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Jacob

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I am eager to help students thrive because I'm still very much a student myself, and will be for the foreseeable future. Though I enjoyed my time as an undergraduate student in Literature, and learned quite a bit during my time at Vanderbilt, there's still more work to be done. I am working towards a Master's degree, and will continue on from there.

Though I am more than happy to help where needed anywhere from K-12, I am most experienced with test prep tutoring. The SAT and ACT tests can be an extremely stressful event for students, especially first time test-takers, so I do my best to go beyond the material covered by the tests and prepare students for the experience of taking the test itself, so that when the day comes, they are confident and prepared to tackle whatever challenges rise up before them.

The way that I teach generally falls in line with the way that I learn best myself: discussion and collaborative explanation. When approaching difficult material, lecturing at a student leaves much to be desired. I aim to help them arrive at conclusions and realizations on their own by building on material with which they are already comfortable and confident, and working together towards a solution rather than giving the answer and expecting it to simply be memorized.

Outside of academic pursuits, I enjoy many creatively-focused hobbies, primarily writing, acting, and even juggling! I am thankful for the opportunity in my time at Vanderbilt to combine all three into an annual show that not only brought smiles to the faces of a campus, but had the chance to reach out into the Nashville community and make a difference.

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Jacob’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Vanderbilt University - Bachelors, English Literature

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 35

ACT English: 36

ACT Math: 34

ACT Reading: 35

ACT Science: 33

SAT Math: 760

GRE Verbal: 163

GRE Analytical Writing: 5.5

Hobbies

Writing, acting, storytelling, and juggling.

Tutoring Subjects

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Teaching should be an exchange, not a one-sided lecture. Though there's a time and a place for lengthy explanations, there must also be the chance for a student to ask questions, to explore material deeper, and to show the teacher how well material is being understood.

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

I would first review the assignments a student is being given in class to better learn what their teacher, and the curriculum, are looking for. After that, I would work with them to find not only what areas need improvement, but in what areas there is already strength and confidence, so that I can better keep the student motivated.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

The best way to help a student develop as a learner is to provide them with a wide range of tools and strategies for approaching material covered, so that they may discover what works best for them.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

To keep a student motivated, I would ensure that the sole focus of a session is not on material that they are struggling with. By including material with which they are already confident, it becomes much easier to avoid frustration and build a greater general understanding of the material.

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

I would try to identify the specific reason for difficulty, and work towards finding related concepts that show the concept in question from different viewpoints.

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

A large part of reading comprehension is recognizing patterns in text, and so I would encourage practice with similar passages to help build up that base of experience in seeing these patterns at work.

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

The best way I have found to begin working with a student is by asking a few leading questions, prompting them to step up in the discussion and explain to me in their own words what it is about the material that frustrates them.

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

Motivation can be one of the biggest obstacles with problem subjects. One of the most reliable ways I've learned to overcome this and inspire excitement is highlighting the ways in which the subject at hand relates to and overlaps with one that they are naturally more passionate about.

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

After working with the student on a few examples, arriving at answers together, I would have them attempt a few examples on their own, and have them explain to me how they arrived at the answer that they chose.

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

Confidence comes easiest from concrete results, and so one of the best ways to build that confidence is to put the concepts that are causing the most trouble on hold for the moment, instead highlighting the concepts that they feel come easily to them, because these will quite often outweigh the problematic areas of a subject.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Evaluating a student's needs comes down to two factors. I would very much want to see some examples of the student's classwork and assignments to get a stronger understanding of what is expected of them in the classroom. Beyond that, though, I also want to hear the student's frustrations and concerns in their own words, so that I know what is weighing on their mind.

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

I adapt my tutoring to a student's needs based largely on the method of learning that suits them best. Additionally, I figure out where their motivations lie, so that I better understand how to get the most effort out of them in a session.

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

I would use anything from a student's classroom texts, to the widespread resources available online, and even prompts and questions of my own design.

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