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Reuben

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I hold a double degree from Pepperdine's undergraduate college in International Studies and German Language. I also hold an Msc in Global Media and Communications from the London School of Economics and an MA in Global Communications from the University of Southern California. I tutor most elementary and middle school subjects and also Algebra, AP (and non-AP) US History, and ESL. I have tutored elementary, middle and high school and some college, With that, I have tutored math, science, reading, English, history and some ESL as well. My teaching philosophy is to help partner with the students and walk them through processes to discover the solution to their problem/question on their own.

I begin by working to understand the student and how he/she learns, and then work to find a teaching style that would help use their strengths to help improve their areas of improvement. I enjoy math the most as I enjoy helping students understand math in a way they have not thought about it before. That is a subject that is most often seen as scary or impossible, so helping a student get it is really fun to see.

Outside of work, I enjoy traveling (been to 48 countries and 49 states), learning about different cultures, hiking, playing sports (soccer and volleyball), and reading.

Reuben’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Pepperdine University - Bachelor in Arts, German and International Studies: Intercultural Communication

Graduate Degree: London School of Economics and University of Southern California - Masters, Global Media and Communication

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 30

Hobbies

Travel, hiking, reading, playing sports, knitting, experiencing new things

Tutoring Subjects

Algebra

History

AP US History

College English

College Geography

College Level American History

Elementary Math

Elementary School Math

English

ESL/ELL

Geography

High School English

High School Geography

High School Level American History

Math

Middle School Math

Pre-Algebra

Reading

Social studies


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My philosophy is that every student has the ability to academically achieve anything for which he/she is willing to work. I work with students to think about problems differently and help them see patterns or devise methods to learn the material they struggle to master.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Help the student learn to learn and give them tools they can employ when working alone. Also, after teaching them new tools, I have them work some independently while we are together in order to see how they mastered it. That allows me to see what they understood and did not so we can review right then.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I would help a student stay motivated by showing them what they can achieve (intrinsic value) and how achieving now will greatly impact their futures.

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

I would see first if there is another way to think about the same topic. This could be by describing it differently, using an analogy of something they might understand better to explain what they are missing.

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

Help them start by taking it as slow as needed in reading, and explain what smaller sections mean before trying to read an entire section. Also, I would encourage them to write down notes after every paragraph or two about what the main point was. This way, they can get understanding in smaller segments.

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

The most important thing is to have a conversation with the student about where they feel they are and where they want to get to. Understanding them and their goals (what drives them) helps me to determine the best way to help them succeed. I also like to see how they process through problems or questions. That again helps me to understand how they think and what they might be missing that I can help to strengthen.

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

One thing I like to do is to break down the successes into smaller segments so they are easier to reach. Oftentimes, I find students do not get excited about subjects they struggle in. If they can feel more confident in them with small wins quickly, then they are more likely to become engaged. They feel like they can actually do what is needed.

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

For certain subjects, having them work small problems on their own allows me to see if they understood the material. If they did not get it, then we can continue to work right then. If they do get it, then we can celebrate together right then. Another technique is to have them explain it to me. If a person can teach something, then that shows they understand it.

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

Find small wins/successes they can get quickly. This helps them gain confidence that they can reach further. Also, explaining the steps differently can help them get things better as they might think differently. Then, if they understand through a different way of looking at it, then they can feel better about a topic.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Talk to the students to see what their perspective is on their issues. Then talk to their parents about the same thing (if applicable). Afterwards, I would see them work through problems to see how they think and process material. This gives me a sense of what is needed and how to approach a topic based on how they think.

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

As I have tutored many subjects of all ages, I have worked with people that all learn differently. Therefore I get to know the student first to see what they need. I see them work to see what they need in person, and then I work through how to support them. As things continue, if a certain approach is not working, then I try using different tactics until they respond positively.

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

This is highly dependent on the subject and age of the student. The main material is whatever work they are currently doing in classes. This may be recent work that was incorrect that we go over and then correct, or it could be additional problems or questions to help prep for a test.

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

The first session would start with getting to know the student; to know what perspective they have on their roadblocks and what they want to achieve. Then I would talk to the parents (as applicable) for the same information. Afterwards, I would have them work through some problems or questions out loud to see how they process and work through questions. This helps me understand where they are, their motivations, and then how they think so I can meet them there and go forward.