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Bill

Certified Tutor

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As a certified substitute, I have teaching experience at every grade level, most of it in grades K-8; that's often in learning support rooms, working with small groups.
My acting and journalism experience give me a strong belief in the importance not only of conveying information, but of presenting it in the most effective, engaging way possible.
I have a strong belief in the importance of helping all students, especially those from lower-income backgrounds who may have fewer resources, develop the higher-level thinking skills necessary to:
identify a problem
ask the right questions to identify possible solutions
find the information necessary to answer those questions
My subbing and tutoring experience includes working with many ELL/ESL learners.
Within the framework of district-based learning goals, I will be as creative and consistent as possible in instilling in my students a love of reading, writing and effective communication.
I always seek opportunities to apply new ideas and strategies in the context of a well-prepared lesson plan. I will bring every ounce of energy, knowledge, creativity and life experience available to me to help make my students successful.

Bill’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Rhode Island - Bachelor in Arts, Education

Graduate Degree: Heritage University - Masters, Education

Hobbies

Crossword puzzles, acoustic guitar, fiction writing, hiking, kayaking, and riding his bike.


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I have a strong belief in the importance of helping all students, especially those from lower-income backgrounds who may have fewer resources, develop the higher-level thinking skills necessary to: · identify a problem · ask the right questions to identify possible solutions · find the information necessary to answer those questions My subbing and tutoring experience includes working with many ELL/ESL learners. Within the framework of district-based learning goals, I will be as creative and consistent as possible in instilling in my students a love of reading, writing and effective communication. I always seek opportunities to apply new ideas and strategies in the context of a well-prepared lesson plan. I will bring every ounce of energy, knowledge, creativity and life experience available to me to help make my students successful.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I'll help a student become an independent learner by trying to instill in them a love of reading, learning, and problem solving, and always putting the question back on them. For example, "What's your first step?"

How would you help a student stay motivated?

By trying to determine what the student's goals are, long-term and short-term, I can try to get them to think about what they have to do to get where they want to go. Stickers and M&Ms are useful, too. =-)

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

I would try to determine the difficulties through questioning exactly what they're not getting and why, and adjust my approach accordingly. Depending on the subject and grade, I'm a big believer in using props and manipulatives, ranging from maps to counting chips, dice, and plush toys. I'll try anything!

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

I use lots of patience, and always return to the text. If necessary, I'll lead them right to the relevant passage, have them read it aloud, and then read the question aloud again to see if it answers the question. I also seek ways to make the text "relatable" to them so it will carry more meaning.

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

I use a lot of humor to establish a bond and humanize myself, and to get a sense of their personality. I also, of course, question them about their interests, and try to tailor lessons to those interests and their personality.

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

First, I seek out their strengths in the subject to build confidence, and use lots of praise. Then, I try to use examples that will make it more interesting to them. That's usually pretty effective. I also make sure I don't give them more than they can handle so I don't set them up for failure.

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

I ask critical thinking questions to check for understanding, and/or have students do a problem, write a sentence, or otherwise show me they understand.

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

I'd get acquainted with them by talking about their interests and their feelings about school, including subjects in which they're successful and in which they struggle. I also review relevant past work samples to get a sense of their abilities. Finally, I discuss expectations, and I always bring activities relevant to the areas in which they indicate they want help.

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

I first try to engage them by using examples relevant to the subject with which the student can identify in some sense. I also make sure I begin with relatively easy tasks, graduating gradually to more complex tasks as their skills grow to ensure enough success to keep them striving.