A photo of Shaun, a tutor from James Madison University

Shaun

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Hola! I have taught Spanish for five years at the high school level. Unlike many other Spanish teachers I did not like Spanish in high school. In fact, I struggled a lot with it. However, after high school I was able to live in Mexico for two years and learned to love the language. Because of these experiences I know what it is like to struggle with the language, but I also know ways to make learning it easier and more understandable.

Through college I also gained experience writing essays and research papers. I acquired valuable knowledge and techniques in formal writing.

I currently work for my church as a director of religious education throughout western Pennsylvania. I have degrees in Philosophy and Religion (as well as Spanish) which give me a broad knowledge base and skills in textual analysis and application.

Shaun’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: James Madison University - Bachelor in Arts, Spanish & Religion

Graduate Degree: James Madison University - Master of Arts, Masters of Arts in Teaching

Hobbies

outdoor activities like cycling, drawing, and camping

Tutoring Subjects

College English

English

ESL/ELL

High School English

Social studies

Spanish 1

Spanish 2

Spanish 3

Spanish 4

World Religions


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

As a teacher, my goal is to enable students to learn without needing my help. I seek to develop within them skills that allow them to be independent learners.

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

I would first get to know the student by understanding their interest as well as their areas of struggle. This helps me to be able to tailor the lessons to them personally.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By giving them tools that allow them to learn the material rather than just showing them the answers.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

By ensuring that they have success. I start at a level where the student can achieve successes and gradually move up, all the while ensuring that the pace does not move beyond their ability.

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

Present the concept or skill in a variety of ways. Go back and make sure that the student has the background knowledge necessary to master the new content or skill.

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

I would first determine what is causing the lack of comprehension. Is it the level of vocabulary or a struggle with syntax? Depending on the root cause, I would find a strategy to help scaffold their reading.

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

I find ways to make the material applicable to them. I show them how they can use and practice what is being learned.

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

By being excited about it myself. Showing them how and why the material is interesting or fascinating.

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

Through informal assessments as we work. These assessments function as milestones or indicators of comprehension.

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

By giving them opportunities to be successful. Confidence is built by success.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

By talking to them and seeing examples of their work.

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

First by talking to them, and then by seeing their work. The methods and techniques I employ are determined by the student's level of comprehension and evidence of understanding.

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

I would use the textbooks and materials from their class, as well as additional practice websites or games.