My name is David. I am a husband and father of 4 children. I graduated from Lebanon Valley College in 1998 with a Business Management degree. For the past 13 years I have held different sales positions, but most notably owned an insurance agency. I decided in 2011 to change my career to education and recently completed my Masters Degree with McDaniel College. I now hold a certification in Mathematics grades 7-12. I have always had a passion for working with children and even coached High School Football for the past 13 years. When I am not teaching I love to spend time with my family. I enjoy golfing and watching Notre Dame Football. I set high expectations in everything I do including teaching. As a parent I understand the value of a teacher who can make a difference in the lives of children.
Helping students succeed in Mathematics is very important to me. I understand the challenges that students face especially with the transition to common core curriculum. During my teaching certification process I conducted many after school study sessions to help students who may need additional assistance. I also held weekly study sessions to help students prepare for HSA exams along with SAT prep. My goal is to ensure students perform to the best of their ability.
Undergraduate Degree: Lebanon Valley College - Bachelor of Science, Business Management
Graduate Degree: McDaniel College - Master of Science, Secondary Math Certification
I love to golf and watch football, baseball and football
What is your teaching philosophy?
Education is at the core of what makes us who we are, and it gives us the tools to achieve what we aspire to be. I think that education not only teaches us about math, science, history, and English, but it also teaches us how to navigate through life. There are many children who do not have the benefit of experiencing these lessons, and they suffer the consequences on a daily basis. It is my belief that everyone should be entitled to the same educational opportunities no matter their race, beliefs, or economic status. As a society that believes in the freedom to be whom or whatever we want, it is pivotal that we put those words into action. My goal is to find ways to reach out to each and every child and provide them with the same opportunities as everyone else. I don't think we should just push children through the system just to say that we afforded them the same opportunity as other children. So it is essential that I set high standards and expectations for all my students. My challenge is going to be finding ways to make sure each child succeeds in the classroom and in life. I am personally responsible for molding young men and women in today's society. Every day is an opportunity for me as an educator to make a difference in the lives of children. Many children are looking to us for guidance and direction in life, and it is my responsibility to give them the best direction possible. I am not only responsible for making sure that the students obtain good grades, but I am also responsible for making sure kids know the difference between right and wrong. The skills that I can provide kids in the classroom are the same skills that they will use for the rest of their lives. The ability to think, solve, and interact are all key functions that everyone needs to survive. I expect that every child that walks into my classroom is willing to give everything they have to be successful, and in return, I will do the same. It is important to empower the students and give them a sense of ownership with their learning. This will allow the students to take pride in their work and motivate them to succeed. My role as a teacher is to provide them with direction and guidelines to follow in order to accomplish their goals. Each child will possess a different learning style or motivating factor. The responsibility is on my shoulders to find ways to appeal to their learning styles and build on their strengths. It is pivotal that I am able to pinpoint the key motivators and assist the students to strive to do their best. There are days when there are going to be many obstacles in our way that prohibit us from achieving success in the classroom. I believe those are the days that we need to take a step back and remember why we are doing this. I am doing this because I care and have a passion to lead children. They possess vulnerability and a lack of direction in life. It is my responsibility to provide them with the protection and guidance they need in order to conquer the challenges they may face. I feel that every educator at their core has a deep rooted desire to make a difference in someone's life. My goal as an educator is to have every student, at some point in their short time with me, realize that I really do have a genuine concern for their success. There are going to be moments when we don't see eye to eye or times where their behavior may warrant corrective action. As long as they know that I care and have done everything I can to ensure they succeed, it will be worth it in the end.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During the first session, I would typically try to diagnose the major areas of need for the student. I would also try to familiarize myself with the student and make them feel like they are in a safe learning environment. From there, we would set up a game plan for success.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner by helping them build their confidence. That starts by building a foundation of essential skills. In mathematics, it is pivotal to build a solid foundation for the students to fall back on when the content becomes more difficult.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would continue to give the student positive reinforcement. I would also make sure that the student experiences some type of success in every lesson. Finally, I would make sure the student feels safe and is not afraid to make mistakes and fail at times.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try to diversify my instruction with the student and try alternate methods to teach the student a specific skill or concept. Some skills or concepts are better learned visually, while other require hands-on experience. It is my job to find the right balance to ensure the success of the student.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I try to break the problem down into smaller components and highlight the key terms and phrases necessary to solve the problem. I attempt to eliminate any extra information that will cause confusion for the student.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found that in mathematics, the best strategy when working with a new student is scaffolding a concept or skill. I first introduce an easier problem based on the content area, and I continue to build on the degree of difficulty while the student models all of the examples. This will help me diagnose any areas of weakness and develop an applicable action plan.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would attempt to make the subject matter something that they can relate to in their lives. I find that when teaching math, you always have students questioning when they will ever use the material. Many times, I try to lead with a real world situation that illustrates where they can see the skill or concept used in the real world.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would use formative assessments, such as exit tickets or quizzes, to help me get a gauge of whether or not the student has a firm grasp on the content.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I use a combination of formative and summative assessments to help me do an evaluation of each student, along with homework and classwork assignments.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Every student has a different way of learning. It is my job to find the most effective way each student learns and tailor my instruction to meet the needs of that student.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I typically use online textbook resources, along with Study Island, and I create my own worksheets to supplement instruction. I use instructional videos from the Internet also.