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Timothy

I believe in a friendly, individualized approach to tutoring. I am more interested in teaching students strategies for learning than I am in giving them answers; and I hope to help all my students learn to study more efficiently and perform more confidently on tests. I am also capable and passionate about teaching students to write a carefully constructed, clearly argued essay and consider myself to be a capable editor. I very much look forward to working with you, and I know that together we can achieve amazing results.

Undergraduate Degree:

 Northeastern University - Current Undergrad, English

ACT English: 35

ACT Reading: 34

ACT Science: 35

SAT Composite: 2220

SAT Verbal: 800

SAT Writing: 730

Fitness, music writing, theater, literature, poetry, cycling, hiking

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe in teaching students how to learn rather than feeding them specific facts or answers.

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

I would spend most of the session assessing where they stand in their subject and end by telling them the clearest areas in which they need to improve, and providing strategies with which they can do so.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I am a strong proponent of the Socratic method, but I believe that it is important to provide enough knowledge and detail in your questions that the student develops a clear intellectual pathway to solve the problem. If they accomplish this, they will have a process that they can apply to almost any academic field.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I would first give them a clear idea of the importance of the subject, and I would also make sure to provide as much positive encouragement as I possibly can throughout the process. My goal would be for the student to grow to love the process of learning and self-improvement rather than getting stressed out over tests and grades.

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

I would break the concept down into smaller parts, starting with the most basic core of it, the part that would be easy for a student to understand. I would then slowly build up to the completed problem, making sure that every logical step is one they understand completely. After this, I would review the question and see where they stand in their ability to solve the same type of problem themselves.

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

I first check to see if they have a vocabulary issue and show them how to quickly look up words if that is the case. If the issue is instead with larger concepts, then I would simply have them slow down and write down their thoughts regularly as they get through the piece of writing. This helps them develop a relationship with a text, and once they understand that process they will be able to work on doing it faster.

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

I find that students are as much in need of validation as they are in isolating their problem areas. I think that identifying a student's strengths as well as their weaknesses gives them a base to rely on while they try to expand their area of understanding. In many cases, the main problem the student faces is one of self-confidence.

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

I would give them real-world applications as well as fun anecdotes about the subject so that they develop a sense of relevance to their own lives as well as an example of how the subject can be fun.

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

I think that you never know for sure that a student understands a problem until you see them solve it with no help at all. It is also important to have a follow-up discussion where they explain just how they came to that solution.

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

I make sure that they develop a growth mindset and realize that they have the potential for vast improvement in even their weakest subjects. I also believe that every student brings a unique set of academic strengths that need to be recognized in order for them to believe that they have the potential to be an amazing learner.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

It depends on the subject, but with writing-based subjects I think that the best thing to do is simply read a piece of their writing and identify what exactly it is they need to work on. If they don't have a piece of writing to show, then the best thing to do is to discuss their process for generating ideas and make sure they get a strong start by the end of the first session.

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

I always start with the most complicated part of a subject that they show a clear understanding of, and I simply build up from there. This means that I can work with anyone from a student who has trouble writing complete ideas to one who has a great essay already and just wants to make the final push to excellence.

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

I do what I can on a basic word processor or, even better, a pen and paper. The more freeform the tutoring process is, the clearer both the student's and the tutor's thought processes become. But I also believe in the effectiveness of practice tests and online guides and am in no way afraid to rely on these tools.