I am an licensed attorney with a law degree and a mathematics degree. I have experience tutoring numerous elementary, middle and high school students in an in-home setting. I have a proven ability to teach needed skills in a clear and effective way. My ultimate goal is for my students to achieve their goals and become more confident in their abilities. If I can play even a small role in a student's success, it is highly gratifying. I hope to have the opportunity to work with you.
University of Louisville - Bachelors, Mathematics
Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville - PhD, Law
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy is to help students gain the confidence they need to make the subject matter less difficult for them. Overcoming the fear of the subject itself goes a long way to helping students succeed. I have learned that demonstrating more than one way of solving a problem can help students better understand the underlying concepts. That understanding will help build their confidence and make them stronger students.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I will introduce myself and answer any questions the student/ parents may have. I will then do my best to learn as much as I can about the student to help build our working relationship. When the tutoring begins, my goal will be for them to understand the material, and get them to the point where they feel more confident in their abilities.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By giving them real world examples of why that is important. Tutoring is my opportunity to make them a better student, but also to give them advice that can help them grow as a person. Being an independent learner will be an important part of their life as they move through school, and into college and adulthood.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Setting goals will help them stay motivated. It is important to set short term and long-term goals. For example, a very short-term goal may be for them to understand a math concept by the end of that day's lesson. Then there may be a goal to get their grade up in class to a certain point in the next several weeks. Then there may be longer-term goals, with regard to their GPA's, or SAT/ACT scores. I have learned that goals can be highly motivating, and if the parents are involved in those goals as well, the more likelihood for success.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would demonstrate other ways of understanding the concept or solving the problem. Often there is more than one way of solving a problem, and once they understand a certain method, it will help them understand the other method as well.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
A student needs to try to stay relaxed and not be overwhelmed with the subject matter. If they are overwhelmed, they can easily lose focus. With reading comprehension, sometimes it needs to be broken down in smaller parts, sentence by sentence. Working in smaller parts can help build confidence.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I try to be personable, respectful and very clear with my explanations. If they don't understand my explanations, I make sure they let me know. I want them to feel comfortable communicating with me, as that will help both of us in the tutoring process.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would encourage them to discuss why they think they are struggling, and I would listen carefully to their response in an effort to formulate a helpful plan. I may also talk about some of the more interesting parts of the subject matter to engage them. Sometimes, a simple story or some historical perspective about the subject can get a student more interested and willing to learn. For example, if they are learning about the Pythagorean Theorem, I might tell them a little about Pythagoras, the person in which that theorem is based. I also would work with them to set goals for their learning, which would help motivate them.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I think it is important for students to use several of their senses when solving problems or memorizing formulas. They need to visually see the material; they need to write the material on paper; and they need to verbalize the material out loud. This process can add more depth to their understanding of the subject matter.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
That starts in small steps from day one. First, I find what they can do well, and I use that confidence to work on the next problem area. With each small success, the confidence grows. It ultimately becomes a circular pattern of expanding knowledge and confidence.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's needs by talking to them, talking to their parents, and reviewing their work. I also will work through the material with them, to see what they understand, and what they may need more help with. Communication is a key factor in making sure you know what they need to work on, and what they have mastered.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Every student is different, and to be successful at tutoring, you must adapt your style somewhat on occasion. The students have to believe in you. They also have to believe in themselves. Sometimes the style you need to utilize is fluid, and may change several times with a given student, so the tutor must stay focused and aware of that possibility.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Paper and pencil are standard, and often we will consult the books that they use in class. It may be helpful as well to use audio/visual aids, such as a computer. Tutoring need not be boring, and instead should give the tutor the opportunity to be creative and help the student actually enjoy learning on occasion.