His high school diploma was earned at The Cheshire Academy in Cheshire CT where he first developed his love for history. He completed courses in American, World, English, and Russian history.
Undergraduate studies continued at Southampton College of Long Island University where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1970 with a major in Visual Arts and minors in History and Philosophy. Studies continued on a post graduate level at the University of Bridgeport and Alabama University to improve skills which proved to be helpful is his career.
Beginning his career after graduation in 1970 he entered a field relevant to his major course of studies. Product design seemed a natural fit for his skills and interest. Over 30 years in the field he advanced his career to become the Director of Product Development on a corporate level. Honors in his career came in the form of being listed as sole inventor on 14 United States Patents as well as receiving many awards on a national level for product design.
His interest in students began at an early age. With a proficiency in water activities he first became involved as a water safety instructor with the Red Cross. Upon entering College he affiliated himself with a local Church where he became a High School Sunday School teacher. His interest in youth continued in his young married life by becoming a Cub and Boy Scout leader, and a Little League coach. Additionally, he has taught police officers in the use of firearms and as a technology trainer in his second career as a Real Estate Agent.
History, both world and U.S. are a major interest in his life. Current events are always influenced by a past history. Knowing the past helps avoid the mistakes made by others. Attempts to change the past in order to advance a current position is always a mistake as the changing of the past to justify an action or decision of today is based on false information.
Writing has held an interest in his life for many years. He is the author of a published (not self-published) novel and a produced three act play. Currently he has two novels in the works. Throughout his life he has enjoyed numerous hobbies including scuba diving since 1960, wood working, theater, oil painting, as well as many crafts. Of course his 11 grandchildren if not a hobby, certainly are his major interest.
A student is best defined as one who seeks after knowledge. He believes it is his position as a tutor to assist in opening doors allowing the student access to the knowledge they seek. Where that desire is lacking, it is often necessary to provide incentive which will change an uncaring student into one who truly understands that it is in their best interest to seek knowledge.
Southampton College of Long Island University - Bachelors, Visual Arts
What is your teaching philosophy?
A student is one who seeks after knowledge. Knowledge is knowing what is in one's best interest. Seek knowledge.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
A first session with a new student is important for a tutor. It is an education moment that helps the tutor to discover the needs of the student. What is the subject the student needs help with? What is the goal that is sought either by the student of their parents? What deficiency needs to be overcome and what is the cause of that deficiency? In this regard it is a learning session for the tutor. It has been said that a student is one who seeks after knowledge. The first session should help determine the level of the student's desire to seek knowledge and then develop a plan to increase that level. Once the student's desire to learn becomes overwhelming, the tutor's job is to assist the student in learning how and where they can obtain the knowledge they seek.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
As stated before, once a student obtains the desire to gain knowledge and has been taught where and how to obtain it, a student will be rewarded with a gift they can use through life. That desire can be improved by a tutor if he or she can show their student the relevance of the knowledge to their lives. In history, that can be accomplished by tracing historical events up through time and showing how the events affect our lives today and into the future.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation to learn comes when a student understands the relevance of the knowledge being taught to their future life and success in that future life. It's too simplistic to say that the study has to be made interesting. Of course that's true. But by making it relevant to their future you assist them to enjoy learning throughout their lives.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Often, there is understanding of a skill or concept that stands in the way of learning. Sometimes changing the angle of attack on the problem can open a student's eyes. It's a real joy for a tutor to see that light come on when the understanding finally arrives.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
The ability to absorb knowledge comes in many ways and is often different in different people. Some understand better if they hear something; some by reading. When a student has trouble comprehending the written word it simply means that reading is not the ideal way for them to absorb. This can usually be resolved by having them read out loud. Often it's a matter of speed with the student so involved in reading quickly that they fail to concentrate on what's being read. Slow down, focus on the meaning of the words.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Meeting a person for the first time can cause a nervous reaction. That's usually true for both persons particularly if it's understood that the relationship will be one on one over a period of time. While it may not be a good idea for a tutor or teacher to become too friendly, it should never become an adversarial relationship. At a first session it is hoped that the tutor can make the meeting sufficiently fun yet valuable so that the student will look forward to the next meeting.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Making a subject such as history sufficiently exciting, so the student becomes engaged, can be a simple thing. The subject should be taught with a focus on how a past event affects our lives today and in the future. The easiest example of this involves the founding fathers creation of our nation's Constitution. They experienced, under British rule, a government that showed little concern for the rights of its citizens. Every government worldwide granted and still does grant its people their rights. The founders understood this, and therefore established a document that intended to protect our natural rights rather than grant them. It was a negative document in that it defined what the government may not do rather than a document that expressed what the government would allow it's governed to do. It's one of the things that makes our lives here different from every other country.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Testing a student's knowledge is important, but in a different way than many think. Often, after a test, the focus is on what the student knows, and therefore they look at what the individual got right. It is far more important to understand what errors were made. Obviously you need to know what you don't know, and therefore the focus should be on incorrect answers in order to correct the mistake and therefore learn.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Confidence comes from success, which comes from an understanding of the subject. Understanding a subject is so much more than the memorization of facts and dates. It involves learning the reasons for events and how those reasons are different or similar in our current lives. If you know the reason why something happened, it's so much easier to remember what happened.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Observation and conversation are necessary to understand anyone. This includes evaluating a person's needs. Testing must also be included in the evaluation process. Conversation with parents is also helpful.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
It's been said here before. Understanding needs is key to a successful educational experience, and often a teacher's ability to adapt to a student's particular skills is imperative. If a student doesn't understand by reading, perhaps an adaption to a verbal presentation can be more productive. Any good teacher needs to be proficient in presenting a subject in a way that works best for the student. If the tutor lacks the skills necessary to adapt, he or she should be sufficiently honest to remove themselves from the situation for the benefit of the student.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Most students are involved in a formalized field of study for which the tutor is called in to assist in successfully understanding the subject. The formal education most often has materials already involved in their learning process. Since the student will be graded based on those materials, it's important to focus on them. Where understanding of the study materials is lacking, it's critical that additional information supporting those materials be brought to bear. With the Internet within reach of almost everyone, it can be a valuable source of supportive material.