I was a practicing lawyer in New York for two years before relocating to Florida with my family this past July. I have a BA in English from Fordham University and a JD from Albany Law School. I have developed strong writing and analytical skills, through both academia and professional experience, and I would appreciate the opportunity to provide assistance to students looking to develop these same skills. I am a firm believer in the value of learning in general, and writing in particular. If I can help students to see and appreciate that value, I believe that I can better motivate them to learn.
Undergraduate Degree: Fordham University - Bachelors, English
Graduate Degree: Albany Law School - PHD, Law
Cooking, reading, writing.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Learning is not so much about memorizing as it is about understanding. There is a deeper logic to information, and if you can understand it, the facts tend to fall into place.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, I think it is important to reach an understanding about a student's goals and motivations. From there, we can build a plan for reaching them.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner by fostering a sense of interest and curiosity in the subject. Interested students will be more apt to pursue their learning without specific direction.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would help a student stay motivated by reinforcing with the student, not only the specific goals the student has, but also the greater value of the information to be learned. I would also remind the student that we learn more from our mistakes than from our successes.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I might try to reformulate our approach so as to better suit the student's existing understanding and methods of learning.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I attribute much of my own reading comprehension to reading the works of Charles Dickens. By slowly working through grammatically difficult material such as that, together with the student, I believe I can help the student to extract the necessary meaning.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I believe it is important to get an idea of a student's existing interests when starting out. It can help to develop a learning track that the student will find meaningful and relevant.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
All knowledge is interconnected. I believe that by showing the connection to subjects that interest the student more, I can engage the student better in the more troublesome area.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would like for a student to be able to discuss the material with me directly. Papers and assignments have their place, but understanding is better proved through on-the-spot interaction.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Confidence is a product of fundamental understanding. I believe that a focus on a subject's core principles will help the student realize that it can be understood.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's needs by maintaining a regular discourse, so as to see where their understanding is strongest and where it is weakest.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I believe it is important to focus on drills and techniques that prove effective. Which drills and techniques those are, however, become apparent only over time.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Aside from the obvious pen and paper, I prefer to begin with the materials selected by the student. Once strengths and weaknesses become apparent, however, those can be supplemented accordingly.