A photo of Mike, a tutor from Northeastern Oklahoma State

Mike

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I have been teaching for almost 20 years and have been successful in various subjects with which elementary aged children tend to struggle. Many kids who have difficulty in school do so because they are not able to understand the way the material was presented. I have a unique gift for being able to explain the same subject in several different ways until I find a method that clicks. I am currently a US History teacher - for the past eight years. Before that I taught Science, Math, and English all at the Fourth and Fifth Grade level. I have also been a children's minister for the past 20 years. I am married and have four children. If there is anything else you want to know about, I am an open book. Feel free to ask me.

Mike’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Northeastern Oklahoma State - Bachelor of Science, Early Childhood Education

Hobbies

I love to spend time with my family. I am married and have four kids (12, 9, & twin 18 month olds). I enjoy teaching History because I get to tell stories. I am a youth pastor, so I enjoy planning and implementing church youth group events.

Tutoring Subjects

History

Arithmetic

College English

College Geography

College Level American History

Elementary Math

Elementary School Math

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Geography

High School English

High School Geography

High School Level American History

Math

Middle School Math

Other

Phonics

Pre-Algebra

Social studies

Summer

World Religions


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe, first and foremost, that children are capable of so much more than adults (or sometimes other kids) give them credit for. If they are challenged and then guided gently through those challenges, they can accomplish great things. Greatness is a matter of will, not age.

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

It really depends on what that individual student needs. I would first introduce myself to the student and their parents. Once they are comfortable with me, I would evaluate the student's needs on an individual basis.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I can help a student become an independent learner by facilitating his/her knowledge of the subject matter as well as general problem solving skills. Once a student has both background knowledge and the ability to utilize that knowledge, the rest is a matter of willpower.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Constant encouragement is paramount to motivation. I will push the student just like a coach pushes an athlete. Sometimes the lessons will be hard. However, with proper encouragement, I believe students will stay motivated out of a desire to prove to themselves and to me that they can achieve their goals.

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

In order to teach a skill that a student has specific difficulty with, I would re-introduce that skill in several different ways. I would keep on it until I find something that works well for the student in question.

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

For reading comprehension issues, I would read passages along with the student and then ask questions about it afterward. If the student is unable to answer the questions, I would guide them on where to find the answer after they have read the passage.

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

Upon first working with a new student, I have found that getting to know that student and gaining his/her trust is the best way to assess the academic needs of the student.

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

This is actually my strongest asset. I honestly don't know how to describe my methods; it is just a gift that I have!

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

In order to make sure a child understands material, I would ask him/her questions and then possibly ask the student to teach me the material.

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

Positive encouragement is very important in building a student's confidence in a subject. Also, affirmation of the things a student does correctly goes a long way towards self-confidence.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

To evaluate a student's needs, I would start by asking that student what he/she thinks the needs are. Then, I would get the parent's input on the same matter. Finally, I would test what they have told me by hands-on experience in any given subject that may be causing difficulty.

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

I adapt to their needs on an individual level by looking for new ways to teach a subject when traditional methods don't seem to work.

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

I use different materials based on what I am teaching and what the student needs. I always keep in my mind that I don't have infinite knowledge. If there is something I am not positive about, I am very proficient with Google! There, I can find nearly an infinite number of teaching materials based on the student's specific difficulty.