I am from the United Kingdom originally where I also read law/psychology earning a JD/LLB and a PhD. My family and I have been in the US for about 10 years.
I love teaching. I come from a family of teachers and educators and got my first experience in a classroom full of gifted students with learning difficulties. I have enjoyed the experience of teaching since. My experience spans community college students to undergraduate and graduate learners. I currently have about 15 Doctoral/Research students for whom I serve both as Mentor and Dissertation Chairperson.
I enjoy the opportunity to be a mentor. In fact, I relish the experience and have realized that I learn as much from my students as they do from me.
I am currently on a sabbatical from my university where I serve as a law professor. I am in the middle of two books on law/psychology and a science fiction novel about artificial intelligence.
In my spare time, I research and write. With a penchant for classical music and horse riding, I find it useful to temper my scholarly exuberance with some distractions such as driving fast and far to clear my mind. I also operate, with some very able and committed colleagues, a Not-for-profit organization dedicated to assisting people get into gainful employment.
University of Hertfrodshire, United Kingdom - LLB/JD, Law
University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom - PhD, Law
What is your teaching philosophy?
Students learn best when their curiosity is aroused and the mentor taps into their interest. This is achieved through the process of questions and answers designed to encourage pregenerative thinking.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Lay the foundation for a successful learning experience. Learning should be about discovery, and not stress.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By encouraging the student to get curious and seek answers. In other words, develop the research mentality.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By asking probing questions, celebrating originality, and encouraging thinking on one's feet.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Ensure the student understands why the skill is important. Then work with that student to develop the best method to learning it.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Students love positive and genuine attention. They also want to be entertained. That combination always works.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
By finding a way to make it fun but serious. The point of learning is that what is learned is useful and mentally simulating. Helping the student see the value goes a long way.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Questions. Questions. Questions. All roads lead to Washington.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Students like to be genuinely encouraged. When they get it right or are moving in the right direction, positive and genuine reinforcement push them further.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Nothing beats observation in terms of student's presence of mind, work output, and level of interaction.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
A classroom full of students does not learn at the same speed or same way. While teaching may be done generally, students are more successful on a one to one basis. Adapting the lecture to a student's way of learning is crucial. This is done by tapping into the student's interest zone and figuring out what is important to them. Using the mentor approach.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Personal lecture notes, primary and secondary sources, textbooks, stories, and technology.