Students are the resource upon which our future depends and it is important to ensure that they receive the best education possible. However, learning and teaching is a two way street. The teacher must be prepared and must enthuse the student and the student must be willing to learn and put in the necessary effort to absorb the material. If these conditions are met the process will be rewarding for both the teacher and the student.
I enjoy teaching about the wonders of biology, the intricacies of history, and seeing the excitement of students as they learn new things. I continually read about science and study biology, genetics, history, philosophy. I am Board Certified in both General Surgery and Plastic Surgery. I belong to the Civil War Round Table of Kansas City, various Philosophy Clubs, a Science group, and am sponsor of a group called American History Enthusiasts. A teacher must also be a student.
As a former practicing plastic and reconstructive surgeon I have gained a practical knowledge of anatomy, physiology, patient care and the art of dealing with patients and their families. I taught surgery residents and nurses about operative techniques and patient care. This background nicely translates into my ability to teach and relate to students and their families.
I am patient, laid back, humorous, and can establish a rapport with people of any age. I prepare diligently for each session that I teach and make certain my student understands the material. Each session must be rewarding to both student and teacher.
John Carroll University - Bachelors, Biology
Medical College of Wisconsin (Marquette College of Medicine) - PhD, Medicine
What is your teaching philosophy?
I like to assess the student's needs, interests and goals, then tailor my efforts to meet those needs, interests and goals. It is important to concentrate on the student's strengths and attempt to help improve the weaknesses. Any student who wants to learn can learn.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get to know the student and have the student get know me. Set my expectations and learn their expectations. Set goals.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Help them learn how to learn and believe in themselves.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Make the subject matter interesting and set reasonable goals to achieve by the next session.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Find out where the problem lies. Attempt to look at the problem from another viewpoint, and find other material that may be helpful.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Ensure that an underlying problem does not exist; for example dyslexia, visual issues, emotional issues…
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Letting them know that I care that they learn, and show how the material is important and relevant.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Find out why they are taking the subject. Is it one that is critical to their goal? Is it an elective? Why do they struggle? Do they lack adequate background knowledge?
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Ask questions as we proceed. Feedback from the student is an excellent way to tell whether or not the student grasps the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
The student builds his/her own confidence as they see improvement and success in mastering the subject matter.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Ask the student what he/she thinks is needed. Observe how the student learns and where the student’s weaknesses lie.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Concentrate on the student's strengths. Praise the student's successes, and diminish weaknesses as much as possible.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Images, graphs, pen and paper.