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Jeff

When a student wants to learn, teaching and tutoring can be the best job in the world. My learning philosophy? Don't forget to breathe!

As an undergraduate, I attended Carson-Newman College and studied mathematics and sociology. I then enrolled at the University of Mississippi, where I studied mathematics and earned my Masters of Arts degree. As a result of my academic experience I love tutoring math, particularly Algebra and Geometry. I also have a large amount of fondness for test prep. Although I'm happy to work with both in-person and online students, I believe that I would be most helpful to students who are looking for an online tutor, as I currently teach back-to-back classes at an online university and am comfortable with the interface and expectations.

Previously, I worked as a tutor in a tutoring lab, where I would tutor in an open lab hour-for-hour up to the number of credits we were teaching each term--in my case, eight hours. I've taught both high school and college students, and also tutored for a commercial tutoring company in the 90s. Old-school.

When I'm not teaching or tutoring, I practice yoga; it doesn't feel right not to stretch for the day!

Undergraduate Degree:

 Carson-Newman College - Bachelors, Mathematics

Graduate Degree:

 The University of Mississippi - Masters, Mathematics

Yoga

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

Discover an overview of the objectives and what is studied up to that point for perspective, and then get right to work.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

A lot of our job is to direct the student to resources and provide "scaffolding" to support the student to expand his or her abilities.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Encouraging patience with practice in the present moment, without the regret of the past or worry of the future.

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

Perception-check, and offer an alternate suggestion.

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

Get them to focus on the verbs, because that is where the action happens.

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

Getting to the exercise and ideas that they are working with quickly, with a brief introduction and assessment of the level of the class and the course objectives, using general rules like "Algebra I is solving any linear equation."

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

Let them know that it always feels like a struggle until understanding. It is part of the process. And, I've made a lot more math mistakes than they have!

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

Perception-checking by getting the student to repeat back. A "do you understand?" yes/no question is not good enough.

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

Let the student know that with practice all is coming.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

In interaction and clear communication so there is a mutual understanding and using a balanced communication style.

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

Adapting to a student's needs is the process of finding out where they are and knowing the supporting concepts. There is a logical development to the subjects.

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

Web-based applications and the old-fashioned and underrated pencil and paper.

What is your teaching philosophy?

Everyone can improve competency and there are not "math people" and "not math people" because it is more a matter of desire.