I'm an experienced tutor and educator with more than 20 year of experience, and in that time I've developed techniques to make the material understandable.
I've led test prep courses for Kaplan for the GMAT, SAT, ACT, and GRE and was also a Kaplan teacher-trainer, so I was entrusted to teach other test prep professionals best practices.
My personal goal is to help each of my students perform at their very best, and continue my record of success in doing so!
University of Louisville - Bachelors, Mathematics
University of Louisville - Masters, MBA
What is your teaching philosophy?
Rather than focus on rote memorization, I discuss with my students different ways to approach each problem. As a result, they learn to strategize and gain a deeper understanding of the material, and therefore perform at a higher level when it counts.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
When I first meet with a client, I try to get an understanding of their level of mastery of the material, and probe into how they approach the questions before them. This allows me to better gauge their knowledge but also provides insight into how best to present the material so that they can best understand it.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Everything that I do is designed to get my clients to perform at their best. I accomplish this by quickly understanding their level of mastery of the material and gaining insight into how they learn best.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
There are many ways to motivate students, but the best is to minimize self-doubt when there are setbacks and celebrate victories. I try to make it so that over time, my clients are excited about their progress and the underlying topics.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would present the skill or concept in different ways, as there are usually several ways to approach a problem. I also frequently discuss materials via analogy so that the new material has an "anchor point" in things that the student already knows.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
When students struggle with reading comprehension, I find it best to break down the passage(s) into smaller materials and encourage note-taking so that there are forced breaks in reading the underlying material.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I find that most students are more capable than they initially believe, and that the biggest hurdle can be to break them of the bad habit of self-doubt.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Celebrating victories and quickly moving past setbacks are the best ways to encourage students to persevere.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
To ensure that a student understands new material, I find that it is beneficial to ask similar questions in different ways, and to ask them to explain their thinking process to me as they solve problems so that any weaknesses in comprehension are quickly exposed.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Students seeking help are already struggling at some level or not performing at the level of their abilities, so building confidence is essential.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I usually ask students to provide any prior test results so that I can review their comprehension and gauge where they are less certain. I then create a learning plan to chart a course for success!
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
There are many learning styles, and determining what approaches work best with each student is a critical part of any tutor's job. I ask a lot of questions of my students early on in our engagement so that I can quickly adapt to what works best for that specific student.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Studies prove that writing (as opposed to typing) is a critical process for embedding knowledge into the brain. Since students typically have a textbook or test prep book, I find that blank paper and lots of pens or pencils works best.