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I have a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Texas at El Paso and a M.A. in History from New Mexico State University. In my professional career I was a journalist for daily newspapers in Texas and New Mexico and a high school teacher before retiring in 2011. As a high school teacher in El Paso, Texas, I taught Journalism, English, World Geography, World History, United States History, Advanced Placement U.S. History and Dual Credit (college level) U.S. History. Additionally, I tutored all levels of Social Studies four days a week. From 2003-2011 99.8% of my students passed the state standardized test with 67% receiving Commended Status. I believe education is the key to a successful life and I always try to express my appreciation and love of my subjects to my students. In my spare time I volunteer as a docent at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. I enjoy reading, and watching professional and college sports on TV. Since retiring I have participated in numerous 5K running/walking events for local, state, and national charities.

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Joel’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: UT El Paso - Bachelor in Arts, Journalism

Graduate Degree: New Mexico State University - Master of Arts, History

State Certified Teacher


Reading, volunteering, sports

Tutoring Subjects

AP United States History

AP US History

College English

College Geography

College Level American History


European History



High School English

High School Geography

High School Level American History


Public Speaking


Social Studies

US History


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

All students can learn. The key is to finding that avenue which opens door to higher understanding, comprehension and ability to explain the subject.

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

Just get an introduction as to where the student is as well as finding out where the student believes they are lacking. From that point on, plan lessons on how to make the material more comprehensible and easy to understand.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Promote independent learning skills and traits by showing students how this can be practiced and perfected.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Make learning fun. Provide incentives by mastering step-by-step learning objectives.

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

I break it down into everyday terms and concepts. Then we build on the basic concept from the ground up until a skill is mastered.

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

Help them understand levels of comprehension through repetition of key words and ideas until the student is able to recognize them and come to an understanding of key words and phrases.

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

Explain concepts in today's world. What does this idea mean? How does this idea relate to the world we live in today? Once we can understand today's idea we will be able to relate it to the concept and idea of the past.

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

Be engaging. Make the material fun to learn. Celebrate successes. Show interest in the student's learning. Be a part of the learning process.

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

Have the student explain it in their words. Have the student express their views in writing to see how they put words to paper.

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

I would express congratulations. I will applaud success. I will show my excitement in seeing how the student is gaining confidence and encouraging their confidence level.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

By seeing how they comprehend material. By seeing how they express themselves verbally as well as in writing.

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

Again, by seeing where their weakness are. Is it verbal? Is it writing? It is understanding concepts and ideas. I have them explain these ideas to me in their words.

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

Textbook. Personal history books. Personal experience from the student as well as myself.

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