Hello! I am a retired business management professional with experience in academic (UCLA), international (United Nations), and corporate (Coca-Cola) settings. I am a certified TESL instructor as well as a certified online course designer and instructor. I'm a published author, I enjoy gardening, and love hiking with my two dogs, Nugget and Pemba.
I look forward to sharing my various skills and personal adventures to create a fun and rewarding learning experience in a variety of disciplines, including: ESL, Spanish, and Writing/Editing.
For whatever your motivation, to improve your grades or learn new skills, I know the challenge may sometimes seem daunting. I understand...as I have found myself in that situation as well. But I also know that it can be fun to explore and discover new things about the world around you, and about the talents within you that you didn't realize were there. I hope to hear from you...let's discover together. Bob Stastny
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Lawrence University - Bachelors, Spanish
Graduate Degree: Loyola University-Chicago - Masters, Finance
I am a hobby horticulturist/gardener and love studying about our native Mojave desert plant life. I also enjoy hiking with my dogs .
Q & A
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try to determine how that student prefers to learn...are you visually motivated or do you prefer to study alone followed by tutored discussion. I also would try to relate/compare the skill being learned to some other interest of the student, which often helps them overcome a learning barrier.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Besides encouraging students to learn new skills, I believe the key to successful teaching is to be able to ignite the curiosity of a student so that he/she will want to continue to explore and discover on their own long after a class is over.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
When you teach someone the tools of how to be resourceful in searching for answers and new ideas, they tend to understand better the rewards of self-discovery.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
When students see even small successes, they build confidence in their learning abilities.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Start by reading short pieces that relate to a topic that is interesting to the students. For instance, for a sports enthusiast, break down a short article by sentence to understand the main points of the article. Then, gradually follow up with articles that deal less with that topic.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
By getting to know a student's interests and learning style, and by sharing my own interests and experience in learning, a partnership can be developed based on trust and respect.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would look for examples in that particular subject area that might be relatable to one of their own interests. If it's ESL, for examples, start with vocabulary or grammar exercises in an area of interest...like sports, cooking, gardening, and science.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Repeat, repeat, repeat. Mirror the exercise back to me to confirm your understanding.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Small successes build to larger triumphs.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
First ask, then evaluate the need based on your own experience in that area and their goals.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Tutoring is one of the most flexible ways to teach as you don't have to fulfill the needs of many. Rather, you teach based on that one person's preferred learning style, and you can focus specifically on areas that are needed most.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Textbooks, workbooks, flashcards, videos...and in the case of ESL, everyday objects and materials often are the most effective resources.