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Alex

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I received my BA cum laude in Anthropology—with a minor in History—from the University of Florida. Now, I am embarking on the challenging journey of earning my MA in Conflict Resolution from the University of Georgetown. During and after my time at the University of Florida, I worked not only as a tutor, but also as an EMT-Paramedic, a lifeguard, a martial arts instructor, and a swim instructor. I have been fortunate enough to travel to several different countries in Central America, South America, Africa, and the Caribbean. I have done medical aid work in both Nicaragua and Haiti. My teaching experiences outside of academic instruction include 8 years of teaching Kenpo Karate, several years of swimming instruction for noncompetitive swimmers and triathletes, and four years training college and graduate students at annual disaster response training exercises for the Consortium for Humanitarian Service and Education. I apparently aspire to have a resume similar to The-Most-Interesting-Man-In-The-World's.

As a teacher, I try to "guide learning" rather than just reciting facts or "teaching at" a student. I believe that discovery is the most exciting way to learn as well as the best method for producing long-term recall; it also tailors every learning experience to the individual student. I was most inspired to pursue this Socratic style of teaching after taking several courses in college from a professor who had perfected the technique. The majority of his class-time revolved around asking us questions that led us to the points he was trying to make. While not everything can be taught purely in this fashion, I try to make my lessons focus on principles and processes, creating a deeper understanding of the facts presented in class or in the textbook. I find that this technique works very well with math and physics, where understanding the theory is often the key to being able to see a problem and find the right path to a solution. I also try to apply this method to test preparation, so that students aren't just following a test-taking strategy because they were told to, they are using that strategy because they were encouraged to discover it for themselves and they understand why it works. Ultimately, I enjoy teaching because both the student and I can simultaneously improve in a process that never ceases to make us better.

When I'm not teaching, I enjoy pretty much any activity that gets me outside, especially if that outside happens to be in the woods or near the beach (I am from Florida after all...). While outside, I usually find myself running (again, in the woods if possible), reading, or attempting to channel my inner-Ron Swanson by building things from wood (I am at the table- and chair-level, definitely not the canoe-level. Yet).

Alex’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Florida - Bachelor in Arts, Anthropology

Graduate Degree: Georgetown University - Master of Arts, Conflict Resolution

Test Scores

SAT Composite: 2220

SAT Math: 740

SAT Verbal: 770

SAT Writing: 710

GRE: 333

GRE Verbal: 170

Hobbies

Trail Running, Handstands, Backpacking/Hiking, Swimming, 80s TV Shows, Art, Reading, Building Things/Carpentry/Using Power Tools

Tutoring Subjects

10th Grade Math

10th Grade Reading

10th Grade Writing

11th Grade Math

11th Grade Reading

11th Grade Writing

12th Grade Math

12th Grade Reading

12th Grade Writing

1st Grade Math

6th Grade Science

7th Grade Math

7th Grade Science

8th Grade Math

8th Grade Reading

8th Grade Science

8th Grade Writing

9th Grade Math

9th Grade Reading

9th Grade Writing

ACT Prep

ACT English

ACT Math

ACT Reading

ACT Science

ACT Writing

Adult Literacy

Advanced Placement Prep

Algebra

Algebra 2

Algebra 3/4

Anthropology

AP Calculus AB

AP US History

Art

Biology

Calculus

College Algebra

College Biology

College English

College Physics

College World History

Conversational French

Elementary Algebra

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Science

English

French

French 1

General Biology

Geometry

Gifted

Graduate Test Prep

GRE

GRE Analytical Writing

GRE Quantitative

GRE Verbal

Handwriting

High School Biology

High School Chemistry

High School English

High School Physics

High School World History

High School Writing

IB Mathematical Studies

IB Mathematical Studies SL

IB Mathematics

IB Mathematics SL

Intermediate Algebra

College Math

Languages

Math

Middle School Math

Middle School Reading

Middle School Science

Middle School Writing

Other

Persuasive Writing

Physical Chemistry

Physical Science

Physics

Pre-Algebra

Pre-Calculus

PSAT Critical Reading

PSAT Writing Skills

Quantitative Reasoning

SAT Prep

SAT Math

SAT Mathematics

SAT Reading

SAT Writing and Language

Science

Social Sciences

Social studies

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Summer

Test Prep

Trigonometry

US History

World Civilization

World History


Q & A

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

I like to get a sense of what the student's goals are and where they want/need to be academically within a time frame. After the first lesson, we should both have a good idea of what material we need to cover and what benchmarks we need to hit over the course of the semester/school year/other time frame.

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

I try to approach problem-solving and complex concepts from a variety of perspectives when a student is struggling. Not everyone sees things the same way, and I've found that using several examples and exploring alternate ways of looking at the problem can help different students with different learning styles master even complex material. Once we find the best way to convey information, we can improve our lessons' productivity and streamline the learning process.

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe in "facilitated learning" as opposed to rote "teaching." I try to guide the student to the answer--using guiding questions and connecting concepts--on their own. Discovering the information rather than simply having it told to them makes it more relevant and helps the lesson "stick" in their minds. It also improves problem-solving, extrapolation, and critical thinking.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Teaching a student to draw conclusions from what they have learned in class, think critically about information, and apply the subject knowledge to relevant problem-solving helps them to become independent thinkers. Paired with training study techniques and time management, these skills form the foundation any student needs to be successful and make the most of their education at any academic level.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I've found that keeping information relevant to the real world and each student's individual interests is usually the best way to motivate reluctant students. Sometimes, however, a student may be completely uninterested in the material or subject. This situation can be trickier and may require motivation to stem from an understanding that even if they absolutely loathe the subject matter, performing well in that class is necessary for whatever future plans they have, even if very indirectly.

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

Evaluating the specifics of why the student is struggling is the first step. After that, training specific techniques for slowing down reading speeds, summarizing information after each paragraph, underlining/highlighting important words, or even reading paragraphs in reverse order can all be used to boost reading comprehension.

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

Looking at information and concepts from different perspectives and using different techniques to solve problems at the start helps me and the student to learn how they assimilate information and solve those problems the best. This allows me to teach to their strengths and find the best approaches for their problem-solving preferences.