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I am a college graduate with a passion for education and helping others. I believe that regardless of perceived ability or adversity, every student has potential. My goal is to work with students on how to find and best reach their full potential. I have tutored for over seven years throughout high school and college. I have experience in a number of subjects and approaching subjects in different study methods.

It's been my experience that once you find what study approach works best for you, doing well in school follows suit. I come with a number of different study approaches, and I like to try them all within sessions until we identify what the student prefers. I then work with my students to create a new study schedule using the new method instead of the old one (ie., flashcards vs. rereading the chapter once or twice). I also typically like to communicate with the student's teacher once or twice early in on tutoring to gain a sense of their perception of the student, how s/he teaches class, if the student is missing any assignments, if there is anything we can do for extra credit, etc. I think this helps remind the student that we (parents, teachers, tutors) are all here to help, and that we want the student to succeed, rather than punish the student.

That being said, I am a huge believer in intrinsic motivation. In my opinion, intrinsic motivation will help students in ways that no physical, tangible reward ever could. I believe in my tutoring abilities, and I want my students to succeed, therefore I do everything I can to help them succeed. If I can help my students work hard, and feel comfortable and confident in class, then they will do well. I like to work with my students in a way that demonstrates to them how personally rewarding academic success can be.

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Devan’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: SUNY Oswego - Bachelors, Human Development/English


Loves to read and write

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that every student learns things differently, and the key to academic success is finding what approaches work for you. I have tutored for seven years using this method and have seen success in all of my clients. I am open to trying any and every study method I can think of with a student until we find what works best. I am patient, driven, and have a love of education that I wish to communicate to my clients.

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

I'd like to look over notebooks and past homework or tests to identify where the mistakes are. I would then work together on any incomplete or upcoming assignments. Lastly, I would discuss the student's daily schedule to establish where their time for homework is scheduled (is it too infrequent?), and work on a new schedule together, which they will be accountable for. During the second session, I expect some type of discussion on this schedule was maintained

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I enjoy a challenge, particularly in education. I love education, and I think that the ability to build a future for yourself is contingent upon realizing the value of a good education. That being said, one of my biggest teaching philosophies is that if a student can identify what learning approach works for them, then that student can learn anything. I work diligently with students to learn what approach works best for them, and then how to apply that to all academic subjects.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I'm a big believer in intrinsic motivation. Depending on age group, I like to have my students talk about their career goals. I want them to learn the importance of education and how it affects your future, even at a young age. In the past, I've assigned students the "homework" of researching their dream job or career, and then all of the schooling, degrees and programs that are typically required for any career. I've looked at colleges with students and watched them realize the difference in their current grades and the ones they would need to get where they would like to be. However, in younger age groups, I think extrinsic motivation works better. I like to treat homework like a game or a challenge, rather than a dry, boring, obligation. I'll bring fun worksheets to do after homework, or stickers for a job well done.

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

The first thing I do is ask the student to explain the concept to me. I identify what they are missing or misunderstanding, and then work on how best to explain it in a different manner. Depending on subject, this includes giving demonstrations, rewriting the problem and listing all steps taken, rephrasing a definition, etc.

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

I think being an active reader aids greatly in reading comprehension. Time-permitting, I have students read comprehension questions before reading the passage, to help identify valuable information while reading. I also like to have students take notes as they read, or underline words they do not know and then look them up, in addition to identifying information that appears important in each paragraph.

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

The first thing I do is identify what work is incomplete. I ask the student how they study, or what they do while getting homework done. Then, I help the student identify the issue in their study habits. I also prefer to speak at least once with the student's teacher to gain two perspectives on the student's approach to their education. I work with the student to create a more productive work schedule, and try different learning approaches in-session (flashcards, diagrams, webs, outlines, drawings, study sheets, etc.) until we find what works best.

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