A photo of Robert, a tutor from Towson State University

Robert

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To me there is nothing more exciting and rewarding then to see a child or adult's eyes light up because s(he) learned something. Every intellectual accomplishment builds a little bit of self-confidence that motivates the child to want to learn more because s(he) knows s(he) can do it. I have devoted my life to helping individuals meet their dreams of college and a successful career. I have benefited like my students because I know I have the ability to reach minds and hearts with my God-given ability to patiently and clearly teach mathematics. Each day, like my clients are to learn, I am motivated to teach.

With a BS in Mathematics,twenty-eight years a public school teacher and seven years a tutor since retirement, I have had vast experiences instructing young students in elementary and secondary schools, as well as in undergraduate and graduate universities, in general math, Algebra 1-2 and College Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Precalculus, Differential/Integral Calculus, Probability, Statistics and Finite Mathematics. I have always maintained a good rapport with students because of my obvious caring and respect for young people. A true "kid at heart," I am blessed with a good sense of humor that resonates with young folks.

Experience has taught me how to effectively solve students' learning problems. I listen carefully to students and parents from session to session, find out how an individual best learns (visual, auditory, kinesthetic preference), observe as s(he) does problems to see why mistakes are being made, correct and give follow-up practice, all the while building the student's all-important self-confidence. Motivation builds from this improving confidence; students meet challenges I give them and want more. For younger minds I build more interest in math by playing learning games. With parent permission, I communicate and work closely with classroom teachers. As much as I can, I plan for tutoring sessions beforehand to ensure maximum learning will take place. All my efforts reflect my dedication to teaching.

Robert’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Towson State University - Bachelor of Science, Mathematics

State Certified Teacher

Hobbies

reading, video games, charity help, spectator sports


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Whether you're teaching an entire class or tutoring a student, the keys to effective teaching/tutoring are: 1. Developing a caring and trusting relationship with the student; 2. Finding out what s(he) is having trouble learning, and what may be blocking it; 3. Giving interesting and clear explanations to the student using the learning modality the student is most successful with, and 4. Praising the student for his or her accomplishment to inspire him/her to learn more.

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

In a typical first session, I introduce myself and show immediate caring and a sense of humor to the student so I can find out about him or her and what the learning problem(s) may be. Sometimes external problems (a poor teacher, perhaps, or maybe poor study skills) are obvious, and I try to immediately start the building process of self-confidence by explaining the problems to the student. I continue building a good relationship by showing the student how we are a successful team.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

The first step is to show your student that they can learn whatever the have been having trouble with, and then you present to your them strategically-placed and increasingly higher-level thinking questions to build their cognitive problem-solving ability. To accomplish this, I always try to plan sessions ahead of time.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

The key here is to show the student immediate and continual successes as I animatedly teach, using interesting and real-life related examples. For students of any age, learning through challenging games is a very effective way to instill motivation.

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

I find out the exact reasons the student is not learning something (for example, perhaps concepts were poorly taught by the teacher, or perhaps the student doesn't understand a previous concept or skill needed to understand the concept in question). The student might be able to verbalize this to me or the trouble may show up in his or her responses to my questions.

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

To help a student understand a word problem, I advise him or her to read the problem at least twice (the first time very slowly) and consciously ask: What am I trying to find? Are there any keywords that might hint at what operation(s)to use? Is there any unnecessary information? I employ visualization and role-playing in the problem-solving process. Whenever I start with a new client, I ask her or him to read some problems out loud to see if the problem may be that the student cannot read well.

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

As I've stated in answers to previous questions, I build a personal relationship with the student to make him or her comfortable. Then, I find out what the learning problem(s) may be, why, and by what modality (visual, auditory, or kinesthetic) the client learns most effectively.

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

The mere experience of self-success motivates the student to learn further. My personal rapport with my client makes her or him know that the session is worth paying attention to. For folks of all ages, challenges in game format really will keep most students engage.

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

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

First, I connect personally with the student to gain trust. With clarity, I teach the student a concept that troubled them to gain self-confidence as well as confidence in my ability to help them.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Initially, I will talk with the student to get her or his perception of what the problem(s) is/are. A talk with parents and the classroom teacher is also helpful. I then carefully listen to the answers the student gives as I explain a concept in question. At times, that will uncover the crux of what caused the student to get stuck in the first place.

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

When I first meet with a student, I ask from his or her perspective what the learning problem(s) are. I also ask how s(he)best learns (by seeing, listening or manipulating concrete objects). I try to teach as much as I can through that modality. In explaining a concept in question, if I see a concept or skill the student should already know that's preventing learning progress, I go back and correct that. It is very important to keep a student actively involved so I can get this information.

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

When tutoring, I employ a textbook, already prepared materials (I do plan ahead as much as I can), and a laptop with a variety of educational websites to choose from. As much as I can, I work in tandem with the classroom teacher and ask him or her what materials he or she might have that can be sent home with the child.