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Gary

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I am a graduate of Montclair State University in New Jersey with a degree in economics and geography. I have taught in New Jersey schools for 20 years. Much of my experience has been with middle-school students but I also have had significant experience with younger students. I have particular appreciation for students in their middle-school years. Their talents and abilities are truly emerging and it is a very satisfying thing to be a part of. I welcome the opportunity meet new students and do my best to help develop their unique and special abilities.

Gary’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Montclair State University - Bachelors, ECONOMICS, GEOGRAPHY

Hobbies

Travel, history, trail biking

Tutoring Subjects

History

Arithmetic

College English

College Geography

College Level American History

Elementary Math

Elementary School Math

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Geography

High School English

High School Geography

High School Level American History

Homework Support

Life Sciences

Math

Middle School Math

Other

Pre-Algebra

Reading

Social studies

Summer

World Religions

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

When addressing a problem or question, I prefer to let students express themselves fully, both in writing and orally. Then, together, we can examine the relative strengths and weaknesses of their initial findings. By building off of their own thinking, a greater final understanding can be reached.

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

Start with an initial discussion about them personally, and share some things about myself. I would then move on to discussing their thoughts and feelings about their studies. I would do my best to show acceptance of their feelings, while encouraging positive attitudes.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Success certainly builds success. I would continually point out and emphasize all successes the student achieves in our time, and what they share with me about their time in school. Especially important would be those successes students themselves did not think they could achieve.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

A positive attitude and confidence are the best engines of motivation. I would do my very best to remain positive in my approach to students. This will help in keeping them positive. Early, and hopefully continued success will lead to greater confidence.

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

Through discussion and examination of the students' efforts, I'd try to determine what the source of their difficulty might be jointly. Once the source of difficulty is discovered, especially by the students themselves, we'd discuss and work on ways to get past the difficulty.

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

Concentrating on the building blocks of written communication would be my approach. By that, I mean a thorough examination of each and every paragraph. I would emphasize that each paragraph is an idea, and that understanding the paragraph as a point that the writer is making would lead to better comprehension of the written work as a whole.

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

Building on what a student has considered and thought about in an approach to a problem, and then narrowing and focusing these thoughts to the desired outcome.

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

Lack of success in any subject can lead to discouragement. I would build up confidence as much as possible and stress that even small successes can lead to much greater success.

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

I would start simply giving the student a strong chance of early success and thus more success. As they experience success they will be much more interested and more confident.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Talking to students about how they feel they about their studies would be my first step. After getting a feel for the student, we would begin working on some problems or questions depending on the subject. In going through a variety of questions or problems a student's strengths and weaknesses will become more apparent.

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

I would have students explain their understanding in a written statement. Explaining something in writing requires thought and understanding. Patience and encouragement would be of utmost importance in that students are sometimes reluctant to put ideas into writing. It is, however, a valuable skill to develop and an excellent way to ensure student understanding.

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

Students, of course, have varying needs. The way I would adapt to this fact is by acknowledging to each student that I understand their particular difficulties. Young people, as all people, respond to having their feelings validated. This needs to be followed with encouragement, especially by emphasizing a student's particular strong points (points that I have observed and can point out).

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

Students will have many varying goals and needs. The use of materials would be based on these goals and needs. School texts and workbooks would be best for some students. Supplemental materials may be best for others.