A photo of Michael, a tutor from ITT Technical Institute

Michael

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Born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1975, I grew up in Edison in central NJ and was one of the class of 1993 from St. Joseph High School in Metuchen. St. Joseph's most famous graduate is Jim McGreevey, the former governor. Singer and musician Jon Bon Jovi also attended St. Joseph H. S. although he was not a graduate. Shortly after receiving my diploma I entered Rutgers University, though I would never graduate. In December of 2011 I enrolled at ITT Technical Institute. I started tutoring at there in the fall of 2013. ITT Tech is also where I finally received my bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in July of 2015.

Math is the subject I am most comfortable tutoring. Math is fun for me because it's so concrete, the answers are right or wrong. I guess I mean to say it's an exact science. English is more of an art that is based on opinions in the eye of the beholder and that's why I don't like it as much as math. But that's just my opinion.

As a hobby I collect movies. Some of my favorites are independent art films. For example, Pi, directed by Darren Aronofsky explores a mystical view of math. It is set in New York City, one of my favorite places to visit, and celebrates New York's distinctive mix of cultures.

My other hobbies are collecting various types of music and collecting Star Wars toys. I am anxiously awaiting the December premiere of "Star Wars VII : The Force Awakens."

Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime. What this means is, I am not answer service. I guide students through the steps of solving a problem. This is especially true for math. A successful student will progress towards understanding more advanced concepts, until he/she is hopefully ahead of me one day and no longer needs me.

Michael’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: ITT Technical Institute - Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering Technology

Test Scores

SAT Math: 740

Hobbies

Collecting movies, collecting various types of music, browsing the web, reading.


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My philosophy is not to give answers but to grow a student's understanding of concepts so he/she will be able to arrive at the answers him/herself.

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

I would dive right into the material. Time is precious. I would make him/her feel at ease in asking questions and offering feedback.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

It's important not to give out the answer. I would guide a student through the material step-by-step, fostering an understanding of the concepts.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

By being attentive to his academic needs. I would give a student a question right at his skill level with the right amount of challenge.

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

I would let him know that I originally had trouble with algebra in high school. When I found the right tutor, algebra was a piece of cake.

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

I leave plenty of time for the reading and reread the material as many times as I need to. Sometimes it helps to read the questions before starting the reading.

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

Don't give out the answers! Guide the student through, step-by-step. Be available for questions and ask the student questions to ensure he/she is grasping the material.

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

I would ask the student to engage me in some role play. We would pretend he/she is the tutor and I am the student, and ask that he/she try to teach me the material. This is what university graduate students do. They work as teachers, and in doing this enhance their own knowledge of the subject.

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

I would recommend a movie for the student's leisure time. "Pi," directed by Darren Aronofsky, or "Stand and Deliver" will whet a student's interest in math. "Shakespeare In Love" would stimulate interest in the study of his works in an English class.