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Kurtis

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I am a graduate of the University of California-Irvine, where I received my Bachelor of Arts in History. After graduating, I moved from Orange County, CA to Iowa City, IA and began my career in Sports Marketing for the University of Iowa. I completed my one-year internship and returned to Southern California to pursue a Master of Arts in Sports Management from the University of San Francisco. For another eight years, I continued my career in Athletics until I realized my true passion lies in Education.

As such, I went back to school and received a Master of Education, with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction from Sam Houston State University.

While I am most passionate about teaching US History, I have also taught Government, Economics and Sociology. Ninety-five percent of my students passed the first US History STAAR exam, which was well above the state average.

In addition to teaching the content for the exam, I prepare students for Standardized Tests by introducing them to test taking strategies, which includes introducing higher level vocabulary that can be seen on the exam.

I am a firm proponent of education, believing it to be absolutely necessary for an improved quality of life. I try to impart this appreciation to all of my students by making the material relevant to them. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, walking my dog and watching football, soccer and college basketball.

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Kurtis’ Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: U of CA - Irvine - Bachelor in Arts, History

Graduate Degree: SHSU - Masters in Education, Education (Curriculum & Instruction)

Hobbies

Reading, walking my dog, watching football, soccer, and college basketball.

Tutoring Subjects

History

Business

College Business

College Economics

College English

College Essays

College Level American History

Economics

English

Essay Editing

Government

High School Business

High School Economics

High School English

High School Level American History

Macroeconomics

MAP Prep

Social Sciences

Social studies

Sociology

STAAR Prep

STAAR EOC Prep

US History


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I try to make the content relevant to the student; with relevance comes understanding.

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

Typically, I will take time to get to know the student's strengths and weaknesses. How do they learn best? I also like to take the time to introduce myself.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I like to "mix up" how I teach the content. The more pop culture (sports, music, celebrity news, etc.) and interests of the client I can incorporate into the sessions, the more motivated the student will be to come back for more help.

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

The student and I will focus on that skill/concept for a few additional minutes and then revisit it later in the session. Additionally, I will review that skill or concept over the next several sessions.

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

I like to remind the students, indirectly, that they are not in class. Yes, I am a certified teacher, but the setting is much more relaxed and personal. If the student requires a tutor, they are likely struggling with the content in class -- I am not hired to have a classroom setting as a tutor.

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

Make the subject relevant. The more I know about a student's interests outside of school, the easier it is for me to make the content relevant.

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

I build "quizzes" into the sessions. I have assigned out-of-session work to give the student extra practice. I have students answer questions regarding the content in the form of a tweet. If the student can answer the question properly in their own words, they understand the concept.

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

Practice, practice, practice. Relevance, relevance, relevance.

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

It varies by subject. For example, if the student is struggling with writing, I will have them start by writing about their interests and then move to more academic topics.

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

PowerPoint, worksheets, short video clips (no more than 3-4 minutes typically), online articles.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By building confidence in the student's abilities with the content that I am helping them improve in.

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

I break down the reading paragraph by paragraph to ensure the student has an idea of what they are reading. Upon completion of this breakdown, I have the student summarize the reading in their own words - this ensures they comprehend the reading.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I ask the student: what is your greatest area of struggle (in the content)? Where do we need to put our time and energy? After this discussion and some time working with the student (30-45 min), I have the ability to determine where the student needs the most help.


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