get comfortable and relax, with the hope that the student will as well. I believe that the student must be involved in their own learning. I do not do the work for the student. My goal is to give the student the tools to help themselves. When a student tells me "I don't get it," I use probing questions to get them to narrow it down to exactly what it is that they don't get. I encourage them to apply themselves. I also do plenty of examples, doing whatever I can to relate the work to the real world, and specifically, their real world. I try to gain a rapport with the student, then relate the course material to the student's life.

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

This falls in line with my answer to the philosophy question. I gain a rapport and get an understanding of the difficulty they are having, enhancing my ability to assist the student in their learning process.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I encourage the student by connecting the course material to what they encounter in everyday life, or a typical day, month, year, etc.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I help students to stay motivated by cheering them on when the light bulb goes on and they know they understand to concept. When that happens, it not only motivates the student; it motivates me as well.

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

If a student has difficulty with a concept/skill, I stop, then ask if they would rather continue another day. If not, I tell them to get a drink of water, take a break for a few minutes, and try to think of absolutely nothing. While they are clearing their head, I try to think of different ways to present the concept, with the hope it will be more easily understood.

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

To enhance the student's comprehension of the material, I explain the material in a more understandable way, specific to the student.

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

I find that being relaxed and friendly, then having a discussion with the student to gain a good rapport, has lead to the student's success.

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

I get the student excited/engaged by relating the material to real life.

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

I have the student do problems on their own to ensure that they understand.

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

I encourage the student, congratulating them when they display understanding.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

First, I ask them what they need. I then check their understanding of any prerequisite material related to the current concept(s), and then go from there.

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

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

I use pencil and paper, and occasionally a calculator.