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

Dustin

I am a creative, determined individual with immense drive and passion. As a former teacher, I have had much experience critiquing, editing, and improving on the work of others. I have also gained much experience in professionalism, management, and bureaucracy such as deadlines, and reports. My ability to motivate others and foster meaningful personal interactions is uncanny. My background in history gives me knowledge of trends in society and culture as well as writing experience. My classical education provides me an understanding of the roots of Western Civilization, including legal philosophy, words and syntax, and social and cultural norms.

Undergraduate Degree:

 Texas A & M University-College Station - Bachelors, History/Classics

Writing books, plays, and short stories. Drawing. Playing guitar and keyboard. Gardening. Science.

What is your teaching philosophy?

Some educators focus on rote memorization and simple regurgitation of facts for tests. While this leads to information being immediately forgotten after testing, I strive to foster a deeper understanding of subject matter, leading to better grades, more real world applications, and a true education for the long-term betterment of the student.

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

First, I would get to know the student. Learning a student's interests, motivation, and philosophy will not only help me connect on a personal level with the individual creating the trust needed, it will also allow me to gear the subject matter to their specific personality. I would ask the student why he or she thinks they need help, hopefully encouraging self-evaluation. I would give a couple practice tests to begin identifying and assessing problems.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

As an educator, I focus on creating a deeper understanding in students so they can learn throughout life without a reliance on the school system. For example, instead of just defining vocabulary words, I would teach the Greek and Latin roots of these words because I believe teaching the roots and origins of concepts would enhance a student's true knowledge. In case they come across a word they did not happen to study, their understanding of root words will help them define it while testing.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

It is important to me to foster self-motivation with my students. Offering bribes such as candy might work in the short run, but will hinder the student long term. The student needs to understand the importance of the subject matter in his or her own life. Then the willingness to learn and study properly will come from within.

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

Even the brightest student will have a weak spot. It is the educator's duty to show the influence of the subject on the student's everyday life. The key is to have the student approach the problem from a different angle than usual. Understanding the underlying roots and causes of a subject will help give the student a more holistic view and inspire true learning.

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

Reading is a difficult task for many students today, but can be achieved with simple guidance. We live in an increasingly multi-tasking world. TVs, internet, commercials, and many other stimuli vie for our attention every second of every day (my TV is providing comforting background noise as I type this.) For these reasons and others, restless students find it difficult to focus on reading for an extended amount of time. The trick is to make a long daunting passage seem accessible and worthwhile. First it needs to be broken up into manageable parts. Then any unknown words need to be addressed. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix. The only way to truly gain reading skills is practice, guidance, and a willingness to focus on one's own internal voice.

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

Creating a personal connection with a student is the most important aspect of any successful pedagogical relationship. If the teacher and pupil do not genuinely enjoy each other's company, true teaching cannot occur. The teacher needs to show interest in the student's future and overall well-being. The student will then work hard to please the teacher with an understanding of self-betterment. Rote memorization and regurgitation of facts on tests are quickly becoming obsolete forms of learning in today's world. These methods lead to information being immediately forgotten, not internalized. Understanding the underlying roots and causes will give the student true knowledge. For instance, Students are taught to memorize mathematical formulas for certain tests, (e.g. the quadratic equation). If a student happens to forget this information, the test is failed. My strategy is to teach students methods where they can come up with the formula from scratch if needed (e.g. teaching the student how to solve ax^2+bx+c=0 for x, creating the quadratic equation.)

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

What is the reluctant student's favorite question? "How is this going to help me in life." I pride myself on my ability to make students see the importance of knowledge no matter the subject. By expressing my own passion and interest in the subject, the student will begin to mimic my attitude. Every subject has real world applications and it is my job to make them understand that.

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

One way to assess a student's progress is with a test or quiz. However, I believe that when a student can successfully explain the concept or idea that led them to a certain answer, only then can I know that the student has internalized the concept.

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

Confidence in a subject comes only through knowledge of the subject. If a student understands the underlying concepts and not just rote memorization, they can approach any test or assessment without fear or hesitation.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

A student's needs can be monitored easily through written assessments. Having a student explain their thought process is critical to identifying exactly where a student needs improvement.

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

Teaching can be a reactionary profession. An adaptable tutor is more effective. For example, if a student is a visual learner, teaching them to create drawings of math problems will help them more. A tactile learner will learn more by creating a historical timeline than just seeing one.

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

Depending on the student's level of creativity and the subject, many items can be used. Pencils, paper, a wipe-board, and calculator are usually necessary. Many students would benefit from creation. An example might be creating a model of a cell out of cardboard or creating geometric shapes from Play-Doh.