A photo of Paul, a tutor from Guilford College

Paul

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I graduated from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC in 2011 with a B.A. in English and Philosophy. After school, I moved to Seattle, WA and began my career in education as a private tutor for high-risk high school students. I loved it so much that I applied for City Year, a rigorous AmeriCorps program wherein I spent a year volunteering at a high-needs middle school in Seattle as a tutor and mentor. City Year was difficult, but it opened my eyes to my professional and personal strengths, and deepened my interest in pursuing education as a career.

When my term with AmeriCorps was finished, I continued to work at the school I had served at as an Instructional Aide to the teachers there, and I was even given the opportunity to teach my own summer course in Filmmaking. I made a cheesy music video for my students and taught them the basics of narrative and film, then gave them their own video cameras and let them create their own films in small groups. It was way too much fun.

I recently moved back to the east coast to help my grandmother transition into nursing care, and was very fortunate to find Varsity Tutors to help me keep my skills sharp. Although I'm passionate about teaching, I consider myself a student of life first and foremost, and I'm always open to learn new tricks, or improve upon skills I already have. My philosophy when it comes to tutoring is simply this: I always strive to improve myself and the lives of those around me.

My primary area of focus is Language Arts, because that's where most of my experience lies, and because writing is my greatest artistic passion in life. I have immense respect for math-minded folks, but I definitely fall much more into the right-brained category. If you're looking for someone to push you as a writer, reader, poet, historian, psychologist, or philosopher, look no further.

Paul’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Guilford College - Bachelor in Arts, English

Hobbies

Poetry, Writing, Reading, Music, Film, Hiking, Cooking, Video Games, Traveling

Tutoring Subjects

10th Grade Reading

10th Grade Writing

11th Grade Reading

11th Grade Writing

12th Grade Reading

12th Grade Writing

1st Grade Reading

1st Grade Writing

2nd Grade Reading

2nd Grade Writing

3rd Grade Reading

3rd Grade Writing

4th Grade Reading

4th Grade Writing

5th Grade Reading

5th Grade Writing

6th Grade Reading

6th Grade Writing

7th Grade Reading

7th Grade Writing

8th Grade Reading

8th Grade Writing

9th Grade Reading

9th Grade Writing

Adult Literacy

History

American Literature

AP United States History

AP US History

College English

College Essays

College Geography

College Level American History

College Level American Literature

Comparative Literature

Conversational German

Creative Writing

Elementary Math

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing

English

English Grammar and Syntax

ESL/ELL

Essay Editing

European History

Expository Writing

Fiction Writing

Geography

German

German 1

Gifted

High School English

High School Geography

High School Level American History

High School Level American Literature

High School Writing

Introduction to Poetry

Journalism

Languages

Literature

Math

Middle School

Middle School Math

Middle School Reading

Middle School Writing

Other

Persuasive Writing

Phonics

Poetry Writing

Pre-Algebra

Public Speaking

Reading

Short Novel

Social studies

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Summer

Vocabulary

World Religions

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

As someone who has worked with all kinds of diverse students--from low-income urban students to wealthy suburban students and everything in between, I believe that all students are capable of great achievements. One of the first things I always stress with my students is that the mindset they bring to our sessions has a serious impact on how much they can expect to improve--those who approach learning with excitement and humility always see the greatest growth. I strive to not only teach my students the content they're looking for, but also instill in them a thirst for learning on a deeper level that will stay with them for a lifetime.

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

During my first session with any student, I feel it is critically important to assess where the student's ability is before I begin to design a game plan for their growth. Too often, I've seen educators attempt to treat students with scattershot or blanketed methods, which often leaves struggling students feeling helpless and advanced students feeling bored. I strive to meet my students at their current level and then customize a learning plan for each and every one of them that will produce the greatest possible results in the shortest amount of time.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Turning a student into an independent learner does not come by asking them to regurgitate facts. It comes by instilling a deeper, more lasting passion for learning--one that extends far beyond our tutoring sessions and into their daily lives.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

In order to motivate a student, one must first understand their personality on some level. Once I have a sense of their interests, hobbies, and goals, I can then begin to use language that motivates them by reminding them that success in the classroom can greatly help them become the type of person they strive to be.

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

Often times, the mistake I see educators make is that they try to "beat a student over the head" with one approach several times, shaking their head when the student fails to grasp the concept. This is not the student's fault--it is the educator's. When I see that one particular approach isn't working for a student, I attack the problem from an entirely different angle until one clicks for the student.

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

The most common reason that students struggle with reading comprehension, in my experience, is that they have been pressured to read quickly so as to appear "smart" in front of their teachers or peers. Students must understand that slow and steady wins the race when it comes to reading--oh, and rereading is critically important and too often untaught, too.