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Thomas

I believe in the power of structure in education. As a philosophy teacher, I strive to provide my students with a guided tour of philosophical thought that is capable of informing the methodology by which reason itself is operative. As a tutor, it is in my interest to provide the same sort of structural guidance, albeit for a different set of problems. Whether we study for a standardized test or a particular subject, the instruction I provide is tailored to each individual student and revolves around a conceptual framework which can be used to deal with the issue moving forward. I offer study tips, training, and expert guidance on a variety of tasks but my specialty is writing. I know the questions to ask to improve the structure of your essays and I am happy to provide insight into what makes a good essay work.

Undergraduate Degree:

Southwestern University - Bachelors, Philosophy

Graduate Degree:

Texas State University-San Marcos - Masters, Philosophy

GRE Analytical Writing: 5.5

guitar, cars, chess, movies, books

What is your teaching philosophy?

The goal of a teacher - any teacher - is not to present information in a particular way, but to achieve something external to that. A student must learn for a teacher to achieve success.

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

Talk to them! A first lesson is an important one - it is the lesson in which the strengths, weaknesses, learning style of the student, etc., are all revealed.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

The key is to guide the development of the thought process that works best for that student. Strength in one area leads to success in development in others.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

The big picture is where motivation comes from. Math, for example, can be difficult - but to become a rock star, you have to learn to play music. Grammar, spelling, punctuation and reading skills are all the same way. By learning to be strong in each individual area, we become strong as thinkers.

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

I would present it in different ways until one worked. Analogy is a helpful tool, as is deconstruction.

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

The key to reading comprehension is attention. My strategy for dealing with reading comprehension involves training the student to pick out the most important words, then produce the meaning of the sentence from there.

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

To put it bluntly, questions. I ask questions to get a feel for personality, motivation, and areas of difficulty. This helps with communication throughout the learning process.

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

I would make it relevant to the student. Motivation comes from recognizing the applicability of the subject to one's own life, and so does success.

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

I request that they put their understanding in writing. In my liberal arts education, I was required to write in every class I took. The technique was helpful because it leaves no illusions with respect to exactly where improvement is needed.

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

I like to discuss the matter in depth, but in a way that is directly accessible to the student. This involves analogies and is essentially a deconstructive process, but even the most complex thoughts are simple if you break them down far enough.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Communication. It is essential to discuss the subject at hand, as well as to ask questions, for both the student and the teacher.

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

The critical part of any tutor's job is to find what is needed and cultivate that part of the understanding. Each student will have different needs, and my approach takes that into account.

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

It depends on the subject. Generally, a student will need to have a reliable computer and any necessary study materials.