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Brendan

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I am currently a Latin teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools. I have a degree in jazz saxophone from Loyola University New Orleans, where I also majored in classical studies. My minor was in medieval studies.

I am going to be entering my third year teaching Latin. Before that, I was a substitute teacher and musician. I have taught Latin 1, 3 and 4 and am preparing to teach all levels in the coming school year.

I'm a great tutor because 1) I know my subjects; 2) I love languages and literature and the nuts and bolts of the writing process, and I know how to translate this passion to students I work with; 3) I love working with students - I especially like when I can see that they finally understand something they've been struggling with.

Brendan’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Graduate Degree: Loyola University New Orleans - Unknown, Music, Classics, Medieval Studies

Test Scores

SAT Subject Test in Latin: 730

SAT Subject Test in Literature: 730

Hobbies

Playing saxophone and mandolin, reading

Tutoring Subjects

AP Latin

AP Music Theory

Foreign Language

Greek

Languages

Latin

Latin 1

Latin 2

Latin 3

Latin 4

Music

Music Theory

Other

SAT Subject Test in Latin

SAT Subject Tests Prep

Saxophone

Summer


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Every student can succeed in any subject. All it takes is hard work on the student's part and creative explanation on the teacher's.

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

Talk. Every student is different and has different needs and interests. I tailor what I teach to each student's strengths and weaknesses.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I teach strategies and patterns rather than just facts.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

First, by acknowledging and validating their struggles. School is hard sometimes, and there is nothing wrong with that! Beyond that, though, I help students look at seemingly overwhelming problems and figure out how to break them up into small, achievable steps.

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

Reteach in a different way. Students each have different learning styles, and what works for one student won't work for another.

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

Explicitly lay out reading strategies, perhaps by articulating a series of reading questions (with the student's input) to answer for each passage or reading assignment.

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

Find a way to connect that subject with the student's strengths and interests. As a teacher, I also tell stories in class frequently, and present information humorously.

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

Formal and informal assessment. I constantly do informal checks of my students' understanding. I also know that sometimes students need time to process complex ideas.

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

I teach with strategies and problem-solving skills as often as I can. Students who understand how subjects work - and each subject works differently - are always more confident.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

A combination of self-reporting and diagnostic assessment. I ask students (and their parents) what they think they need help with. I also do independent tests to see where students' strengths and weaknesses lie.