My name is Chad Geary (as you've probably discovered on your own), and I love to teach. Friends, family, acquaintances, and even students of mine have come to me for tutelage for my entire life. From elementary school to last week, I have been editing resumes, writing letters, and building computers for those around me. I even taught, formally, in a public school down in the bayous of Louisiana. Unfortunately, I learned that having 250 students under my supervision did not allow me to take advantage of some of my greatest strengths and interests. I needed to find something that would allow me to work with students on a more personal level -- a position that provided the time, space, and attention to really help my students achieve.
Now, here I am, years later, with a wealth of skills and experience that I simply can't wait to pass on through tutoring. I have earned two Bachelor's degrees, held jobs in just about every field imaginable, and generally lived a life that has taught me the value inherent in all of humanity. And as a member of humanity, you have the right to achieve. You have the right to ask for help. And you have the ability to make a difference in the world. Together, you and I will hone the tools you need to reach your endless potential. I do not have the answer to every question. But I do believe that the two of us working together will find the answers that only two great minds can produce.
Whether you need a refresher, extra motivation, a routine, some accountability, or simply more time, you and I can work together to get it. This is not simply flowery words hiding empty promises. There are tried and true methods of collaboration that we will employ to help you reach your goals. If you're looking for help in language, math, science, humanities, or even guitar, you and I can work together to do something great. So go ahead and send me a message; I can't wait to start working with you!
Undergraduate Degree: West Virginia University - Bachelor in Arts, Philosophy
Undergraduate Degree: Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College - Bachelor in Arts, English - Writing and Culture
ACT Composite: 31
Writing, reading, watching movies/TV/other, politics, philosophy
High School English
Introduction to Poetry
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in a progressivist, Deweyan teaching style. It consists of cooperative learning (student-to-student and student-to-instructor), collaboration, and hands-on training. It is less focused on lecture and more focused on practical and collaborative work.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
A first session will usually consist of gaining an understanding of the problem (assignment, skills, etc.) and developing a strategy together. We'll then find out where the student stands regarding the problem and see how far we need to go and in what timeframe. Then, the only thing left to do is get started.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Independent learning is, in my estimation, all about motivation. When a student is interested in learning, then it comes naturally and becomes less of a chore. My job is to figure out what motivates each student and help her/him figure out how to implement that motivation.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Staying motivated is a very personal process for each student (and tutor!). The real key is to determine what will be a motivator in each individual case. Once we've established what might work -- external rewards, relating topics to areas of interest, routine and scheduling, etc. -- then coming up with the program to highlight that method is the easy part.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
There are tons of different methods to help make a difficult concept more manageable, from breaking it down into smaller steps to simply dedicating time to practice. Everybody will have a particular approach that speaks to her/him on a particular concept, so it's really having a breadth of methods that's most important.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension is about finding ways to make the material speak to you in a language you understand. To put it another way, the information must be encoded in your own words, so to speak. A difficult, highly technical text requires being able to visualize the connections between the concepts being discussed, for example. Something more creative, like a novel or poem, is predicated more on understanding each word and being able to translate it into your internal language.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Most students tend to come into a session without too much preliminary work done (which is absolutely fine, and sometimes even preferable). When that's the case, we usually have a couple of things to do to get off the ground. First, we have to understand the issue we'll be working on. Second, we have to get some idea of how that issue might be best addressed with the two of us working together. After that, what I've found to be most helpful is brainstorming (or something along those lines). Once we have multiple ideas on how to approach a problem, then we can start to narrow down and refine the best ones.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
For most students, engagement stems from relevance. In other words, if a student can't see how a subject is relevant to her/his life, then she/he is unlikely to find it very compelling. (Teaching British literature to high school seniors in a poor, urban environment highlighted this challenge for me.) But when the conversation is changed to be about something that has a tangible impact, it's much easier to get the student to care. For example, you might not ever be asked about a Shakespeare play on a job interview, but knowing how to communicate in different versions of the English language will absolutely help you in that same interview.