My name is Stephen LaBrecque and I'm currently a second year law student at Boston College. My teaching experience started in eighth grade when I taught CCD to a group of first graders. Since that time, I've had a range of experiences in education. While at the University of Notre Dame, I tutored twice a week at the Robinson Community Learning Center. I also participated in a service trip to an alternative high school in Appalachia. Upon graduating from Notre Dame, I joined the Alliance for Catholic Education, a Service Teaching Program that placed me at an under-resourced 6-12 school in Dallas, Texas.
While in Dallas, I taught everything from sixth grade religion to Public Speaking. I also taught seventh grade literature, eighth grade English, and a Freshmen Seminar course aimed at helping students adjust to the demands of high school. During my two years teaching, I built a reputation as a teacher who was always willing to help. I had students come to my tutoring hours for help in all of their subjects, from geometry to biology and Spanish.
While I ultimately decided to pursue a law degree, I really miss teaching and sharing in the successes of my students. I hope tutoring will give me the chance to help others succeed and really make a difference in people's lives.
University of Notre Dame - Bachelors, English
University of Notre Dame - Masters, Secondary Education
SAT Composite: 2050
SAT Math: 700
SAT Verbal: 720
High School English
What is your teaching philosophy?
People learn differently. Therefore, as a teacher you must be able to adapt and tailor your instruction to your students. Furthermore, teachers must approach problems from the student's perspective. Only then is it possible to guide them to understanding.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first step is to get to know the student. Find out about their personality, likes and dislikes, and general strengths and weaknesses. I think it is important to show that you are invested in the student as a person, and that you are not just tutoring them for the money. I care about all of my students past and present, and I want them to succeed. Additionally, learning about the student helps you to guide them to understanding. During my years as a teacher, I remember helping a student understand the elements of plot. His English teacher explained the elements using the summer reading book, but this student struggled with reading comprehension and didn't really understand the novel. By talking to him about his favorite movie (Finding Nemo), I was able to explain the elements of plot in a way that was accessible to him. Oftentimes, you can use analogies from other walks of life to teach academic concepts. But if you don't get to know a person and what interests them, it becomes much harder to make these connections.