For the last twenty years, my professional activities have involved the analysis, flow charting, and documentation of client company operations, thereby helping management improve business processes, such as human resources, information processing, manufacturing, marketing, order entry, customer service, billing, and payroll. I have actively facilitated or participated in strategic meetings and training sessions, successfully interacting with people of different cultural, economic backgrounds; in client companies this includes all levels, from CEO to clerical staff and workers on the line.
After graduate school at the University of Georgia, where I received an MS degree in Microbiology, I moved to Oregon, where I worked as an on-air personality on KOAP-FM Golden Hours radio. Upon return to my home town of Dallas, Texas, I became an outside sales representative for a security company, and an inside technical sales representative for two nutritional supplement manufacturers, working with doctors and other customers concerning all products. In the early 80s, I became the manager of a national sales office, being responsible for client and public contact on a daily basis, as well as the continuing education of the sales force.
In the late '80s and early '90s, I taught classes in ten foreign countries for a manufacturing company, delivering lessons of my own creation. I have been responsible for interior and exterior communications for various employers and clients, including brochures, technical sheets, press releases, and training materials. I have written short stories and authored six books on sports and holistic health, and I have been an emcee and performer (on trumpet) at various musical events. I interact frequently with the media as a result of these activities.
My image and demeanor are professional, and my management style is friendly, collaborative, straightforward, and stable. I have an excellent memory, a sense of detail, and high levels of organization and communication skills. I am reserved and serious-minded, but cooperative and enjoyable to work with, placing a premium on harmony in a productive workplace. I am sensitive to others' points of view and believe that issues should be resolved on their own merits. I thrive on training others and am energized when helping individuals or groups. My organizational, presentation, and group facilitation skills are excellent, and I am adept in playing a support or a lead role. Further, I place importance on an effective result rather than the time taken to achieve it.
My hobbies are tenpin bowling (having been a professional bowler for 15 years), golf, reading, writing, composing music, and performing jazz. I am a dog and bird lover and tolerate cats. I eat a wide range of foods, but prefer well prepared dishes.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: The University of Texas at Arlington - Bachelors, Biology, Chemistry, Economics
Graduate Degree: University of Georgia - Masters, Microbiology, Science Education
Music, bowling, golf, writing
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that the only way to tell if learning has occurred is to ask the student the relevant questions about the subject matter. Testing is constant and bears no penalty in this context. When it is time to test for achievement, it is a simple matter of the student reflecting what he or she already knows.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Introduce each other, find out what the student's goals are, and begin to find out what he or she already knows. Partner in establishing a plan for learning.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Make him or her curious about the subject. Leverage a natural inquisitiveness by trying to make topics interesting. Things worthy of knowing are always more than items on a printed page; they are ideas that add color to life.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Trying to understand the student better. Discussing desires and goals. Always be positive; parcel out learning into smaller chunks to avoid fatigue.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
The tutor must determine the reason for the difficulty. It may be a very minor misunderstanding of basic information, or it may not be related to the subject matter at all. The difficulty may be rooted emotionally. Once the difficulty is determined, then it should be possible to know whether a simple explanation will suffice, exercises must be created, or some sort of counseling may be necessary.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension may require the services of a remedial reading professional. If the objective is to teach something other than reading, the tutor cannot discard the original objective to instruct in reading.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Break the ice by finding out about the student. Who is this person? He or she is a real person that will respond to kindness and sincere interest. A desirable response is for the student to become interested in who the tutor is, as well.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
This is a tough situation, but not impossible. Most likely, the student was capable of understanding the subject matter early in the course, but the lack of some vital basic knowledge has probably set him or her back. Questions to ask may be, "Why did you take the subject in the first place?" Another one may be, "At what point did you lose understanding of the subject?" Another may be, "What would it take for you to enjoy the subject?"
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
The only way to know if the student understands material is to ask suitable questions, the answers to which indicate understanding. A tutor cannot assume that learning has taken place just because he or she has "delivered" it. One must find out what is "in the student's head" and whether he or she can use the knowledge or skills to answer questions or demonstrate abilities.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Confidence is built in small steps leading to bigger ones. A tutor must break the lessons into small pieces that help the student achieve smaller, short-term goals. Once the student is convinced that he or she has accomplished a goal, training for achievement of another goal should be started. Before long, the student has a chance to realize how much he or she has accomplished.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
A tutor must have a good idea of two factors: (1) What does the student already know (or what can the student do), and (2) what is required of the student to become adept at the subject? Once these are both known, it is possible to design a scope and sequence of learning experiences to achieve the overall goal of instruction.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
One learning experience may be quite different from another. In other words, a topic may have to be taught in a certain way. Some of the strategies for teaching various topics may be easier for a give student to participate in, while some may be more difficult. A tutor must take into consideration how the topic must be taught to a student with an individual array of learning skills that demand different levels of comprehension. There is not a simple answer to this question, and discovery may proceed all during the instructional period.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Types of materials depend on the topic. If one were teaching spelling, phonics note cards might be appropriate. If one were teaching physics, some weights, gauges, string, etc. may be appropriate. If one were teaching life skills, maybe kitchen implements and household appliances would be appropriate. For science, written materials and typical laboratory demonstrations are usually required.