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Every student has a unique learning style, a unique way of understanding the world. As a tutor I analyze how each student learns best and patiently adapt my teaching style to his/her needs. My aim is that each student think critically and come to understand the material in his/her own way, rather than learning answers and methods by rote memorization.

Undergraduate Degree:

Taylor University - Bachelor in Arts, Graphic Design

Guitar, theater

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that every student is unique and deserves the very best opportunity to succeed. My job as a teacher is to help students learn to maximize their strengths to overcome every challenge.

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

In my first session, I help the student identify long-term and short-term goals for what they want to accomplish through our tutoring sessions, provide an assessment to determine where the student stands in relationship to those goals (in particular his/her strengths and learning style), and then lay out a plan for achieving those goals.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I avoid feeding students answers or teaching a formula by rote memorization, and instead use Socratic questioning and subtle hints to steer them towards a solution. I also do my best to teach students how to locate learning resources and think through difficult instructions.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

The best way to help a student stay motivated is by presenting the material in a way that gives him/her a feeling of success when a challenge is overcome, and by keeping the material interesting so that it never becomes a dull slog. Humor is a great tool for that.

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

I would identify the student's learning style and attempt to approach the concept through a method more in line with that. I would also break the concept down into smaller pieces that build on each other to provide a shallower learning curve.

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

Reading comprehension is a broad subject, so if a student is struggling, I try to identify what the real challenge is. Is it just vocabulary? Is the problem reading fluency? Or are they intimidated by complex language? Once I know where the student is struggling, I can work with them to practice. I will also help students to identify important details as they read so they can come back to those details later, making sure they don't just forget everything they read by the time they get to the end of the text.

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

As a tutor, I am always dealing with concepts the student was taught in the classroom but forgot or didn't understand. Starting out then, it always makes sense to have the student explain what they do understand, what is confusing, or what they have forgotten. Usually students understand the subject better than they think they do, and a simple nudge gives them an "oh yeah!" moment that gives the lesson some momentum. But the strategy also is helpful because it helps me identify immediately what teaching strategy did not work for the student and what gaps need to be filled.

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

One way I like to get a student engaged is to find a way to relate it to something they care about in the real world. If a student is into sports, I might find some real-life sports statistics to use for math, or if they're into music, I might use articles about musicians or even song lyrics for reading comprehension. But the best method for getting a student engaged is to give them a sense of success. The greatest impediment to engagement is the student thinking "I'm no good at this," or, "I can't do this."

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

The best way is to have the student teach the material back to me - to have them walk me through a concept or problem as if I am the student.

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

I break the concept down into smaller pieces that build on each other. For the student, each individual piece is easy, and that gives them a sense of success and progress as they build upwards, until the ultimate goal feels easy.