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John

I received my Bachelor's Degree from Drew University in Economics and Political Science. While at Drew, I was fortunate enough to study at the United Nations for one semester - an experience I'll never forget! After working for 1 year, I went back to school to earn my Master's Degree in Economics from SUNY Albany. However, my studies have never stopped. While working in the private sector, I earned the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist designation. I've also held securities licenses (FINRA 6, 7, 24, & 63) as well as the Life Insurance licenses. I also earned the Competent Communicator designation from Toastmasters International - an organization that helps people improve their speaking and leadership skills.

I have been teaching students in a variety of settings since 2001. Currently, I am the Associate Dean of General studies at a local college. However, I discovered my love of teaching while I was an adjunct teacher at Quincy College. While there, I taught Economics and Finance. I've also had the pleasure substitute teaching in both the Braintree and Quincy public school systems.

As you may be able to tell, I love teaching Economics! It's a subject that is always in the news and I love teaching the theory and relating it to the real world. Economics is tied closely with government - another subject that I like to discuss especially now given the Presidential election next year. I also enjoy finance as most of my career has been involved with finance and investments - especially retirement planning - a topic many people do not want to think about but is quite important in the long run!

While not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family and cheering on the Boston sport teams. In the past I ran cross country in college and was captain of the team. I was also fortunate to complete the Boston Marathon - where I ran half of it (the other half I walked)!

Given the differing age groups that I have taught, I feel comfortable teaching anyone. I am very patient with students and take the time so that students understand the subject matter. To me, students come first and I will do whatever I can to help the student learn the material! I typically end a class with a joke - while I cannot promise that the jokes are good, I do hope to put a smile on people's faces!

Undergraduate Degree:

 Drew University - Bachelors, Economics & Political Science

Graduate Degree:

 SUNY at Albany - Masters, Economics

Sports, puzzles, spending time with my family

Business

College Business

High School Business

What is your teaching philosophy?

My philosophy is that every student learns at different rates. It is my responsibility to provide the tools necessary for the student to understand the concepts being taught. Patience is a must, and being able to adapt to differing teaching techniques so that students can learn is a must. I am a big proponent of active learning.

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

I would introduce myself and provide my background. I would want to learn more about the student such as hobbies, jobs, and classes he/she is taking. I would like to know favorite subjects and what he/she likes about each one. I would also like to know his/her expectations regarding me. I want to know what I can do to help the student be successful in the subject.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I would provide clear instructions and expectations to be successful with our time. I would also have the student find "real-world" examples and then integrate it into the subject. This would teach the student that the subject matter being taught has an impact in every-day life.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Providing positive reinforcement.

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

I would change my teach strategy. If that does not work, I would continue to ask probing questions to determine the root cause of the issue.

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

I rephrase the questions. I also try to use examples that the student can relate to.

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

Getting to know the student first is key. Once I can build a relationship, it helps with the teaching aspect.

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

First, I would have to show my excitement in the subject. If I'm excited, the student will then get more excited. Once the student is more excited, I can then begin to engage him/her. Part of this can be done by providing real-world examples and having the student provide examples as well.

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

I would have the student repeat back to me the concepts learned. I would also have the student provide examples of the topic learned. Finally, I would ask "test" questions to see if he/she understood the concepts, too.

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

Positive reinforcement. Tell the student what he/she did well. For incorrect items or concepts, tell the students was doing correctly and then show where the error occurred. I would then ask the question again to see if he/she understood the concept. Again, if it was incorrect, tell the student what he/she was doing correctly and repeat the steps noted above.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Ask the student, and then watch body language and other signs. If a person is struggling but does not communicate it, he/she will let you know though other ways. It is my job to help realized what those other communication techniques. It will be easier to tell once I get to know the student better.

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

I believe that I must find ways to teach the subject that it understandable to the student. If I tried several ways and the student still does not understand, I will need to go through other sources to find different ways to teach the concept. I believe everyone is teachable. A teacher needs to be patient and flexible to help the student - along with positive re-enforcement.

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

Textbook, news stories found in the internet or in magazines, videos that portray the subject matter. The more ways a student sees the subject, the more he/she will understand and learn it.