Hi! My name is Taylor, nice to meet you!
I just recently graduated from Georgia State College and University with my Masters Degree in History and I'm working my way towards becoming a professor teaching at the college level.
I have spent the last eight years accumulating the skills necessary to help you become the student that we both know that you can be. I've worked with students in both one-on-one and in group settings and achieved excellent results. I know that I can help you the same way.
Most importantly, I understand that students learn differently. One of the things that I pride myself on is being able to tailor (no pun intended) our sessions together to target your strengths , which ultimately leads to better retention. I similarly pride myself on being able to boil down complex concepts to make them more digestible for students who are having trouble understanding.
I have worked in both academic and professional settings in order to help students improve their overall performance and I know I can be a great fit for you. Thank you so much and I look forward to talking with you!
University of Georgia - Bachelors, History w/Philosophy Minor
Georgia College and State University - Masters, History
GRE Quantitative: 148
GRE Verbal: 155
College Application Essays
College Level American History
College World History
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Writing
High School English
High School Level American History
High School Level American Literature
High School Political Science
High School World History
High School Writing
IB World Religions
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Writing
PCAT Verbal Ability
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
At a core level, I truly believe that everyone wants to learn. The trick with most students is convincing them that they do. Once this battle has been won, it's really just a matter of finding out which way that particular student best learns. It's vital when working with students to try to tailor your lectures/sessions to the talents of your students. This isn't always possible in the classroom, but one-one-one sessions present a unique opportunity to do so. Finally, equal to what is being taught is how it is being taught. Many students suffer from what I can only define as an "educational anxiety." The only way around that is to try to create a learning environment that allows students to feel comfortable.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first session should be dedicated to identifying what exactly the student is having trouble with. A lot of students do very poorly and even they don't know why, so it's important to spend some time going through some exercises designed to bring those issues to the forefront. For example, a student is having trouble with writing: ask them to create an outline for an essay on a topic that the two of you decide together. Once you have their thoughts down on paper, you can use that as a blueprint for how they are thinking about the assignment.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
At a core level, I believe that everyone wants to learn. Much of the time, students are convinced by the world that learning is irrelevant to their lives, so the job of the tutor in this sense is to convince them that this is not the case. Many of these students are suffering from a kind of "educational anxiety-" maybe they did poorly in the past and have convinced themselves that they are not good students. It is remarkable how far a developing a strong connection with a student will go towards fixing this problem. A little moral support goes a long, long way. After that, it's a matter of convincing them that they are good students. That can only happen once the effects of your sessions have taken effect and they begin to see the results of their work.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
This can be affected in a number of ways, but ultimately you have to care about the work that the student is doing. When the student sees that you are engaged, they will take the cue and dive into their work themselves. More practical things you can do includes changing scenery, rewarding good work, and also giving the students a bit of freedom to do the work that they want to do. A simple change of location can make all the difference for school work and is remarkably easy to do with tutoring. When a student sees that you are respecting them (as opposed to lecturing over them) they will in turn have more respect for the work that the two of you are doing.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
The best technique for this is to help the student gain an understanding of written structure. A lot of the times, poor reading comprehension occurs with students (particularly at the lower levels) because the student doesn't know what to look for when they are reading. They treat all the information they are reading as though it is the same, and it isn't. As a result, they try to remember everything and end up retaining nothing at all. A good way to start with this problem is to try a meta-cognition exercise (literally-thinking about thinking). Have the student read a paragraph and ask them both what they remember AS WELL AS what they do not. This helps to give the student an idea of what they are missing, so they can proceed accordingly.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I'm personally a big fan of Socratic teaching, which consists of asking the student a series of questions and letting them piece together the answer. This places the student and the teacher on an even playing field, thereby giving the student more confidence than they might have otherwise. It also tends to lead to better retention, as the student will tend to remember things they figured out on their own better than something they heard someone else say.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
As I focused mostly on history, I tend to try and put them in the place and time that I am teaching, and ask them to try to think about what they would go through as a member of that society. This can be applied to other subjects (English, Philosophy, etc.) but tends to be a bit more limited in scope. More than anything, students have a tendency to match the emotional engagement of the people they are with. Therefore, the more engaged I am with the subject, the more engaged the student will tend to be.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
This is more a matter of what materials I think the student needs. Typically, I tend to try to limit materials for teaching to things like PowerPoints or slides, but sometimes students are more visual learners. In those cases, you need to introduce materials more targeted towards their learning style.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
A student's confidence level is often the direct result of repeated support of their ability. More than anything, the tutor needs to establish a strong connection between themselves and the student in order to provide them with the emotional support they need in order to invest themselves in the subject material.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
To begin, the student needs to be given some kind of a test in order to determine what their biggest area of need is going to be. For history or English, I might begin with some kind of written assignment (nothing big, probably just a page) to get a baseline of the student's subject competency. From there, we can work together in order to determine the best way to proceed from there.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
It's important to understand that students learn differently depending on their natural inclinations. Some students are more hands-on, while others learn best through the Socratic method, and so on. The biggest step to answering this question is figuring out what classes a student is doing well in, or even just what they like to do. If they like sports or music, they are probably going to work best with a hands-on approach. If they do well in science classes, they are likely a visual learner and can benefit from infographics or videos. Once that's been determined, it's really just a matter of tailoring (no pun intended) your lesson plan to their needs. For example, if you are working with a Socratic learner on a book report, take a step back and ask them questions about the plot/themes and lead them to the answer rather than giving it to them. If you have a visual learner for a history session, give them information through graphs, maps, or other handy infographics.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Although it depends greatly on what kind of a student I'm working with (as well as the subject being taught), I'm more inclined to stick to books, pencils, and paper when tutoring to help keep the student on track. If additional materials are necessary to what I am teaching, those materials can be introduced for that session.