As a former teacher, the "ah-ha" moments were my favorite memories in the profession. Most of those moments came during one on one interaction and instruction times with students. Tutoring settings allow for not only intensive learning, but time to explain the background and importance of the task at hand. My education and experience with writing, editing, literature and grammar allow me to relate to most language arts situations, and working with 7th graders, working with alternative school students, and assisting graduate students with editing essays gives me a broad spectrum to draw from as a tutor.
I believe that education is the key to individual success in life. Education brings out our strengths and weaknesses and forces us to address both. One on one educational situations give a better opportunity to address both, and provides a more specific type of instruction. I believe these one-on-one sessions allows for the most powerful progress for an individual student. Addressing weaknesses also builds character and allows a person to be a more effective member of our culture and community. I enjoy and look forward to participating in all aspects of your progression.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Missouri-St Louis - Bachelors, English
I am a big time sports fan, mainly baseball, football, college football, and hockey. I often go to Cardinals, Rams and Blues games. I also have been playing saxophone for 20 years and enjoy being involved in my local church. I also got married in June, so my new wife takes up a lot of my free time!
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe teaching and learning occur each and every day in a variety of contexts. Analogies are extremely helpful in applying practical applications and effectively engage and challenge students to think outside the box.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I want to spend some of the session getting to know the student and what interests they have so I can relate to them. Getting a baseline of their general skill set and overall knowledge is also necessary. I would also find what the end goal is for the student and help devise a plan to reach that goal.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Providing the necessary skills in a given topic and presenting multiple perspectives for application of this knowledge allows a student to become more independent in their studies.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Encouraging students in their strengths allows a student to take pride in their work. In areas of weakness, showing examples of their improvement over one or more lessons provides a sense of accomplishment. Building overall satisfaction with attaining goals helps maintain motivation for future learning.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I believe in unpacking a lesson and beginning with little bites. You don't eat an entire pizza right away; you cut it into pieces and eat it one piece at a time. I view learning the same way. We need to get to the root of the struggle, establish the basic skills, and build on them until the goal is achieved.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Students who struggle with comprehension often struggle with vocabulary and the meaning of what they are reading. Strengthening vocabulary and providing topical readings that appeal to a student's interests help make reading more fun and improve overall comprehension skills.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Various assessments to gauge skill levels of students help form a starting point. Also, learning about the student and their interests goes a long way to help me relate to their skills and struggles.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Many students I have taught in the past became frustrated easily with a given piece of literature that was not interesting to them. What I found is that providing historical background or the story behind the story often makes the reading or area of struggle more engaging, and gains the interest of the student.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I like using recall questions to establish a foundation for any given lesson. This and using forms of assessment to review a student's performance are the most typical techniques I use to observe overall proficiency of a given topic.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Encouragement is the key. Perfection is not expected before a student has the skills to master a topic. Breaking down the complex to the simple and teaching a skill little by little allows a student to progress and build confidence along the way.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
There are many methods of evaluating needs, first and foremost, a teacher needs to learn their students. Through both personal and educational discussion and assessment, I can ascertain strengths and weaknesses. Then, I'd formulate a strategy to help a student in their areas of need.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
A teacher must understand their students individually to formulate a good plan. Each learning situation provides a number of ways to adapt to a variety of different learners. By establishing a relationship with a student and understanding strengths and weaknesses, I am able to tailor lessons to the individual student.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
In my tutoring sessions, I use many forms of media like audio or visual clips to show an example. The key for choosing materials is not to be close-minded to finding something engaging that will help the student be excited about what they will be learning.