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Joseph

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I am a language tutor. I specialize in the English language, but I also teach Japanese.

I believe there are two things more important than any other to learn: critical thought and understanding. The two go hand in hand. Only by understanding something can we engage it critically, and only by thinking critically can we truly understand something. My goal as an instructor is help my students gain these skills. I don't want to just bark, "This is correct. End of discussion." I want my students to know why they need to do things in certain ways.

However, no one person learns the same way as anyone else. We can make general methods to teach many students a bit, but to really learn something, the learning process has to become more personal. I always try to take a preliminary period with my students why they want to learn or to improve in something. By understanding what they want from tutoring, I can tailor my lessons to how they learn so they will get the most out of their time with me. After all, the students are why I'm here.

Joseph’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Middle Tennessee State University - Bachelors, Communication Studies

Hobbies

Cooking, games, writing, hiking, talking about languages

Tutoring Subjects

Comparative Literature

English Grammar and Syntax

ESL/ELL

Homework Support

Japanese

Languages

Literature

Other

Public Speaking

Reading

SSAT Prep

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Summer


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Critical thought is the most important thing you can learn to do.

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

Ask them questions about themselves and the subject they want to learn so I can better understand them and, therefore, how best to teach them.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By encouraging them to seek understanding.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

It depends on what's hurting their motivation. Generally, I would try to recontextualize the lessons to fit their interests.

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

Reexamine the concept with them until we find a way that works for them.

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

Read the difficult passages with them and help them break it down into understandable chunks. This will also help the student learn this skill for themselves.

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

Show a genuine interest in them as a person.

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

Same as with motivation. Help them to see the subject from a different perspective that's more suited to them.

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

Mini-tests. There's no greater way to make sure someone can do something than to have them do it.

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

Guide them to be able to answer questions entirely on their own without my help.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

By talking to them. Not just about what they want, but talking to them casually. They're a person after all. You can learn a lot just by chatting.

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

By getting to know them before the tutoring starts.

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

Simple materials for taking notes. If a student is struggling to a greater degree, I will either use premade materials or make the materials myself just for them.