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Paul

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I received my Bachelor of Science from Boston University where I studied Biomedical Engineering. I went on to work as a field service engineer in Atlanta, GA. I recently went back to school and received my Masters of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Connecticut. I tutor a range of subjects, but I especially like tutoring admissions tests such as the SATs and GMATs to help enable people to reach their educational goals. In my spare time I enjoy reading and playing games of any kind.

Paul’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Boston University - Bachelors, Biomedical Engineering

Graduate Degree: University of Connecticut - Masters, MBA - Marketing

Test Scores

SAT Math: 710

SAT Verbal: 700

GMAT: 740

Hobbies

Reading, playing cards, boards games, video games


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I work with the student to understand how they learn best. There is now one-size-fits-all approach to tutoring. I usually try to explain the why behind a problem not just the steps taken to solve it.

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

I discuss student goals, explain how I approach the sessions, and recommend any appropriate materials. After that, I dive straight into the material; that's what we're there for after all.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

The easiest way to lose motivation is to not see the results you’re looking for. To combat this, I point out the areas that were successes and discuss the easy steps that can be taken to improve the areas that need it. I find that when you break your results down into specific areas, even a very disappointing result can be easily overcome.

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

It depends on the student. A lot of times I think learning skills or concepts is easier if you focus on the how and why, the underlying reasons why something works the way it does. On the other hand, there are students that do better learning the steps and/or rules to get to the right answer and have no interest in the how and why. Flexibility is the key to serving each student to the best of my ability.

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

I know it's a frustrating answer for a student who is struggling, but the best way to improve your reading comprehension is to read more. I recommend reading AT LEAST one article a day from a respected news source, such as the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times. That being said there are strategies that can be employed to improve results at almost any level.

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

Practice, practice, practice. I find, for the most part, that my role isn't to be another lecturer. I work through as many problems per session as I possibly can. As you spend more time with a student, you may find that there are specific areas or strategies that can be taught or improved with a verbal explanation. That is secondary, though, to working problems or examples.

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

This goes hand in hand with teaching the underlying reasons to why a subjects works the way it does. Seeing the behind the scenes mechanisms also illuminates the applications that make learning a subject worthwhile.

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

Again, the answer is practice problems and examples. I have a student verbally explain what he or she is doing and thinking as they work through something. That way I clearly see what they are or are not understanding.

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

While it is obviously necessary to point out the mistakes or errors a student is making. I find that those conversations go better when they are mixed with pointing out the areas in which the student had success. Providing the constructive criticism along with positive feedback allows to you see improvement over time. And improvement is the best way to build confidence.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Primarily by talking about them with the student. Asking if the way you explained something works for them or if there is another method they would prefer. That being said, you can also learn a lot about a student’s needs by just tackling the material. You'll be able to see what is or isn't working and how to fine tune your tactics for the individual.

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

I will use whatever I think will help a student. I use a lot of Varsity Tutors' resources. I use problems I think are good from other websites. And I recommend any for purchase materials I think are worthwhile. For example, I always recommend the Princeton Review books for test prep.