Get Tutoring Info Now
Info & Prices E-mailed
Display vt

Matt

I am a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where I received my Bachelor of Arts in English literature with a minor in history. After graduating, I decided to become an English teacher at a charter school system for underprivileged communities, because I wanted to utilize my love of my subject to instill that joy in others: English language and literature is the passion I have committed my life to, and spreading that passion through teaching is something I've been excited and honored to explore in my professional career. Tutoring in my content is a natural extension of classroom instruction, and it allows for the benefits of one-on-one interactions. This is a teaching situation I love, as I've seen first-hand the kind progress that can be gained through that level of individual attention. My desire as a tutor is to provide personalized care and instruction to all students, both encouraging and challenging them in English content by exploring that student's distinct needs, interests, and desires, and tailoring my tutoring sessions to fit those. I believe that recognizing a student as a person first is imperative for their learning and for fostering a strong teacher-student relationship that will propel them to scholastic success. In my personal time, I enjoy reading, running, traveling, exploring the arts (fine art, film, television, photography, etc.), creative writing, and hiking and the outdoors.

Undergraduate Degree:

 The University of Texas at Austin - Bachelors, English

I enjoy reading, creative writing, travel, music, fine art, film & television, and hiking and the outdoors

10th Grade Reading

10th Grade Writing

11th Grade Reading

11th Grade Writing

12th Grade Reading

12th Grade Writing

9th Grade Reading

9th Grade Writing

Adult Literacy

American Literature

British Literature

College English

College Level American Literature

Comparative Literature

High School English

High School Level American Literature

High School Writing

Introduction to Fiction

Introduction to Poetry

Medieval Literature

Shakespeare

Short Novel

STAAR EOC Prep

Summer

Vocabulary

World Literature

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

The first session with a student would consist firstly of getting to know them and their familiarity with the content-I would ask them some questions that would allow me to begin to understand the student as a person and their learning needs, and would ask for their own self-assessment about what they understand and need help in. After establishing this, we would determine the personal goals that the student has for learning, as well as establishing the scholastic goals and assessments that the student needs to complete for their classes. These goals are incredibly important, as they will allow me as an educator to craft all future tutoring sessions to fit these needs. The final thing I would ask a student would be to produce some kind of output for me to establish how they are currently performing, both in strength areas and focuses of growth. We would then reflect on the output in real time, and reconcile their personal goals and assessments for all future sessions.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I think an integral part of encouraging independent learning is helping a student discover what kind of learner they are: some learn best in lecture atmospheres, some are motivated by discussion, and others absorb best when they read and reflect on what they have read. Helping a student understand that there are multiple kinds of learning allows them to recognize their own needs. Additionally, I would push a student to discover what they independently desire to learn, as personal motivation is a key component of independent learning. In English, for example, that could look like encouraging a student to read further works of authors they enjoy, and suggesting similar writers.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

In order for a student to be truly motivated, they need to be working towards some kind of goal. That may be grades, individual recognition, or simply a desire to learn. Helping a student get in touch with their own personal goals allows them to access the motivation to continue learning, even in circumstances where they may be bored or frustrated with the material.

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

In my current classroom, the approach that I take with students struggling to fully comprehend a skill or concept is coaching through scaffolding: I break the problem down into smaller, more understandable parts and work up to the larger concept. In addition, I would make it a point to spiral back routinely to those concepts, in order to continually check for understanding.

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

One very important skill that struggling readers often need to be coached on is meta-cognition in reading: that is, they're monitoring their own understanding and stopping when they don't fully understand something. I've often seen students read whole pages of text that they don't understand, but they haven't stopped to re-consider or re-read any of it. Thus, I would make it a point to periodically stop students as they read and ask them to identify the who and the what: who are the characters, and what are they doing? A student is only capable of analyzing a text once they've comprehended the plot. Additionally, I would make dictionary usage a priority, as not understanding key words is a frequent struggle I've seen in the classroom.

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

Scaffolding (breaking a concept down to the level of the student's understanding, then working up to the larger concept) and questioning strategies are probably the biggest weapons I have in my teaching arsenal. With them, you can help struggling students and push those who've already grasped the original concept. In English especially, there's always another level that the text can be taken to, and prompting students to that next level through questioning can lead to great success.

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

I'd start by finding the area that they're actually good at for that subject. In English, for instance, a student may struggle with analysis, but be an excellent writer. Praising a student's accomplishments allows them to understand that they can be successful, even in subjects that may feel overwhelming at times. Additionally, I would pinpoint with them what part of the subject that they do enjoy, as it's incredibly rare for a student to dislike every part of a specific content. Creating connections between what they like and don't like could allow the struggling student to become more open to the content.

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

I believe student output is the only true way to tell that a student has mastered the material. Therefore, I would align any assignments or handouts to whatever goal we are working towards. For example, if our tutoring sessions are focusing on essay writing, one day's output make look like producing an exemplary thesis statement. Once a student is capable of doing that on their own, then we can move forward to the next goal.

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

I believe the best way to build a student's confidence in a subject is through praise and demonstration that they do have the capability of success. Students often shut down when they feel like what they're being asked is impossible for them. It is the teacher's duty to let a student see that this isn't true, and that they are capable of success.

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

First and foremost, a text of literary merit. It is imperative that English lessons come naturally from a source that ties everything together. I've also found a great deal of success with student and teacher written exemplars, as well as teacher created handouts.